Monday, November 29, 2010

Festive Fear

My eye was caught the other day by a headline on Ceefax which ran something like: "Terror suspect held in Christmas tree bomb attack plot". I immediately had visions of some crazed Islamic fundamentalist planning to strike a blow against the evil Christian-capitalist festival of debauchery and decadence that is Christmas, by turning one of its most potent symbols against it. In my mind, I could see this terrorist converting Christmas trees into missiles, and firing them and their deadly payloads of explosive-packed decorative balls, into crowded shopping centres. Sadly, when I actually read the story, it was actually about some teenager in the US who had been arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up a local Christmas tree lighting event with a car bomb. I say sadly, but obviously it's good that he didn't blow anybody up - it's only sad in the sense that it is yet more evidence of the younger generation's lack of imagination. Really, if you must be a mass murderer, at least have the decency to commit your crimes with a degree of flair and originality.

Actually, I'm surprised that, with Christmas approaching, the authorities haven't issued their usual dire warnings of possible terror attacks. Quite apart from being a religious festival and guaranteeing that large numbers of people will be gathering for events like shopping, carol services and the like, the festive season affords so many opportunities for imaginative terror attacks. Take that Santa Claus, for instance - doesn't he provide the perfect cover for suicide bombers? I mean, a heavily disguised man with a huge beard obscuring his face and carrying a huge - possibly explosive-laden - sack, who everyone immediately trusts, and whose presence in crowded shopping centres and public places nobody questions? Not to mention the fact that he apparently has access to everyone's house, leaving suspect parcels under their trees. Indeed, I'd be very surprised if the police don't war everybody to report any unexpected presents they receive as possible bombs. But it isn't just Santa - what about carol singers? A perfect cover for gangs of roving assassins - just knock on your target's door and as they stand there entranced by the heavenly singing, let them have it in the heart with an icicle. Or just blow them to smithereens with a collective suicide bomb. Damn it, I'm going to contact the government right now and demand they cancel Christmas on security grounds!

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