Andy Richardson: Meeting at Christmas - is it really sensible?

Thank Boris for the clear-as-dusk tiering system: Not Very Covid, Very Covid, Monster Covid.

If children writing to Santa could add that to the end of their Christmas wishlist, on the line above their postcode, Rudolph and co will be able to wear the right masks.

The Government’s directive to work from home is good for the environment and most businesses, but presents challenges for others. While many will be delighted by the lower overheads as staff work from home, others that rely on city centre workers may not make it through to spring. Don’t be surprised if favourite coffee shops and restaurants are closed by April.

The emergence of vaccines is changing the narrative as such industries as aviation can start to look ahead. Faster testing and immunisations will restore what we once considered to be normal by late spring or summer next year. And then we can survey the mess that has been caused.

The easing of restrictions over Christmas is a double-edged sausage-in-a-blanket. While many will be thrilled to boost their mental health by spending time with loved ones, household gatherings will spread the disease. As loved ones are lost each day and grieving relatives are unable to meet due to self-isolation, we have to ask ourselves this: is it really sensible? Many might more sensibly have a low-key, solo Christmas, preferring to keep everyone safe until the vaccine kicks in. A five-day holiday isn’t worth a death in the family, particularly with immunisations in sight.

With the Covid show starting to stabilise – immunisations by late spring, economic damage unlike anything seen since the War, millions of jobs at risk, jobs for the boys and contracts for Parliamentary mates – it’s time to turn our attentions, belatedly, to the 2020 also-ran: Brexit. We’re heading for the hardest of Brexits with no agreement on such issues as fishing, a level playing field and who decides what to do when we fall our with Europe – again and again and again.

For the Conservative Party, Jezza Corbyn remains the gift that keeps giving. Few have been so effective at keeping Labour out of power. To whip or not to whip – that is the question.

Joe Biden’s new Secretary of State has described Brexit as a total mess, saying it’s not just the dog that caught the car, it’s the dog that caught the car and the car went into reverse and ran over the dog. Brexit is the dog’s dinner whose bark is worse than its bite.

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