The Big Eye, December 16, 2014: A world outside your window that’s closer than you think

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Judging by the fact that shops are already dumping their festive stock in promotions designed to bring out the very best in the good people of Merrie England and Easter Eggs have appeared on the shelves, I guess that Santa will soon have to think about girding his ample loins and preparing to visit every home in the Christian world.

You’d think that, after the ropey old year we’ve had in 2014, everyone would be looking forward to sitting down to a massive turkey dinner with all the trimmings and a table groaning with cholesterol-raising grub and enough alcohol to float a barge.

Well I hate to burst your cheery Yuletide bubble, but it seems that many of us won’t be enjoying the kind of gluttonous excesses which are so lovingly presented in the twinkly adverts churned out by the major players in this annual festival of commercialism.

There are those amongst us who will not be wallowing in troughs of cheap booze and swallowing mini cocktail pork pies two at a time between swigs of Prosecco on Christmas Day.

I’m talking about the people who will be forced to take full advantage of one of the fastest growing phenomena of the current financial fiasco, the Foodbank.

My local supermarket has installed a trolley near the checkout with a sign begging for donations to support one nearby.

The very sight of this trolley makes me uneasy, but that’s not because I’m reluctant to put something in it.

I’m uneasy because I find it hard to accept that, in a nation as comparatively rich and corpulent as mine, we still have people who are relying on the kindness of others to volunteer to keep them fed.

In the recent past you only ever saw the begging bins being used to collect tins of cat and dog food for animal charities.

But now it seems another unwanted and uncared for group are vying with the dog kennels for your handouts at this time of year – human beings!

The Archbishop of Canterbury got revved up and waved his bejewelled crosier in anger at this scourge of modern society.

Unfortunately, however, I don’t believe he’s actually gone as far as ordering the selling-off some of the thousands of acres of land the Church owns or realising cash from the massive investments stashed away by the Church of England to help, but it was very nice of him to at least notice and get a few headlines for the cause.

It is utterly shameful that anyone in our allegedly caring society should be facing winter (or Christmas) in the knowledge that their comfort and welfare relies upon the rich benevolently copping a few tins of beans or a six-pack of discounted mince pies into the deserving poor box as they stagger out of Tescburys with two hundred quid’s-worth of fat, sugar, and alcohol and load it into their motors.

We all pay our tax and expect it to be used wisely and decently and as far as I’m concerned, they’re not spending enough of mine where they ought to this Christmas........Cheers?