Boxing Day Banking

According to The Times, Lloyds TSB might open on Boxing Day. I saw that and thought “Why not ?”, after all we are a multi-cultural country and not everyone follows the faiths that ‘celebrate’ Christmas. From that view, why not open a bank ? In fact, it would probably be possible for the bank to open and be staffed by people who actually do not ‘do’ Christmas. But then it all gets sticky ….. In the NHS, I would work with staff who were Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and they expected that when their religious festivals came along that their right to participate fully be upheld and special consideration be given to them for any shift patterns. No issue there, but they also expected to get the good shifts at Christmas. Why ? Because they said that they should not be excluded. Hmm… I was never comfortable with such people – “I’ll be unchristian when I want, and Christian when it suits me”. So… getting back to this bank thing. No doubt the non-Christmas people would say that they deserve a service regardless of Christmas, but here in Leicester you try doing business when the major Hindu, Sikh and Muslim festivals come round – it just doesn’t happen. They reduce their hours and they close their businesses. They accept the reduction in trade as the price they pay for religious observance. Good. Fine. No problem. But that must be extended the other way too – it is not on for them to say that businesses should not close just because they do not follow what the leaders of those companies do. Likewise, businesses should not feel that thay must open because of such pressures.

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