From the joshing charlatans of the “nudge” unit – the ones who drove Remembrance Sunday underground – has come the latest bunch of bright-eyed wheezes to “save Christmas”.  What an utter farce: a patient public, after being scared into submission by eight months of state-controlled propaganda, is now being goaded into Milgram-esque acts of mindless depravity. And all in the name – naturally, my old chum – of keeping everyone safe.  Bit of carrot (Christmas!), bit of stick (don’t kill granny!).

One doesn’t have to be a lockdown dissenter to realise that the current draconian madness – enforced by an overzealous state – has reached a point of potential no return. For the benefit of the chanting fools asking for more punishment, I will outline two very real case studies that are currently being re-enacted across the country millions of times over:

Exhibit 1: Today I spoke to “Peter”, a UK resident with a rare blood disorder.  He very definitely does not wish to catch Covid. However, he has lived a good life, and understands the risks. But here is the hammer blow: his nonagenarian mother, has been allowed two – yes, two! – family visits since March.

So, let’s get this straight – someone who was a teenager during the Blitz, and spent her entire working life rebuilding this country after WW2 and then bringing up a subsequent generation of taxpayers while the current crop of political leaders was loitering friendless in the back corridors of Balliol College, Oxford – is now deprived of 30 minutes of daily contact with her son. Safety indeed.

Exhibit 2: It is about time we burst the testing bubble, especially when it means baubles for the sharp-elbowed, middle-class, paranoia-worshipping airheads. If you know the right people, you are currently being paid a chunky wage to participate in regular – think weekly – testing.  It’s all harmless fun, until the inevitable happens and your totally asymptomatic child receives a positive test result. This is, of course, completely expected given the known false positive rate of the entirely inappropriate non-specific PCR tests being used.

Yet, despite the relevant test having been ten days ago, the smug ‘elf & safety brigade – now of course backed up by the full force of the law – insists that he and 59 other children in his year at primary school are obliged to hole themselves up at home for the next fortnight.  This may be totally fine in middle-class wonderland, but trust me, everywhere else this is pushing people over the edge.

Genuine poverty, disrupted education, and stifled businesses. If this is the recipe for saving Christmas, then please count me out – except that doesn’t seem to be an option.

Kafka himself couldn’t have dreamt up this system. Oizys would have winced at the insanity. Even Sophocles would have had his stylus confiscated for wasting good wax on a tragedy for foreseeing these events.

We need to come to our collective senses, and quickly.  There are countries out there that have successfully navigated these choppy Covid-19 waters with empathy, courage and co-operation.  Britain, amid boasts of world-beating testing programmes and vaccine promises, is currently making an absolute hash of things.

If we do not quickly get a sense of perspective, we will allow this ridiculous rallying cry to “save Christmas” to slowly turn 2021 into an ever more farcical dystopia.

Why don’t we just let people make their own decisions? It’s not as if all these restrictions are making a scrap of difference

Buzz Hendricks is a retired sports journalist.