Apparently Christmas is a time for forgiveness. So I forgive you, Britain

From the diary of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s appropriately festive prime minister

AS a Hindu, I don’t know a lot about Christmas. And my idea to do a show where I learn the true meaning of it was called ‘the biggest vote-loser since Suez.’ 

‘They’re doing very well on Netflix,’ I say. ‘I wear a reindeer jumper, look confused, the spirit of Christmas helps me out, happy ending.’

‘You parroting sentiments you don’t understand wearing a child’s sweater with the slogan ‘Eat Sleep Christmas Repeat’ on it would be electoral armageddon,’ Gove says. ‘It would be a happy ending like a masseuse pulling your cock off.’

‘The public already suspects you’re not human,’ he continues. ‘Helicoptering into Lapland to touch base with Santa when you’re dwarfed by his fucking elves would see we didn’t make the spring by-elections.’

‘So what is Christmas about?’ I ask, with an endearing mock-naiveté that would light up a streaming screen. ‘Forgiveness,’ he snaps, leaving. ‘Which you desperately need.’

And, as the door slams behind him, I realise he’s right. I do need forgiveness. The British people need forgiveness. I can’t go into 2024 holding everything they’ve done wrong against them.

The list of their crimes is long. Not believing me on the boats. Not understanding economic necessity. Using my five priorities against me when they were very much an internal target that we never intended to publicise.

Most of all, for not listening. For not paying attention to my tough talk. For not even remembering I’d promised long-term solutions for a brighter future. For electing Labour at every by-election regardless.

I forgive you, Britain. Because it’s Christmas. No, wait, I don’t have to do any of that, I’m a Hindu.

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Jingle bells my arse: The gammon food critic's family Christmas

Restaurant reviews by Justin Tanner, our retired food critic who’s seen Jesus and he was a white man

MY son’s invited me out for a Christmas dinner with the family. Mostly guilt; they’re having the ex round on the day itself, and the two of us can’t be in the same postcode. 

Suits me though. Christmas is shite. Half the pubs are shut and the telly’s full of kids’ films. I’ll be spending it as I always do: in the flat with a few slabs of Stella watching war movies and ordering Chinese.

The gastropub he’s chosen costs 60 a head and doesn’t comp food critics. I know, I’ve tried. Decked out with all that festive crap you don’t have to bother with when you live on your own: tinsel, fairy lights, a massive tree that should be outside for dogs to piss up.

And the music’s not helping. Mariah fucking Carey arpeggiating away like she’s having a stroke. ‘The food had better be top drawer to make up for all this bollocks,’ I remark to my son. He winces. Must have heartburn.

But one glance at the starters and I’m back in the 1970s. Melon balls? Smoked salmon? Foie gras. I’m surprised they’re not serving pints of Double Diamond and putting ashtrays on the table.

I opt for the great British classic – prawn cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, named after our heroic battleship that spanked the frogs’ arses before the bastards sank it in 1545.

‘They say Fanny Craddock invented this’ I tell my son and his wife, expecting a chuckle. Nothing. His wife glares at me. No sense of humour. He gets that from his mother.

And of course the only option for a main, apart from vegan shit, is ‘traditional roast turkey’. Traditional at Thanksgiving in bloody America maybe. Why don’t we have proper British meat at Christmas? There’s not a family in the land wouldn’t rather have pork.

Brussels sprouts? Why aren’t we calling them Birmingham sprouts now the EU can’t stop us, like when American had freedom fries?

There’s roast potatoes that as crispy as a hanky full of snot, just less salty. Honey-roast parsnips so sweet they should be eaten with cream. And don’t get me started on ‘garden peas’. Whose garden exactly?

There’s a British Christmas pudding, which they make a big show of pouring brandy over and lighting it. I ask for my brandy separately and down it in one. It’s a nice digestif after all the lager.

Meal over, I get up to leave before the bill arrives, wish them a very merry Christmas, and get out of there before anyone tries to make me sing Away In A Manger. I’m Christian, but I’m not foreign so I’m not loud about it.

That’s the festivities fucked off for another year. Now home for the Christmas you celebrate all year round: getting shitfaced.