THE pandemic restrictions have thrown up some unlikely small-p political bedfellows.

A food writer I’ve long admired slipped well down my hit list when she began to recycle vaccination conspiracy theories, and then re-tweet 24 carat eedjits like Laurence Fox.

Mr Fox is an actor chap who has political ambitions and stood in the last London mayoral election. It seems only 1.9 per cent of the electorate shared his aspirations, and his deposit was deposited wherever these lost causes’ punts go.

Mr Fox also distinguished himself with allegedly racist remarks on BBC’s Question Time, and pops up on socially useful pieces of performance art like anti lockdown marches.

He describes himself as having been radicalised by too much wokeness and political correctness. A sort of poor man’s George Galloway.

Mr Fox would doubtless be leading the cheering when the Prime Minister announced this week that all the restrictive practices being used to try and stem the swelling tide of new infections are to be thrown to the wind, preceded by any smidgen of caution.

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Everyone will have their own view as to whether this was an overdue loosening of governmental stays, or represented a fairly gigantic gamble on the health of the English public, and the capability of the NHS to cope with any subsequent upward spike on admissions.

For my part, I hope the Scottish Government, bleakly aware that five of the 10 Covid hotspots in Europe are in our country, will not be pressurised into treading the same path.

As Mr Johnson used to be fond of saying, it’s only sensible to follow data, not dates. Immediately prior to becoming fixated on July 19 as what the more rabid commentators have dubbed Freedom Day.

What I want is freedom from the risk of my fellow citizens succumbing to a virus which has proved to spread at warp speed compared to other variations. I’m also super conscious of the people I know who have been seriously debilitated by so called ‘long Covid’, the causes and possible mitigation for which have yet to be understood.

It seems to me there is a happy medium between the Johnsonian impulse to cry freedom on all and every front, and the continuing need to ca’ canny. For instance, if we continue to deploy face masks in crowded place and spaces, and shops, restaurants and pubs use enhanced ventilation and pay maximum attention to hygiene, then we can open up our lives without needlessly risking them.