Following my last post on the Boxing Day issue there have been several comments and rather than adding to them there I thought I’d add to them out here. One of the unattributed commenters asked “Why is there this need for everybody to not even be able to have just TWO days off with their families thats guaranteed time off.”
The last estimates I read were that around 5.8 million work on Christmas Day with 11 million on Boxing Day. Hospitals still have patients to look after, the ambulances still need to come out if needed, police still need to keep order, fires need to be put out when someone overloads the tree with too many fairy lights or incinerates the turkey, none of us would be able to listen to the Queen’s Speech or watch whatever movie comes on afterwards without someone being at the BBC. Add to that there are minicab drivers, hotel workers along with staff in pubs and restaurants.
Or are those people excluded from “everybody”?
Let me make myself clear I am not saying that the Tube should close on Boxing Day, I just don’t see the need for half of us to be there when it happens to be on a Sunday or even more when it’s a Saturday when we get along perfectly well with 1 in 4 every other Boxing Day.
Boxing Day has been a traditional football fixture since it started as a professional sport, a hundred years ago teams used to play on Christmas Day and Boxing Day usually with the same two teams playing each other. In 1919 West Ham beat Bristol City 2-0 at home for Christmas and then made the 120 mile trip west to secure a 0-0 draw 24 hours later.
Last year Arsenal postponed their Boxing Day clash with Wolves at the Emirates until the next day because of ASLEF’s strike though as Christmas Day was on a Sunday the Tuesday was also a Bank holiday. This year Arsenal are at home to West Ham so if the ASLEF strike goes ahead and they decided to reschedule the fixture I don’t see it being played on the Thursday as that will be a working day. Actually this will be the fourth consecutive Boxing Day (or day after) the Gooners have played at home and they won the last three which presents two questions.
Firstly does someone have a bias towards Arsenal, giving them home advantage for the match after Christmas, saving their fans an arduous journey the day after they've stuffed themselves full of turkey and mince pies?
And secondly should I vote for strike action simply because Arsenal seem to be on top form after Christmas so delaying the game might improve our chances of nicking a point?