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We don't need a new normal, we desperately need to return to the old one


IT was the moment I saw Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby broadcasting live from a living room on Tuesday, the day Parliament resumed, when I finally lost it.

“Get back to bloody work, Beth”, I screamed internally.

You can’t hold the most powerful politicians in this country to account surrounded by Jo Malone candles while stroking the cat on a Zoom call from leafy North London suburbia.

You’re a key worker, anyway, and regardless of what your woke bosses might tell you, it’s impossible to properly do your job from home.

It was a tipping-point moment for me after five long months of seeing society grind to a halt, followed by an acceptance from far too many usually sane people that this is somehow the way it’s meant to be.

The time has come for a national reckoning about the desperate need to return to normal. Not a new normal but the old one that I, for one, fear may be gone for good.

Only 34 per cent of Brits have returned to their offices, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley.

That compares to 83 per cent of the traditionally workshy French and 76 per cent of workers in Spain and Italy.

We’re fast becoming a nation of hysterical hypochondriacs — the type who like to get doctors to regularly sanction dubious sick notes to guarantee a weekday lie-in.

What happened to our great British spirit of keeping calm and carrying on?

The facts on the ground no longer warrant this economic tidal wave of destruction.

The odds of contracting coronavirus in England are now down to 44 in one million. Even then, the vast majority will recover without any side-effects.

Young and healthy folk should be making sensible decisions based on the most minor of risks.


That’s been my approach throughout this pandemic.

I continued to go into our office in central London every day from the beginning of lockdown, bar a 12-day period when I was confined to my small apartment battling Covid-19.

Some might say I deserved that, given I didn’t work from home, but I was determined to be with my Sun colleagues in the newsroom and keep hosting my talkRADIO Drivetime show from the studio during such a major news story.

I took all the precautions recommended by the Government and health experts for key workers — gloves, constant hand-washing and sanitising like a madman — but at the start of April I succumbed to the virus as it ran rampant.

I knew this was a realistic possibility at the time, given the infection rate, but I also understood that my age and lack of underlying health conditions meant there was a 99 per cent chance I would bounce back.

And I did. Within two weeks I was delighted to return to the office — where I have been ever since, aside from two glorious overseas holidays to Italy and Greece which I will also not feel shamed for taking.

As the risk of getting Covid steadily decreased, I’ve been horrified to see London remain a virtual ghost town on my daily stroll home.

I’m sick of seeing the empty restaurants. I’m sick of seeing the greatest hotels in the world shut down.

I’m sick of seeing favourite local pubs boarded up. I’m sick of seeing our incredible West End theatres remain dark.

And that’s before you even get to the mental-health implications of this pandemic, which are becoming hard to quantify.

The number of cases of depression and attempted suicides I’m personally aware of, because of lockdown, is sickening.

Then there’s the lifetime impact of refusing good folk the chance to visit dying relatives, attend funerals, care for loved ones and hug friends in need. Those scars will take a generation to heal.


And you don’t have to be a psychotherapist to work out that sticking children in masks, and telling them they could kill their granny, will have dire psychological consequences for decades to come.

It’s now up to role models such as Beth Rigby to ignore idiotic virtue-signalling from corporations and proudly return to normal working life, even if it means having to be around some of those grubby MPs at Westminster.

The public must stand up to politicians such as Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan, who are irresponsibly using fear to gain political capital.

And we must embrace some of the bad parts of so-called normal life on the understanding that if we don’t, so many of the good aspects could disappear for ever.

XR and Keira out of order

Dear Extinction Rebellion protesters,

As a young environmental activist growing up in New Zealand, I joined the successful global campaign to fix the ozone hole.

I did that based on a passion to create a better, cleaner world, rather than a fear that humanity was facing total destruction.

That’s why it’s so disturbing to see your organisation use unproven rhetoric to terrify our kids and teenagers of Generation Corona, who are already scared stiff due to an unprecedented pandemic.

We learned this was your strategy after you were forced to delete two scenes from a propaganda movie fronted by Keira Knightley, that falsely claimed climate breakdown is “already killing 400,000 people every year” and that “scientists warn that human extinction is a real possibility”.

Even your own scientists dispute those despicable claims and believe their inclusion was highly irresponsible.

Your organisation and Ms Knightley really should know better, and you should both apologise.

My plea to you going forward is this: Protest if you must, but leave the scaremongering of our vulnerable young people out of it.

Kind Regards, Dan

Mouthpiece for Meghan is full of tripe

No one is more corrosive to public discourse in this country than Meghan’s new BFF Jameela Jamil.

This week the actress, right, seems to have been sent out by the Duchess to spread more bile on Twitter about “the true colonising spirit of Britain’s white, patriarchal media”.

She claims, without any evidence as usual, that journalists here “hate a disobedient WOC (Woman of Colour) in particular”.

What absolute tripe.

Meghan was beloved of the media in this country, welcomed into the monarchy as an innovating force who could well shake up a stodgy institution in need of modernisation.

But what the former Suits actress was never able to understand is that our media does not operate like the fawning Hollywood press.

We are here to hold the powerful to account, including members of our Royal Family when warranted.

That scrutiny has nothing to do with race, as Jameela is well aware. Just ask Prince Andrew.

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