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JAN MOIR: Are young Covid-19 rule breakers trying to bump off us boomers? 

The first lockdown seems like ancient history now, something that happened a long time ago, almost to someone else.

I remember peaceful, sunny days and long, warm evenings, all very enjoyable in the loveliest spring there had been for years.

I was alone in London, isolated and perfectly happy in my Jan-bubble, foolishly believing that the pandemic and its restrictions wouldn’t last much beyond Easter.

Little did I realise that ten months later, things would be so very much worse. Yes, the end is in sight — fingers crossed — but what have we lost in the meantime?

A woman in my neighbourhood threw a party for more than 100 people on New Year’s Eve, and is now facing a £10,000 fine for her troubles. Can I say something? Good. When police arrived to break up the illegal gathering, they were refused entry. This had echoes of the rule-breaking birthday bash thrown in a West London restaurant by singer Rita Ora (pictured) in November. ‘Sorry,’ she said, after 30 of her nearest and dearest partied all night

A sense of humour, for a start.

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the cockerel behind her didn’t know how to social distance properly.

Once upon a time, that would almost have been funny. Now, it’s just a daily exasperation because even at this moment of maximum peril, some people still don’t think the rules apply to them. Out on the mean streets of our cities and deep in the darkest village, there is no shortage of flouters.

A woman in my neighbourhood threw a party for more than 100 people on New Year’s Eve, and is now facing a £10,000 fine for her troubles.

Can I say something? Good. When police arrived to break up the illegal gathering, they were refused entry.

This had echoes of the rule-breaking birthday bash thrown in a West London restaurant by singer Rita Ora in November. ‘Sorry,’ she said, after 30 of her nearest and dearest partied all night.

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier (pictured) has been arrested and charged with ¿reckless conduct¿ after an alleged breach of coronavirus rules, which involved her travelling around the country while practically oscillating with Covid-19 symptoms

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier (pictured) has been arrested and charged with ‘reckless conduct’ after an alleged breach of coronavirus rules, which involved her travelling around the country while practically oscillating with Covid-19 symptoms

This week, SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has been arrested and charged with ‘reckless conduct’ after an alleged breach of coronavirus rules, which involved her travelling around the country while practically oscillating with Covid-19 symptoms.

A group of four in Northampton have been fined £200 each after driving to McDonald’s for breakfast — that’s the most expensive Egg McMuffin any of them will ever order.

In London, police ordered actress Priyanka Chopra out of a Josh Wood salon in Notting Hill, where she was having her hair done for a ‘film role’.

Meanwhile, the head of the Equality And Human Rights Commission Rebecca Hilsenrath was removed by police from her holiday home in Wales, after illegally travelling there from Hertfordshire for Christmas.

All of this sounds incredibly heavy-handed and authoritarian, but what else are the police to do? People have had ten months to understand and abide by the rules, but many still choose not to.

Across society, battle lines have been drawn. There is a kind of war between the young and the old; the smart and the stupid; the liberal and the blinkered.

In London, police ordered actress Priyanka Chopra (pictured) out of a Josh Wood salon in Notting Hill, where she was having her hair done for a ¿film role¿

In London, police ordered actress Priyanka Chopra (pictured) out of a Josh Wood salon in Notting Hill, where she was having her hair done for a ‘film role’

Sometimes I think the young would quite happily bump off all us boomers, so in thrall are they to the notion their world has stopped because of us.

Although I might argue their world is there because of us, and those like us who came before us. But I don’t want to make things worse.

Of course, the thought of being stopped and questioned by police or council Covid wardens and threatened with on-the-spot fines merely for walking around your own neighbourhood is repellent, but what is the alternative?

Unless rule-breakers are punished, the selfish and heedless will just carry on pleasing themselves.

Have I broken the rules myself? Probably. Almost definitely. Sometimes I go out for a walk twice a day — so shoot me now — but shouldn’t we all just use our common sense?

If we did, it would stop the cops being obliged to rummage through our groceries and ask if that raspberry yoghurt really is an essential purchase.

Meanwhile, the head of the Equality And Human Rights Commission Rebecca Hilsenrath (pictured) was removed by police from her holiday home in Wales, after illegally travelling there from Hertfordshire for Christmas

Meanwhile, the head of the Equality And Human Rights Commission Rebecca Hilsenrath (pictured) was removed by police from her holiday home in Wales, after illegally travelling there from Hertfordshire for Christmas

But don’t hold your breath. As always, the vast majority of law-abiding citizens are being held to ransom by a selfish, lunatic fringe.

On New Year’s Eve, exhausted doctors at a central London hospital were left ‘heartbroken’ after being harassed by a huge crowd of maskless revellers chanting ‘Covid is a hoax’ at the entrance. I have a theory about conspiracy theorists such as them. Which is the truth frightens them so much the only way they can cope is by constructing an alternative reality; one that their tiny scraping of active brain cells can process and feel comfortable with.

The truth is that to date in the UK, 2.8 million have caught the disease while nearly 80,000 have died.

We are in the darkest days of the pandemic, yet there are those who still won’t mask up properly on public transport or get aggressive when politely asked to mask up/move away/stay home/follow the rules.

It is their misbehaviour — not some evil police yearning to be authoritarian that has led us to this point.

That’s why we have to support the police, not accuse them of ushering in a new police state. The last thing they want — or need — is to waste time making sure people are obeying Covid rules, but here we are.

In central London, the sirens blare all night long. What the heck is going on, I find myself wondering.

Still, I have made myself a resolution just to somehow get through this third lockdown with good cheer, despite everything. Will you join me? At a distance, of course.

Ramsay’s cooking with gas in bringing up his children

Gordon Ramsay (pictured) has been talking about his tough parenting strategy. His older children had to earn their pocket money, doing household chores such as washing dishes

Gordon Ramsay (pictured) has been talking about his tough parenting strategy. His older children had to earn their pocket money, doing household chores such as washing dishes

Gordon Ramsay has been talking about his tough parenting strategy. His older children had to earn their pocket money, doing household chores such as washing dishes. Then they had to budget to make it last.

In addition, he refused to give them jobs in his restaurants — although they did appear in many of his lifestyle TV shows, enough of a career boost for any thrusting teen. However, good for him and wife Tana — who always fly first-class but stick the kids in economy. I approve!

They must have felt vindicated — and proud — when elder son Jack (pictured right with his dad and baby brother Oscar) joined the Marines last year, proving that not all SADS (Sons And Daughters of Success) have to end up being photographers or models or whatever, yeah.

Jaeger in boiled cabbage green

Marks & Spencer has bought the fashion brand Jaeger. Good for them, although it is always sad to see a brand disappear.

Back when I was still in kilts, having a Jaeger winter coat was the utter height of posh.

Then after a long period in the fashion doldrums there was a brief shining moment around 2004 when Belinda Earl joined the company and made the label desirous once more. Now it has slumped into the clutches of M&S.

Dear Jaeger fans, please get ready for an influx of all those terrible, off-beam colours only ever used by Marks & Spencer, the Farrow & Ball of High Street fashion. Dead Mouse blouses, Sick Pink box pleats, Maggoty Beige — expect all this and more.

If a T-shirt has to be green, M&S will send up a vomit comet to scour the earth to find the most unflattering shade of green known to mankind.

Then it will fashion it into a million items which shoppers will convince themselves are nice. Do you know, that shade of boiled cabbage really suits you!

Why do M&S do it? Nobody knows. I am one of its biggest fans and most loyal customers — but only in monochrome.

I admired Larraine McDougall¿s method of packing away her fake tree for another year. The Northumberland pensioner cling-filmed it

I admired Larraine McDougall’s method of packing away her fake tree for another year. The Northumberland pensioner cling-filmed it

Twelfth Night has come and gone — that’s it on the tinsel and bauble front for another year. 

I am suffused with that usual melancholy, post-festive feeling of being glad it is all over, while yearning for more quality Christmas time. I do believe the Germans have a word for it, and if they don’t they should — UberLiebfraubaubleangst. 

However, I admired Larraine McDougall’s method of packing away her fake tree for another year. 

The Northumberland pensioner cling-filmed it, including decorations. Then stored it in her garage. There are quite a few things — and people — I would like to cling film and shove in a cupboard. This is a technique to be studied. 

Groom with a phew! What a real dogtastic delight

Bow wow WOW! Let’s hear it for Pooch Perfect, a compelling competitive dog-grooming show which began on BBC1 last night.

Hosted by the actress Sheridan Smith (‘I am a dog fanatic’) with a mutt called Stanley and already hailed as The Great British Bark Off, the eight-part series features eight UK groomers shearing off against each other in the coming weeks to win a trophy.

Heats include The Breed Makeover and The Dogwalk Challenge — the latter a kind of Show Stopper Round except with poodles rather than strudels.

The whole thing was a delight from start to finish, from the first mucky pawprint to the last primped puppy.

I loved the doggies being shampooed in their doggy baths, then being given a doggy blow-dry before their doggy trims — and most of them not minding a bit.

Bow wow WOW! Let¿s hear it for Pooch Perfect, a compelling competitive dog-grooming show which began on BBC1 last night

Bow wow WOW! Let’s hear it for Pooch Perfect, a compelling competitive dog-grooming show which began on BBC1 last night

And why should they? The pooches have an on-set vet who concerns himself with their physical and mental needs at all times — and they are regularly taken for walkies and comfort breaks — the kind of luxury Bake Off contestants can only dream about!

There were glimpses into the arcane rules of the dog-trimming world, where eyes must be visible and right, topknots are acceptable and rears must be shaped.

Thomas, from County Tyrone, was penalised for clipping a shih tzu’s legs into bellbottom flares, what was he THINKING?

Judges Colin Taylor (‘I want to see a tailored suit’) and Verity ‘Poodle Expert’ Hardcastle did not approve.

The dogs were marvellous — but the really interesting creatures were the groomers themselves — what an impressive bunch of people. Quite a few of them were young women running their own businesses, several had overcome X Factor-style difficult back stories to become a whizz with the clippers and the curved scissors — a necessity for creating a teddy bear foot, we discovered.

I loved Abbie, from Leicestershire, who wanted ‘to be a Dalmatian’ when she was a little girl and is now covered in gothic tattoos in homage to her favourite horror films, including the Bates Motel from Psycho and details from The Silence Of The Labs, sorry I mean Lambs.

‘I like giving my dogs supercute cuts, which might surprise you,’ she said. It did, but not as much as this lovely, unexpected delight of a dogtastic show.


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