...it sounds dreary. Go straight for something exciting and worthwhile. Tell your children to wait for this film, and meanwhile if they haven't read the books, hurry to get them copies this Christmas.
And hurrah for the Holy Father, talking with wisdom and common sense about children and Christmas: it's so horrible to see boys and girls robbed of their joy by being turned into obedient little consumers...here in Britain, there is something of a debate taking place about childhood and its value, and it's a debate long overdue. It seems so rare, now, to see a gaggle of children in the street giggling and laughing together and just having fun. It's even more rare to see teenagers just larking about and laughing...somehow there is an air of solemn menace stalking our common life, and cheerful merriment invites not just sneers but downright hostility.
Meanwhile today the Government has announced - ugh - a Ten Year Plan for Children. Why is my immediate reaction one of horror? Is it just the Stalinist language? Or is it a realistic conviction that the thing will somehow become just another way of bashing marriage and family life? Or simply a feeling of dreariness at the realisation that it will probably mean more social workers filling in forms, and more bureacratic "initiatives" involving salaried staff talking ideological junk at the taxpayers' expense?