Sarah Vine, pictured, said on getting the jab: 'I didn’t much want it either. But nor did I want my kids stuck at home for months, or not to see my parents for two years'

Sarah Vine, pictured, said on getting the jab: ‘I didn’t much want it either. But I did not want my children staying at home for two years or for months.

Paranoia and conspiracies are rampant in our age, with every circumstance seeming to conceal a deeper truth.

Let’s take, for example the tragic incident that occurred at Texas’s last weekend’s rap fest.

Eight people were crushed to death during a concert by Travis Scott, who appeared not to have realised fans were in trouble and — it is alleged — carried on performing even as people were dying.

It didn’t take long for festival-goers to post videos and pictures, accusing Scott of ignoring their desperate pleas.

Social media was alive with theories, claiming Scott had engineered the whole thing, that he was either a Satanist or a member of the Illuminati, and that the ‘sacrifice’ had been deliberate.

Truth will be more mundane. Scott may not appear to be an especially kind character but Lucifer is.

This terrible tragedy could have been caused by disorganisation or incompetence from the organizers.

The problem with the truth is that it is often much less exciting than fantasy and, in a world where Instagram influencers seem to carry more weight than people with actual letters after their names, it’s easy to see how perceptions might get a little muddled.

Newspapers like this are required by law to defend a story before printing it. Social media does not have such an obligation. Anybody can talk about any person they like.

Some of 103,000 or so frontline NHS staff who have yet to receive their first dose and who, now the Government has said vaccination, from next April, will be a requirement of the job, are threatening to leave

Some 103,000 NHS frontline staff have not received their first dose of vaccination and are now being threatened with leaving the NHS.

You can choose: The Queen is a lizard, the CIA invented Aids and Prince Charles is a vampire.

Theoretically, any or all these statements could be true. But the vast majority of them aren’t.

The idea that the Covid-19 vaccine could be used to make us zombie slaves in order for Bill Gates’ is also possible but unlikely.

You can be altered by the virus, create mutant strains or make you a ranting madman like Piers Corbyn.

It can, it’s true, cause extreme and very occasionally deadly reactions in a very small number of individuals; but so can paracetamol.

It’s certainly less dangerous, statistically, for the general population than, say, peanuts or shellfish, wasp stings or crossing the road.

However, people prefer not to have the vaccine for some crazy theory shared by a friend on WhatsApp rather than listen to the facts or follow the direction of the Chief Medical officer or their family physician.

What’s really depressing — and frustrating — is that many of those buying into this nonsense are people you’d expect to know better.

Sajid Javid making a statement on health worker vaccinations in the House of Commons this Tuesday

Sajid Javid making a statement on health worker vaccinations in the House of Commons this Tuesday

One example is that some 103,000 NHS frontline staff have not received their first dose of vaccination and are being threatened to leave.

These are people who claim to be dedicated to serving vulnerable patients — but who, it seems, would rather risk infecting those in their care with a deadly virus than submit to a jab which has been administered to millions with almost no unfortunate repercussions.

This jab has allowed society to regain its normal functioning state, after being in lockdown for a year. It’s why grandparents will be able to hug grandchildren at Christmas, why kids are at school, shops and businesses are open — and life, crippled by this pandemic, has returned to some semblance of normality.

I understand that some people don’t want the jab. Some have medical conditions that mean they can’t have it.

Many are afraid of side effects. Some people simply refuse to accept it.

I didn’t much want it either. However, I didn’t want my children to be at home for several months or not seeing my parents for over two years.

You have to sometimes put the greater good above personal convictions.

It’s called growing up, and it’s time the anti-vaxxers did just that.

Diana: The skinny

The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in the so-called revenge dress has received gushing praise.

But she’s not a patch on the real Diana, whose appearance at a dinner on the night Prince Charles confessed his infidelity stunned the world.

Debicki is too thin, and Diana was strong, athletic, at the stage. Bad make-up or bad casting, I can’t tell. I’m not impressed with either. 

Actress Elizabeth Debicki pictured as Princess Diana wearing her 'Revenge Dress' in The Crown

Elizabeth Debicki, actress and model is pictured as Princess Diana in her “Revenge Dress” from The Crown

Consuming seaweed may reduce methane production up to 90%. In an effort to decrease their carbon footprint, farmers plan to feed seaweed to sheep and cows.

I wonder if it works on teenage boys — or elderly American presidents.

I could barely contain myself when I read about Joe Biden’s alleged unscheduled emission in the presence of the Duchess of Cornwall at Cop26.

Yet, these toffs have become accustomed to this behavior.

It was Prince Philip, I think, who said of Princess Anne: ‘If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she’s not interested.’

Camilla, hopefully, is made from the same fabric.

The Prime Minister struggles with numerous problems in her own country, while Liz Truss, Foreign secretary, appears to be enjoying the most fulfilling of all. It seems that her recent tour to South-East Asia has been a triumph in many ways.

Liz Truss at a motorcycle Triumph factory in Thailand while on her tour through South-East Asia

Liz Truss in Thailand at the Triumph motorcycle factory while she was on her South-East Asia tour

There’s definitely something in this latest study which found that people who go to bed between 10pm and 11pm are healthier than those who fall asleep after midnight.

I was a night owl — but a few years ago I started forcing myself to go to bed early. It’s changed my mood, and I also credit it with helping me lose weight, since I eat earlier, drink less — and don’t snack endlessly into the night.

After all, if I’m sleeping I can’t be eating (except in my dreams)!

A callous Christmas 

Have you seen Amazon’s Christmas advert? A young girl is seen as she meets friends, goes to college and looks worried.

Adele, on the other hand, mutters about how she hates herself.

Then a news clip plays on the radio about ‘rising cases of anxiety in young adults’, and the penny drops: Amazon has decided to harness the power of pandemic anxiety in young people to flog stuff at Christmas (in this case a bird feeder).

That’s a lot of plum powder! . . a new low, even by the standards of a company that doesn’t pay its fair share of tax, treats its workers appallingly — and whose billionaire founder likes to lecture the world about climate change while firing rockets into space.

This week saw the launch of Dog TV, a channel aimed at entertaining house-bound pooches, based — apparently — on animal science. We actually already have one of these things in our home. It’s called a window. The local cat, as well as a support cast of squirrels that provide hours of riveting entertainment, are the stars of the show. 

Richard Ratcliffe (husband of Nazanin Zghari-Ratcliffe), has been in a hunger strike at the Foreign Office since 18 days. Only someone who has exhausted all options would resort to such an extreme measure — especially since, were something to happen to him, the couple’s daughter would be left without either parent. Let’s pray it doesn’t go that far.

Sarah Jessica Parker seen on the set of And Just Like That..., the follow up series to Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker seen in action on the set for And Just Like That …, the continuation series of Sex and the City 

Carrie cringes

I’m afraid I’m not as excited as many women about the revival of Sex And The City, which will hit our TV screens next month.

It’s not that I don’t admire Sarah Jessica Parker (right) or appreciate the show’s high-fashion aesthetic; it’s just that I was never one of those dames who looked effortlessly fabulous in a size six sliver of Balenciaga.

The truth is, there’s more to being a woman than being a fashion plate, and it seems to me that Carrie never was — nor ever will be — much else.

That said, the new series might be brilliant — in which case I will just have to eat my Marks & Spencer pants.

Dogs are given a license to be killed by idiots 

A tragic incident involving an uncontrolled dog resulted in another victim, a Caerphilly ten year-old boy who died from his injuries.

The animal in question has been described as a ‘crazed’ American pitbull-style terrier. I have no doubt that the dog was dangerous; but the real crazy here is whoever owned it and either trained it to be aggressive, or — most likely — lacked the skills to train it at all.

Dogs can be dangerous if they are not properly trained. That’s why, like cars, you should be required to obtain a licence before being allowed to take charge of one.

A dog licence wouldn’t remove the threat entirely — some idiots would simply not get one — but they might deter morons from either neglecting their animals, or weaponising them, with devastating consequences.