A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol tells the story of Scrooge, a selfish, greedy man who is visited by three ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future to show him the error of his ways. The ghosts in turn take him to visit the regrets of his past; see the present happiness of his clerk’s family despite their poverty, and finally see how little regard people have for him once he is dead. Dickens’s tale of redemption, moral triumph and the Christmas spirit has continued to resonate with people throughout the years since its publication in 1843.
Scrooge is the epitome of greed and selfishness. Many draw parallels with today’s bankers and the mega-rich: have we become a society which celebrates greed?
The 16 words that will haunt Boris Johnson
Are capitalism and altruism compatible? Boris Johnson let slip that he thinks greed is the key to Britain’s successful vaccination programme. A shocking thought – but could it be true?
‘Mr Greedy’ and the downfall of a tycoon
Is Philip Green a villain or a scapegoat? The Topshop boss is under fire for living it up while his employees lose their jobs – but isn’t a rotten society just as much to blame as he is?
Black Friday: generosity, greed and guilt
Are Christmas presents a waste? “Black Friday” today and “Cyber Monday” mark the start of a huge spending spree in rich countries — big enough to end world hunger for the next eight years.
The final chapter gives Scrooge the opportunity to repent his old ways and make up for his mistakes. Can you think of anyone today who deserves a second chance?
Rwanda remembers its genocide 25 years on
This week, Rwanda commemorates the massacres of 1994, in which 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days. The country is now stable, but how does any society recover from such a horror?
Jewish leaders stand up for Uighur Muslims
Is hope made stronger through tragedy? On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the plight of the Uighurs and a new musical both remind us that genocide is more than a historical threat.
Robinson tweets spark ‘cancel culture’ row
Should a person’s racist past be forgiven? Yesterday, as a second cricketer was linked with offensive posts, many called for punishment. But some say we should accept that people can change.
The triumph of “Christmas spirit” is all about charity. Scrooge donates a huge turkey to the Cratchits, adopts Tiny Tim and gives money to the poor. What does Christmas mean today?
Taking Christmas advice from ancient Rome
Is giving really better than receiving? As people across the world spend billions on Christmas presents, a leading Roman philosopher’s thoughts on the subject have never been more relevant.
All I want for Christmas is a number one hit
Why are Christmas songs so popular? They drive some people mad, yet they come back year after year and achieve huge sales – and one musicologist argues that some possess real merit.
'Crazy talk’: critics decry Christmas lockdown
Could there be a Christmas rebellion? As Britain faces a cruel winter, some say they will ignore coronavirus restrictions over the festive season, threatening government authority.
Much of Dickens’s writing highlighted the devastating poverty in Victorian Britain. Poverty remains a divisive topic, as people disagree about the extent of the problem and what should be done about it.
Parting of ways for world’s richest couple
Is the old saying “Money can’t buy happiness” true? Yesterday one of the world’s richest couples, Bill and Melinda Gates, announced they were getting divorced after 27 years of marriage.
Striker fights on for free school meals
Is Marcus Rashford an exception or an inspiration? The Premier League striker grew up poor and hungry, but is now using his fame to fight for children going hungry during the lockdown.
Aid cuts row shames UK as world leaders meet
Does foreign aid work? Today Boris Johnson is accused by his own party of causing hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths by cutting back on money given to the world’s poorest countries.
Tiny Tim is one of A Christmas Carol’s most memorable and endearing characters. Medical advances have improved disabled people’s lives since Victorian times. Have attitudes changed along with them?
Miracle or menace? The rise of the brain chip
Could neural implants change your identity? Yesterday, an entrepreneur invested millions in the technology. But scientists and philosophers are anxious about potential consequences.
Ableism row ignites over Elephant Man casting
Should able-bodied actors play disabled roles? Critics have slammed the BBC’s upcoming drama The Elephant Man for casting an able-bodied star as its disabled protagonist.
Disabled receive ‘horrific’ online abuse
Former model Katie Price has launched a campaign to outlaw online abuse after her disabled son, Harvey, was subject to cruel bullying. What can we do about the dark underbelly of social media?