HARK! We're not dreaming ... there's going to be a festive season general election - that really is as rare as a white Christmas.

This first December poll since 1923 will dominate half of the windows on our Advent calendars.

Alas, politics is for life - not just for Christmas, yet already we are being hastily promised stocking loads of gifts.

It has been dubbed Brexmas - is nothing sacred?

We simply can't escape the remaining or leaving debate - a three-and-a-half year EU hangover.

Pass me another glass of Egg Nog.

All we want for Christmas is for Brexit to be sorted out one way or another.

It has been such a bad-tempered, U-turning state of affairs that we were all looking forward to a stress-free festive season.

I'd like our politicians - many already out canvassing - to adopt a tinsel-coated approach to the weeks of campaigning ahead.

Candidates could wear sweaters adorned with reindeers or snowmen with their party political rosettes covered in fairy lights.

What larks to be had pulling a specially modified cracker with respective party hat inside and a snappy slogan from the manifesto.

When it was revealed on Have I got News For You that there will be a shortage of polling booths this December, Ian Hislop suggested using grottos.

That's not such a silly idea.

Local party HQs could have their own Chris Cringle on site who would ask voters what they want for Christmas ... and for the following five years

I have my own a-political 'Dear Santa' wish list and here's a few from my selection box: an end to austerity and universal credit; tackling the knife crime crisis; a UK that shouldn't need to rely on food banks and the assurance that our NHS is not to be dissected on the world's operating table.

As we head into what Channel 4's Dispatches calls the 'most bitter and toxic' campaign in our life times, I am prepared for any canvasser who turns up on my doorstep.

I will ask them to go back to their constituency HQ and prepare for Government by reading from cover to cover A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

I want the references to 'ignorance and want' to be embedded in their minds by Polling Day.

It is said that the Christmas we get we deserve, so come December 12 I sincerely hope you get what you want.

Whatever the election result one thing is certain, the Queen's Christmas broadcast on December 25 is going to be a royal ratings winner.


'POWER to the people' sang John Lennon.

He was passionate about a free-speech world.

Apart from writing the prophetic anti-fake news anthem Gimme Some Truth, John also wrote Happy Xmas War is Over.

This classic has the soul-searching opening line 'So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.'

Good question.

John was an activist who also urged people to register in order to vote.

Now one of his most inspiring TV interviews with Ralph Nader from 1972 has resurfaced on social media.

John said: "If you register to vote it doesn't say you have to vote, at least you have it. And then if somebody comes, if there's somebody around you can believe in, you've got that vote.

"But if you don't register and it comes and you wanna do something you've missed it."

Hear, hear.

The deadline to register is November 26.

Meanwhile I wonder what John would have thought about all the Brexit 'mind games?'


HALF-baked ... having the mini-roll version of The Great British Bake Off is over-egging the pudding.

We need a break from the culinary concept instead of being served up childish second helpings.

Like the BBC's ill-fated Young Apprentice, the idea of seeing predominantly precocious kids mimic the actions of adults may make for novel one-offs for comic relief but cannot sustain a whole series.

And while I admire Harry Hill the stand-up comedian, having him as the host every day for the next two weeks on Junior Bake Off is asking for trouble.

Harry is likely to instigate a custard pie fight off.

I have already started my viewing diet until the Paul Hollywood version returns next autumn.


COME again?

I was intrigued by a recent survey that revealed three quarters of people believed their partners have 'selective hearing.'

That is, in a typical week the males of our species will conveniently ignore their loved ones seven times and the females six.

I do hope the new House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle does not adopt selective hearing.

He is popular and when it comes to pets he is politically correct.

The Hoyle household has a dog called Gordon, a parrot called Maggie and a tortoise called Boris.

So welcome to Hoyle's war as he becomes the referee in a battle to be heard in a parliamentary no man's land.

Sir Lindsay was ceremoniously 'dragged' to his chair and it made front page headlines and he managed to bring rare smiles back to the benches.

Order order ... more light relief, please Mr Speaker.


AND finally ...

The late, great Sir Ken Dodd would have been 91 this Friday.

To remember the great man's laughter legacy here is my favourite memory when Doddy told an audience about his keep fit regime.

"I did 25 minutes running on the spot this morning - I had my braces caught in the bannister."

By Jove ... oh, how we miss him.

Peter Grant