Europe’s Dark Christmas: Energy Crisis Could See Christmas Lights Axed Across UK and Ireland

Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk under Christmas lights on a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 19, 2020.
David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A dark Christmas could be forthcoming in Britain and Ireland this year as officials in both countries move to block festive illuminations over the ongoing energy crisis.

Europe’s energy crisis could leave both Britain and Ireland in the dark this coming Christmas, as officials in both countries are now mulling axing publicly funded festive light displays in city and town centres.

Meanwhile, many private businesses and households are also expected to be unable to afford their regular Christmas lighting this year, though for many this will end up being the least of their concern should large swathes of the population also be left unable to properly heat their home over either unaffordable energy prices or an outright shortage in supplies.

According to a report by the Irish Independent, Ireland’s extreme green environment minister, Eamon Ryan, recently expressed the belief that many local authorities in the country were now looking at either reducing or cancelling their Christmas light displays, though that the country’s progressive-leaning government were not ready to make any pronouncement on the matter yet.

“I think local authorities are starting to look at that,” the minister — who has made a habit of blocking attempts at expanding Ireland’s gas infrastructure in the face of rolling winter blackouts — is reported as saying.

“They are starting to consider every measure but we’re not being prescriptive down to that level yet,” he went on to claim.

However, according to a report by The Journal, government authorities are concerned about issuing any recommendation that lights be left off this year for fear it will be seen as mere “virtue signalling” by the general public.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has reported that councils across Britain are either considering or have already declared that they will not be illuminating Christmas displays this year, with the publication listing authorities in Devonshire as Cambridgeshire as having already cancelled their annual decoration plans.

Other authorities, such as the local council in Gilford, have reportedly been taking cost-cutting measures in an attempt to preserve their ability to put up lights, such as by cancelling costly switch-on events.

Government officials are not the only people who are currently considering whether or not to cancel their Christmas light displays this year.

According to the Daily Mail, even those running households and small businesses are now wavering on whether it will be possible to put up the much-loved decorations this year, with the publication reporting one pub owner as telling them that he is not even leaving the establishment’s patio lights on in an effort to save money.

However, a lack of Christmas cheer this coming winter is probably of little concern for many, with there now being widespread fear throughout Europe that many businesses will soon be forced out of business by surging energy costs and inflation, while large swathes of the general public will be left unable to properly heat their own homes.

To make matters worse, while various national authorities are now making desperate attempts to alleviate the problems of energy bills becoming unaffordable by capping prices, such a move is now predicted by some economists to result in outright shortages which could require rationing to deal with.

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