No label, such as 1992’s “annus horribilis,” for the year in her 2008 speech, but the Queen’s address certainly touched on today’s credit crunch.
CNN: “Christmas is a time for celebration, but this year it is a more somber occasion for many. Some of those things which could once have been taken for granted suddenly seem less certain, and naturally give rise to feelings of insecurity,” she told Britons in a televised appearance from Buckingham Palace.
“People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world — whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land, the effects can be keenly felt at home.”
Meanwhile, the Brits were treated also to an “alternative address” from everyone’s favourite Iranian leader, which didn’t go over as well as the Queen’s for some reason.
Radio Netherlands: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has delivered an alternative Christmas message on Britain’s Channel four. Every year, Channel 4 asks a remarkable, and usually controversial, figure to deliver its alternative to the Queen’s speech. In the message, the controversial Iranian president called for more spirituality. He said that if Jesus Christ were alive now, “undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers”.
Channel 4’s decision to ask the Iranian president created a storm of controversy in Britain. Some MPs condemned the choice, labelling Mr Ahmadinejad add as a “dangerous fanatic” with antisemitic and anti-homosexual views and policies. A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office said “President Ahmadinejad has during his time in office made made a series of appalling antisemitic statements”. Channel 4’s choice has also been condemned by lesbian and gay rights organisations as well as Israel’s ambassador to the UK.