Poetic Licence: The Winterval Manifesto

In order not to offend people of other religions, Birmingham City Council has renamed its 42-day programme of Christmas festivities, "Winterval". In the ensuing backlash, Church leaders have said that their faith is being censored in the name of political correctness

Shepherds watching flocks by night

Must cease work by 9.00 pm

In line with set Working Hours limits.

The cattle are lowing.

The baby awakes.

Ring our Noise Pollution Hotline.

The holly and the ivy

Now they are both full-grown

Have been deemed unsuitable for use

Since the holly is not child-friendly

And the ivy may affect asthma sufferers.

Elves will report to Team Leader,

Ms Ryan for her keynote speech:

"Paper Chains In A Workshop Context"

A hands-on assembly instruction session

Will provide facts on a Need-To-Know basis.

Boxing Day is rescheduled for 2nd Jan 1999

Renamed: Courtesy Visit/Gift Interface Day,

It will allow those workers in non-aligned jobs

A compensatory Comfort and Joy period.

Differently-nosed sub-arctic deer

Must not be subjected to workplace harassment

And will receive fair employment consideration

Under the Equal Opportunities Act.

Safety headgear must be worn at all times

In a one-horse open vehicle,

Laughing all the way.

Our Winterval Patriarch will visit you.

He may seek to gain entry via your chimney

We apologise if he calls at an inconvenient hour.

Under the 1994 Toy Recipients Charter,

You may be entitled to compensation.