BEL MOONEY: No, no, no! I'm having Christmas for 14 - and no puffed-up Covid ...

The disillusionment and rage I feel could almost make me ill. It’s like a knot in the stomach, driving acid into the mouth, shaking me with dizzy disbelief.

Head and heart shout out in unison: ‘You must be kidding!’ And then: ‘How bloody dare you?’

Countless other citizens of the United Kingdom will be feeling just as I am, as another day dawns on the bitter, pointless reality of the latest arbitrary diktat – the ‘rule of six’.

This latest flurry from a drifting Government means that, from Monday, any gathering of more than six people, indoors or outdoors, will be banned, those who meet in such groups facing fines, and all patrolled by puffed-up ‘Covid marshals’.

Bel Mooney said Boris Johnson's new Covid Marshals will not prevent her from preparing Christmas dinner for 14 despite the dire warnings coming from Number 10

Bel Mooney said Boris Johnson's new Covid Marshals will not prevent her from preparing Christmas dinner for 14 despite the dire warnings coming from Number 10

Columnist Bel Mooney is outraged over the Government's plan which could threaten her traditional Christmas get-together with her family, picture posed by models

Columnist Bel Mooney is outraged over the Government's plan which could threaten her traditional Christmas get-together with her family, picture posed by models 

Worse still, as it is projected to last into the spring, it means inevitably that the family Christmas is under threat.

No, no, no!

The rule of law is sacred to me – but so is the sanctity of privacy and family life. This Englishwoman’s home is her castle, and usually an oasis of calm.

But now I feel like turning these walls into a redoubt – a fortress against a troublesome world and a government in which I have lost all confidence.

The principle of government by consent dates back centuries, challenging the rule of tyrants. But what does it actually mean?

    More from Bel Mooney for the Daily Mail...

That we, the people, believe that any government’s moral right to the state’s power is justified and lawful only when we agree.

That doesn’t mean that if the government of our choice fails to win power, we have the right to storm Downing Street.

Democracy gives us the ballot box instead. But it does mean that any government needs our consent to govern.

And what happens at a time of crisis, when the Government issues confusing, contradictory and downright stupid diktats that challenge both reason and morality?

We are citizens, not brainwashed or drugged or terrified subjects in an Orwellian nightmare. Yet the rule of six actually requires people like you and me to give the hapless and high-handed Health Secretary Matt Hancock the ultimate say-so over how we live our social and family lives.

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