SAVE OUR CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS BLOG Saturday 12th September 2020

Sometimes the Daily Mail campaigns can be questionable. But this one, to follow suit with Scotland and Wales on making Children under 12 exempt, from the “Rule of 6” is spot on!

Apologies that this is a long post but I am desperately passionate about this issue.

Save our children’s Christmas!

Covid crackdown poll shows Britons want under-12s to be exempt from draconian rule of six – as Tory backbenchers savage ‘grotesque’ restriction

Voters and Tory back benchers are urging Boris Johnson to implement another U-turn on the rule of six.

Graham Brady of the 1922 Committee called on the PM to follow Nicola Sturgeon’s lead on restrictions.

Unlike England, families in Scotland will not have to include children under 12 in their rule of six.

So far, Downing Street is refusing to back down despite the unpopularity of the policy according to a new poll


A Daily Mail poll showed more than four in ten support a U-turn on the policy, letting grandparents see their families over the festive season. Tory backbenchers savaged the ‘grotesque’ restriction which, from Monday, bans groups of seven or more in a bid to halt a second wave of coronavirus.

In Scotland and Wales such gatherings are also outlawed – but children under 12 are exempt. Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, called on Mr Johnson to follow suit.

Tim Loughton, a former children’s minister, said the rule was unsustainable.

Downing Street is refusing to back down, even though young children are much less likely to catch or spread Covid-19. Officials said an age threshold would make enforcement too difficult for police officers.

The Mail revealed yesterday that the rule was introduced following a row in Cabinet. On Thursday Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said under-12s would be freed from her version of the rule of six north of the border.

The row intensified yesterday when Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, said he would do the same.

A new Daily Mail poll has shown that the public has lost faith Boris Johnson’s government with only Rishi Sunak showing a positive approval rating     +16

Boris Johnson’s approval rating is at -21, though he is still seen as more competent than Michael Gove, Priti Patel and Gavin WIlliamson. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has an approval rating of -20

Boris Johnson is determined to push through with his policy which will jeopardise Christmas celebrations in England

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘We decided it was not proportionate to include young children who are not vulnerable to coronavirus, or to spreading it in the way that adults are, so therefore we are not including them.’

But Downing Street said: ‘We looked at all of the evidence in advance of the decision that was reached on Wednesday and it was decided to proceed with a rule of six that applies to all ages.

‘What we have done is ensure that the rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand. Social distancing measures can only be effective if the public understand them and abide by them.’

Sir Graham said exempting young children was sensible and would help families wrestling over which relatives to see over Christmas.

He added: ‘These are the kind of issues which would be drawn out in a parliamentary debate and it shows why it is wrong for the Government to set rules in an arbitrary way, without parliamentary scrutiny.’

The survey found that 41 per cent of voters say the PM should exempt youngsters, compared with 32 per cent who disagree. It also shows that a third of families have had their plans for Christmas disrupted by the rule of six. Three quarters believe that most people will ignore the limit anyway.

Tory backbenchers are in uproar over the Government’s plan which could jeopardise Christmas for families across the country with their maximum rule of six people. In Scotland, the six maximum does not include children aged 12 and under            

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Conservative Party leader, said: ‘Kids should not be counted below a certain age.

‘I would prefer the rule to apply to six adults. We know how this virus is being spread, and it’s by young people going out and partying in large groups, so target them instead.’

Tory MP Steve Baker said: ‘It is time for us to actually start living like a free people, not subjecting ourselves to constantly shifting legal requirements, which I think now no one can fully understand.

‘It’s not just about Christmas – it could also be about Remembrance Day.’

Professor Jason Leitch, national clinical director for Scotland, said under-12s usually had only mild symptoms and were unlikely to get the disease.

He added: ‘The other balance you are trying to draw here is kids need to play: it’s an essential part of their social upbringing.’

The Mail’s poll, by JL Partners, found that well over half of people back the view that the Government’s anti-coronavirus strategy shows signs of ‘panic’, and agree that millions are using the pandemic as an ‘excuse’ not to return to their workplace.

It also provides evidence that plans for ‘Covid marshals’ could become a snoopers’ charter. As many as 32 per cent say they will report on neighbours they suspect of flouting the new rules, with 49 per cent saying they would not.

The Prime Minister will take comfort from support for his ‘rule of six’. Six in ten say it is fair, compared with two in ten who say it is not. There is support for fines of up to £3,200 for those who break new Covid laws more than once.

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory Backbenchers urged Boris Johnson, to follow Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to exclude children under 12 from their count of six people


The move has led to fury among parents, with fears that it could lead to Christmas being cancelled this year.

Father-of-three Alastair Smart, 34, told Mail Online: ‘We’re a family of 5 (kids are 11, 5 & 7 weeks old) and it’s almost another lockdown for us.

‘It’s our eldest’s birthday on Wednesday and in order to have my wife’s parents over to see him I’m going to have to leave the house.

‘How does me going out to go shopping, the pub or over my mate’s house with four other mates stop the spread of COVID? We’re also going to have to cancel a trip to Centre Parcs with another family of three. Under the new law I’d be able to book a new trip with 5 other mates from 5 other households.

‘It’s ridiculous. To exempt children of under 12 makes complete sense, why should my six week old son count towards this absurd rule?’

Mother-of-two Lisa Parker, 50, slammed the decision, adding: ‘I’m hosting Christmas this year. There will be eight of us. My hubby and me and our two kids – as well as my 82-year-old mum, my sister, brother in law and our niece. My 11-year-old niece is adopted – saved from the care system into a loving home and an extended family.

‘If Boris thinks I’m going to deprive that precious child of a fun Christmas day- with the people who love her most in the world – he’s got another think coming.

‘My old mum is 82 – still drives and has lots of friends – she’s not scared. Life is for living is what she taught me and that’s I’m teaching my own kids. There is risk in every thing we do. We’ll take our chances with this virus. So let the police come and arrest me on Christmas Day.

‘I’ll toast the New Year in from a jail cell in defence of my rights. But what we all should be worried about is why are we being controlled with dystopian rules like this, when the hospitals are empty and deaths are in single figures?’

Mother-of-three Laura Cole, 32, said she had ‘no doubt’ that the exemption for children should be introduced in England.

‘The schools have been allowed to open again and the schools are all together so I feel it’s a little irrelevant the children have been included in this,’ Mrs Cole told MailOnline.

She added: ‘The beginning of lockdown it was easy to explain to [the children] you couldn’t go out.

‘Now they’re back at school again with their year group bubbles, trying to explain to them you can’t go to the park after school again with friends, we’re not going to be able to.’

Mrs Cole, whose children are aged 14, 10 and 7, said that the new rules would especially hamper the lives of the young, adding that Scotland’s exemption for those under 12 was a ‘brilliant idea’.

Mrs Cole said: ‘My son, he’s 14, he meets up on the way to school with a group of people… is he not going to be able to do that now?’

Speaking of the coming festive season, Mrs Cole said: ‘Christmas is a time for family. Both be and my husband have got very big family.’

Earlier, Wales introduced its own ‘rule of six’ limiting people meeting indoors in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases but, unlike England, children under 12 will not be included.

First Minister Mark Drakeford also confirmed this morning that people will still be allowed to continue to meet in groups of 30 outdoors, insisting that evidence shows the virus does not travel in the fresh air.

The stance of the Welsh government could fuel further unrest against Boris Johnson, after Nicola Sturgeon also exempted children from the similar ban in Scotland.

Mr Johnson faces a Tory backlash after the Scottish First Minister copied his restrictions – but with the crucial difference that children under 12 would be exempt.

Ms Sturgeon announced there would be a maximum of six people for social groups – but gave potential hope for family gatherings and Christmas celebrations by excluding children under 12 from the limit.

Welsh First Minister Mr Drakeford has now followed suit, while also ensuring the ‘rule of six’ is only applied to indoor meetings in Wales.

He added: ‘Children will be treated in Wales how they are treated in Scotland. Young children will not be counted in the total of six because again we know that children are much less likely to transmit the disease to others.

‘They’re much less likely to suffer from the disease than other people. We have to test our rules in Wales against the principle of proportionality. Is it proportionate to prevent children from being able to meet indoors? It’s not, we don’t believe, and therefore they are not included in our rule of six.’

Explaining why groups of 30 will continue to be allowed to meet outdoors, Mr Drakeford added: ‘We’ve known for a long time that the virus does not travel between people in the fresh air in the way that it does inside houses.

‘We want to continue to make that distinction so that, in the remainder of this autumn, while the weather will still allow people to get together in the open air, we don’t want to prevent people from doing that.

‘Here, we will introduce a restriction indoors because the evidence in Wales is that you catch the virus from people you know because you meet them indoors and you behave in a way that is relaxed and is the way you would normally behave.

‘I’m afraid because of that behaviour we’re seeing numbers rise in parts of Wales.

A backlash to the plans in England is gathering pace, with Conservative MPs warning that the restrictions might be ‘worse than the disease itself’, condemning the ‘broad brush’ approach and unhappy that there has not been any scrutiny in Parliament.

The new restrictions have also drawn the ire of parents, some of whom say the plans make little sense with children already back in school.

Some say they will accept whatever fine comes their way, refusing to let the PM ‘ruin Christmas’. 

There are fears within his party that Mr Johnson might be seen as the ‘Grinch’ if the block on families spending time together is still in place for the festive season.

Tory MP Steve Baker told MailOnline: ‘I doubt the government’s measures can long endure when it is becoming clear that they are disproportionate.’

David Jones MP said: ‘I can understand that the Government has to do something, because there is certainly an uptick. But it is not an uptick across the country as a whole. There are some parts of the country such as Devon, Dorset where there is very little virus activity at all.

‘So it does seem to be very broad brush… I would have thought something more concentrated would be better.’

He added that while crowded pubs had been ‘asking for trouble’ it was ‘not something that appears to be uniform across the country’.

‘Something more focused would be appropriate,’ he said.

See the full report at :




“The minute you start caring about what other people think, is the minute you stop being yourself.”

— Meryl Streep


Happiness is…Celebrating Christmas altogether as one family


So, I phoned up the spiritual leader of Tibet, he sent me a large goat with a long neck. Turns out I phoned Dial-a-Llama.


Love is…what lightens the load


A time to accept Government guidelines…A time to ignore idiotic ill thought out Government guidelines.


Family love


Phoenix Nights by Peter Kay

Phoenix Nights is a British sitcom about The Phoenix Club, a working men’s club in the northern English town of Bolton, Greater Manchester. The show is a spin-off from the “In the Club” episode of the spoof documentary series That Peter Kay Thing, and in turn was followed by the spin-off Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere. It was produced by Goodnight Vienna Productions and Ovation Entertainments, and broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. 2 Series – 12 Episodes


Friday 11/9/2020 DAY 160       16 Times – 144 Feet           Cumulative Total 23,859 Feet



©2020 Phil M Robinson