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29 alternative endings to the John Lewis Christmas advert

Because the real ending is rubbish.

I’m sure you’ve seen the new John Lewis advert. You’re probably mopping up the tears/bile you’ve spilt about it on social media by now. But for those who have avoided the yearly sentimental ode to capitalism feat. soggy cover version and disruptive beast, here it is:

So what happens is, a little boy develops a rewarding friendship with a figure unfairly shunned by society – the monster under his bed – who is swiftly taken away from him in exchange for a lamp (John Lewis Starry Sky LED Night Light, £15, Product code: 70642203, Out of stock).

This advert is literally telling you to replace human relationships with material things. I mean, OK, it’s for a department store, so that devil’s bargain is obviously how they make their money. But still. There are other ways it might have ended:​

  1. The poorly wrapped present under the tree contains a rotting dead rat from under the bed.
  2. Moz the monster is actually Morrissey, to make sad dads cry.
  3. Moz the monster is actually a mozzarella ball, oozing into the carpet, as a warning to middle-class parents everywhere this Christmas.
  4. The lamp is in stock.
  5. This advert is actually for Pro Plus. The boy and monster bounce around to their hearts’ content forevermore.
  6. The monster leaves but then lives with a little girl who he has adventures with. Because have you noticed that it’s, pretty, much, always, a male protagonist in these ads? Apart from last year’s when a greedy male dog stole a girl’s trampoline, the one where a girl focuses on an old man the whole time, and when the male snowman gets all the glory and a little girl occasionally glances out of her window at the garden, like some kind of Guildford-based Lady of Shalott.
  7. There is a global feminist backlash to the advertisement, complete with the hashtag #yesallmoz. Because too many old grey monsters dominate our media.
  8. Peter Hitchens defends the advertisement on Moral Maze.
  9. But isn’t keen on the mixed-race couple.
  10. The parents throw out the mysterious unmarked package that has suddenly appeared on their property because it’s weird and potentially a security breach.
  11. When the boy tears open the present, it contains the monster’s black, fleshy, still-beating heart.
  12. When the boy tears open the present, it contains a John Lewis item that isn’t bloody out of stock.
  13. When the boy tears open the present, it contains an item that is knowingly undersold. The family gather together all snuggly on the sofa and fill in the form for a price match request. Christmas.
  14. The family sits down to Christmas dinner and the turkey is suspiciously enormous with wisps of grey fluff coming off it. They chew on it with crazed abandon. The boy cradles his lamp lovingly.
  15. When the boy keeps yawning and falling asleep, a busy-body animated hare hops up to him and gives him the most rubbish Christmas present ever, an alarm clock.
  16. This advert is actually for Red Bull. The boy and monster bounce around to their hearts’ content forevermore.
  17. The parents wrestle the monster into the washing machine and it comes out white. John Lewis is boycotted over Christmas and eventually apologises for whitewashing.
  18. When the boy tears open the present, it’s a doll. The Daily Mail eats itself.
  19. This advert is actually for modafinil. The boy and monster bounce around to their hearts’ content forevermore.
  20. The lamp is broken, and the boy is upset. Moz comforts him. The boy learns that true happiness comes from friendship, not things.
  21. The monster skips downstairs on Christmas morning to find a shoddily but lovingly wrapped present under the tree. It contains a set of keys to the house. He is part of the family. They embrace.
  22. The monster skips downstairs on Christmas morning to find a shoddily but lovingly wrapped present under the tree. It contains eviction papers.
  23. For once, the soundtrack isn’t a limp cover by an artist whose personal brand is to sell out.
  24. The soundtrack is “Pow!” by Lethal Bizzle. Covered by Mumford and Sons.
  25. The soundtrack is “Insomnia” by Faithless. Covered by Athlete.
  26. When the boy tears open the present, it’s John Lewis Antique Brass Curtain Pole, L150cm x Dia.28mm, £20, Product code: 65571402, More than ten in stock.
  27. The soundtrack is “Caught Out There” by Kelis. Covered by James Arthur.
  28. The soundtrack is “All The Things She Said” by t.A.T.u. Covered by Pixie Lott.
  29. The advert is enjoyed by the vast majority of the public who watch it once and then get on with their lives and the New Statesman stops being so humourless.

I'm a mole, innit.

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Why Jeremy Corbyn’s evolution on Brexit matters for the Scottish Labour party

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, an ideological ally of Corbyn, backs staying in the customs union. 

Evolution. A long, slow, almost imperceptible process driven by brutal competition in a desperate attempt to adapt to survive. An accurate description then by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, of Labour’s shifting, chimera of a Brexit policy. After an away day that didn’t decamp very far at all, there seems to have been a mutation in Labour’s policy on customs union. Even McDonnell, a long-term Eurosceptic, indicated that Labour may support Tory amendments when the report stages of the customs and trade bills are finally timetabled by the government (currently delayed) to remain in either “The” or “A” customs union.

This is a victory of sorts for Europhiles in the Shadow Cabinet like Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer. But it is particularly a victory for Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard. A strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn who comes from the same Bennite tradition, Leonard broke cover last month to call for exactly such a change to policy on customs union.

Scotland has a swathe of marginal Labour-SNP seats. Its voters opted voted by a majority in every constituency to Remain. While the Scottish National Party has a tendency to trumpet this as evidence of exceptionalism – Scotland as a kind-of Rivendell to England’s xenophobic Mordor – it’s clear that a more Eurocentric, liberal hegemony dominates Scottish politics. Scotland’s population is also declining and it has greater need of inward labour through migration than England. It is for these reasons that the SNP has mounted a fierce assault on Labour’s ephemeral EU position.

At first glance, the need for Labour to shift its Brexit position is not as obvious as Remainers might have it. As the Liberal Democrat experience in last year’s general election demonstrates, if you want to choose opposing Brexit as your hill to die on… then die you well may. This was to some extent replicated in the recent Scottish Labour Leadership race. Anas Sarwar, the centrist challenger, lost after making Brexit an explicit dividing line between himself and the eventual winner, Leonard. The hope that a juggernaut of Remainer fury might coalesce as nationalist resentment did in 2015 turned out to be a dud. This is likely because for many Remainers, Europe is not as high on their list of concerns as other matters like the NHS crisis. They may, however, care about it however when the question is forced upon them.

And it very well might be forced. One day later this year, the shape of a deal on phase two of the negotiations will emerge and Parliament will have to vote, once and for all, to accept or reject a deal. This is both a test and an incredible political opportunity. Leonard, a Scottish Labour old-timer, believes a deal will be rejected and lead to a general election.

If Labour is to win such an election resulting from a parliamentary rejection of the Brexit deal, it will need many of those marginal seats in Scotland. The SNP is preparing by trying to box Labour in. Last month its Westminster representatives laid a trap. They invited Corbyn to take part in anti-Brexit talks of opposition parties he had no choice but to reject. In Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon has been ripping into the same flank that Sarwar opened against Richard Leonard in the leadership contest, branding Labour’s Brexit position “feeble”. At the same time the Scottish government revealed a devastating impact assessment to accompany the negative forecasts leaked from the UK government. If Labour is leading a case against a “bad deal”,  it cannot afford to be seen to be SNP-lite.

The issue will likely come to a head at the Scottish Labour Conference early next month, since local constituency parties have already sent a number of pro-EU and single market motions to be debated there. They could be seen as a possible challenge to the leadership’s opposition to the single market or a second referendum. That is, If these motions make it to debate, unlike at national Labour Conference in 2017, where there seemed to be an organised attempt to prevent division.

When Leonard became leader, he stressed co-operation with the Westminster leadership. Still, unlike the dark “Branch Office” days of the recent past, Scottish Labour seems to be wielding some influence in the wider party again. And Scottish Labour figures will find allies down south. In January, Thornberry used a Fabian Society speech in Edinburgh, that Enlightenment city, to call for a dose of Scottish internationalism in foreign policy. With a twinkle in her eye, she fielded question after question about Brexit. “Ah…Brexit,” she joked. “I knew we’d get there eventually”. Such was Thornberry’s enthusiasm that she made the revealing aside that: “If I was not in the Leadership, then I’d probably be campaigning to remain in the European Union.”