Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

LABOUR has made much of its commitment to multiculturalism and the rights of minorities. It is revealing, however, that these rights do not extend to free trade. To several million Hindus, Muslims, Jews, heathens and others Christmas means little: 25 December will be just another day when they want to get on with their private business. But from next year the full horrors of the Christmas holiday may be thrust upon them: the Christmas Day (Trading) Bill, a private member's Bill introduced by the Labour peer Lord Davies of Coity, seeks to make it illegal for large shops to open on 25 December under threat of a 50,000 fine. In a separate move in the Commons, 89 mostly Labour MPs led by Gwyneth Dunwoody have signed a motion demanding that all shops be closed for the day to allow shop workers to spend time with their children.

But what about those shopkeepers and customers for whom a day of turkey, tinsel and a special edition of Absolutely Fabulous is akin to torture? …

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