I truly resent being ordered to spend months wearing a mask just because a mysterious new strain of Covid – Omicron – ‘might’ overwhelm the NHS. It’s drastic action, considering little is known about this virus, except that it’s highly transmissible, not a death sentence and sounds more like a nasty bout of flu.

Omicron is just the latest variant of coronavirus and we’ll face many more over the coming years, but the way the government has reacted this time seems hasty and hysterical and bodes ill for the future.

It’s especially infuriating because the decision to reintroduce pathetically semi-useless face masks was issued by a master of the double standard. A bloke who is known to loath face coverings (less room for photo opportunities), who couldn’t even be arsed to set an example by wearing one for a lunch on Monday, the day after he’d taken to his Presidential podium to issue new restrictions.

Boris Johnson demonstrated time and again that it is possible to bend and manipulate rules, such as those about lavish vacations, luxurious wallpaper, or party donors (for example, regarding marriages), to fit one’s personal tastes.

In the latest example of ‘another rule for them’ we’ve just discovered that a year ago – when England was brought to a standstill by the implementation of a Tier 3 lockdown and the public were stuck at home unable to socialise with family and friends – not one but two boozy staff parties were held in Downing Street. Several dozen employees enjoyed drinks and food at these gatherings, while others played games and laughed until the early hours.

Boris Johnson applauds the choir as he attends the switch on of the Christmas tree lights outside 10 Downing Street in London on Wednesday

Boris Johnson applauds choir members as he observes switch-on of Christmas tree lights at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday.

Naturally, the Prime Minister stood up in Parliament today and blathered and blustered that no rules were broken, but here’s a classic example of one rule for the insiders, another for the mugs (ie compliant members of the public) who back in December 2020 were dutifully sitting at home sipping a glass of vino trying to connect with Aunty Vi on Zoom, washing their hands every five minutes and sanitising the dog?

Following a few cases of Omicron (a virus variant believed to be from Southern Africa), panic at misson controls led to the latest order to enforce mask-wearing. Even though there’s still less than 50 cases in the UK, Boris – determined not to be labelled a ditherer once again – has decreed masks must be worn in shops, on public transport and a whole heap of random places like auction houses, estate agents and nail bars (but not pubs and restaurants) until next March.

Masks; those filthy flapping bits of paper we stuff in our pockets, drop on the pavement, forget to bin or burn and which at least a third of the public have never worn on public transport, believing that somehow they are ‘special’ immune people. The fines are now in place, but will anyone enforce them?

Meanwhile, supermarkets like the Co-Op say they won’t enforce mask-wearing, because it’s a ‘personal choice’ and their workers are not police officers.

Boris, despite the fact that he has introduced some bad news regarding masks to the UK and a few useless travel restrictions (testing at arrival but not prior departure), is determined that UK life must continue as normal in order for us to be able tolerate his large-than-life persona.

Santa Boris’ scientific and medical boffins disagree. They took to the airwaves this morning to warn anyone listening that it was not a good idea to go out. If we dare to go to a pub or club, we should be stuffing lateral flow testers up our noses every five minutes to ‘make sure’ we’re safe. Some people want to keep our borders closed, such as Australia, Switzerland, and Japan.

What’s the real threat? There are many options. The mixed messages can be confusing and vague. They aim to make us feel overwhelmed by new anxiety and fear, and then lock ourselves in yet another cage.

Santa Boris, the Man whose primary mission it is to save Xmas has stepped into this boiling pot of Covid-confusion. Instead of Santa’s Grottos, tombola and lucky dips, he’s promised booster jab centres will pop up all over the country just like Christmas trees.

Into this melting pot of Covid-confusion Santa Boris has reinvented himself as the Man whose prime mission is to Save Xmas, writes Janet Street-Porter

Janet Street-Porter writes that Santa Boris, a man whose primary mission it is to save Xmas has stepped into this melting pot.

They’ll be manned by servicemen and women, thousands of volunteers, pharmacists and GPs who’ve been offered more money (currently £12.58 per jab) as well as bonuses for jabbing at the weekends.

This is our army of Christmas helpers – so if your kid’s Nativity play has been cancelled, take them for a trip to the local GP surgery or walk-in vaccination centre, because that’s where Santa’s mountain of cash has been diverted.

Ask yourself: Would you trust Boris Johnson to secure your office party or your family’s gathering at the Panto?

Would you give Boris sight of your plans and say ‘I trust you to make my Christmas special. I trust you to ensure that I get to visit Aunty Nell in her care home, that my cousins and my step kids and nephews and neices can all pack into my living room on December 25th and shout their heads off, gorging on pigs in blankets and Baileys?’

Why should Christmas even be under threat in the first place?, writes Janet

Janet asks Janet why Christmas should be threatened in the first instance.

Boris isn’t someone I’d trust to run a dogs home, let alone Christmas Day for the long-suffering population of the British Isles.

It’s a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus by eating our body weight, playing dumb parlour games, and watching wall to wall repeats on the telly. This is a part of national identity.

I’ve never thought of Mr Johnson as a spiritual man who cherishes the right of families to cast aside their differences and come together and eat turkey once a year. Johnson’s childhood was, to put it mildly, eccentric.

Two young women accused his father of being a philanderer and causing him unwanted attention. Boris was a father to many children, including ex-wives, partners, and six to seven kids. His latest wife is pregnant with their second child and he’s besotted with Wilfred, his small son, blathering on to the CBI conference about what you can learn from Peppa Pig after spending a day in a theme park.

Boris seems to have a free and easy attitude to the notion of family – and good luck to him, because in Britain we’re relaxed about that.

But isn’t it a bit rich of someone who must have a dilemma deciding what branch of his family to spend Christmas with, to patronise the rest of us by promising to ensure our Christmas will be ‘saved’?

Is Christmas under threat at all?

The death and infection rate for covid are very low. 90% of people have anti-bodies and nearly 24 million are double jabbed. Omicron was first discovered in South Africa. Omicron doctors have stated that most cases are mild and patients have not shown any symptoms. There have also been very few deaths. The majority of cases occur in young adults, most often students at university. 

The Prime Minister is seen switching on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights in London

London Prime Minister seen turning on Downing Street Christmas tree lights

The World Health Organisation is in agreement. Scientists have pointed out that Delta, the dominant variant of Delta, has much more serious health consequences.

Santa Boris, in a grand gesture that captured the attention, announced that all people over the age of 18 would receive booster shots before the end January. This insanely grand gesture means attention will be diverted from those seeking GP’s appointments for cancer and other troubling conditions. The NHS will be diverting staff and resources into another of the Prime Minister’s Big Ideas.

Isn’t it time to accept that Covid is with us to stay, that it will never be fully eradicated, and we must adapt and make our own choices about how to live?

A politician too fond of grand gestures and pointless grandiosity is brainwashing the public into fear. (Like the bridge from Ireland that is gone without a trace).

Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to build a 100-foot statue to him right now on condition he leaves us the hell alone?