Father Christmas aka Santa Claus (age unknown) is to completely bypass the UK this year. A press statement has just been issued from his North Pole HQ giving a warning for parents to make "alternative arrangements". After a tip off from 'credible inside sources' Santa has taken legal advice and is to avoid any deliveries in the UK for fears of arrest under operation Yew-tree - the police team set up to investigate the Jimmy Savile revelations.
A spokes-elf said, "Santa Claus is very concerned about the recent activities of the Yew-tree team in the UK, in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations. He has decided not to enter UK territory this year whilst the position is clarified. He is very sorry to make this decision and requests parents take appropriate action to fulfil his Christmas activities."
Santa is associated with Savile from way back in the seventies when he helped 'Fix-It' for several children on the BBC TV programme: Jim'll Fix It. Operation Yewtree has seen the arrest of a number of prominent UK celebrities for allegations dating back decades. Santa is apparently also very worried that having spent a lifetime creeping around children's bedrooms, it is only a matter of time before someone makes an unfounded allegation. Probably a disgruntled child who never received a Raleigh Chopper or a Cabbage Patch Doll trying to seek revenge on the white bearded one. A police spokesperson said, "the Savile investigations have allowed us to create a list of 'others' we would like to interview, I cannot reveal if Santa is or isn't on the list at this time."
It's not the first time Santa has had challenges in the UK, with previous problems due to breaking and entering and driving after consuming copious amounts of sherry and brandy.
Santa's UK PR guru was unavailable for comment today, but a Zurich Gnome and close business advisor did reveal that this latest UK problem is the latest factor "driving Santa to seriously consider outsourcing the whole global operation to Amazon".
According to the Gnome, Santa is reviewing the business model in the light of spiralling costs. "It would make good sense to streamline the whole supply chain." This could see the loss of several hundreds of jobs at Father Christmas's North Pole global logistics hub. The December delivery operation has been in place for centuries under several international brand names including, St Nicholas, Sinterklaas and Pere Noel. In the 1930's the US drinks giant Coca Cola facilitated a major re-branding exercise and image update that remains to this day.
The Father Christmas operation has been called into question recently when a survey of UK primary school children revealed that the Santa business may have run its course. Children are fed up with being good in the run up to Christmas and claim this infringes their human rights. Also the overly complex and slow ordering process needs an overhaul. Ideally they would like to see a toy on TV and order it direct from their Smart Phone for next day delivery. "December 25th is an artificially orchestrated logistics nightmare" said 3 year old Adam Sugar.
Another issue facing Santa is the increasing difficulty obtaining air worthiness certification for his flying sleigh. Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer has indicated that obtaining spare parts for the ageing device is proving ever more difficult and costly. Like Concorde a decision may have to be made to retire the craft on economic grounds.