How little lies and rule-bending can tear at the fabric of a society

Victoria Derbyshire has apologised after being honest and suggesting she would break the ‘rule of six’ – but much of the public seems ready to take things into their own hands, writes Mary Dejevsky

Thursday 29 October 2020 19:03
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Victoria Derbyshire has apologised after saying she would break the ‘rule of six’ at Christmas
Victoria Derbyshire has apologised after saying she would break the ‘rule of six’ at Christmas
E

arlier this week, the television presenter Victoria Derbyshire caused quite a stir when she said that there would be seven of them around her family Christmas table, whatever the government said about a “rule of six”. 

When she was upbraided as a public figure with the influence to undermine the official message, she apologised and said she “would, of course, follow whatever rules are in place on December 25th”. But plenty of people sprang to her defence.

Their view was that the law – or at least this particular law, if still in force at Christmas – was “an ass”, and that they too would have little compunction in defying it. Given the distinctly patchy enforcement (verging on non-enforcement) of a whole range of anti-coronavirus pandemic measures, from mask-wearing in shops and on public transport, to the two-week self-isolation period under “test and trace”, to the digital-only forms you must supposedly complete if you return from abroad, this is not an illogical view to take.

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