My Election Notes 2019. E-Day – 34

by Pseud O'Nym

I was going to write about the recent plea by N.HS. bosses not to it weaponise for narrow political gain during this election campaign – playing the blame game, or making extravagant spending promises etc – but that will have to wait – like many patients have to do to see a doctor – because this irresistible story caught my eye in ‘The Guardian’ and it neatly highlighted the encapsulated the rampant inequality of income in our society, much more than segregated playgrounds for social housing children in private developments or the Queen being forced to slum it yet again this Christmas enduring the harshness of warmth, plenty and ease.

Harrods limits Christmas grotto to £2,000-plus spenders

Customers complain London store’s restrictive policy ‘steals Christmas’ from their children

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent


It carried on,


Father Christmas promises to visit every well-behaved child on 24 December but it turns out that only the children of high-rolling parents are able to visit him in his Swarovski crystal-encrusted grotto in Harrods.

The Knightsbridge department store has been accused of “behaving like the Grinch who stole Christmas” by restricting access to its Father Christmas to customers who have spent at least £2,000 in the 170-year-old shop.


Hang on, lets just rewind a bit here, because yes, you did read that right. ‘The Guardian’, which always wants to appear ironically, for a centre left leaning newspaper, wants to appear right on, has a ‘Wealth Correspondent’. Now I understand that as newspaper print sales plummet, so their online version needs to begin making up the shortfall in lost print revenue. And the only way a newspaper can do that is by selling its readers to advertisers. They may well be adverts for ethical this, organic that, biodegradable the other, but they’re still adverts and they still want you to buy something you weren’t previously aware of. No matter how ethical a consumer, one is still a consumer.

And as newspapers begin to face the financial realities and challenges of existing in a fast changing media landscape, so they need to readers reading to attract the advertisers with the big bucks. Why is a company going to advertise in a newspaper hardly anyone reads’, and those that do read it wouldn’t buy their product anyway? Possibly that’s why ‘The Guardian’ has become more tabloid in tone, and whilst it reports some celebrity news, it does so rather sniffily, so its readers can feel both current and superior. It has moved away over the last thirty years, with increasing speed, from being a newspaper of integrity to being one of questionable probity. If it were a person, it would be a formerly upstanding member of society, with a good job, stable personal life and a nice house, but who is now living in a tiny bedsit, their former life gone through a combination of bad choices, mixing with the wrong crowd and trying to be cool.

And as for the story about Harrods and the Christmas grotto? I could care less, but only if I really, really tried.