“ In praise of Christmas excess” – “The future is a joyless place, where technocrats in NGOs and mega-corporations restrict us, prevent us from seeing loved ones, take away what we own, deprive us of our traditions and take away our possessions,” writes Alexander Adams in Bournbrook Magazine. “ No new restrictions in England before Christmas” – But Boris Johnson says “we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas” as Omicron spreads fast, reports BBC News. “ Sadiq Khan cancels New Year’s Eve party in Trafalgar Square due to fears over Omicron surge” – Thousands of key workers and members of the public were expected to attend the celebrations in central London, reports the Telegraph. “ Nudging the news” – Has the partnership between Sky News and the Behavioural Insights Team breached Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code?, ask Toby and Laura Dodsworth in the Critic. “ My cheering Christmas message? It’s time for humanity to prevail over scientists” – We are jabbed up to the gills as a nation, but many of us have regretfully curtailed our festive plans thanks to the misery guts of SAGE, writes Allison Pearson in the Telegraph. “ More Covid rules needed in Wales, minister says” – Economy Minister Vaughan Gething’s comments come as Welsh Government bans spectators from attending sports matches, reports BBC News. “ Where is the modelling for the societal consequences of lockdown?” – We have allowed skewed data to distract us from the devastating collateral damage of restrictions, particularly on education, argues Iain Duncan Smith in the Telegraph. “ We need to start caring about care homes” – The pandemic has exposed our shameful abandonment of the elderly, write Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson in Spiked. “ Lockdown a major threat to Premiership rugby clubs, says Bristol’s Pat Lam” – Premiership rugby clubs would struggle to survive another lockdown, according to Bristol Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, reports the Guardian. “ Take a Covid test to see family at Christmas, says Boris Johnson” – “Boris Johnson has urged people to test themselves before meeting relatives for Christmas as he ruled out new Covid restrictions this week,” reports the Times. “ Hundreds of trains cancelled as Covid hits railways” – Christmas journeys are at risk as train operators prepare for more disruption, reports BBC News. “ Darkest days could be behind us as data hint that Omicron cases may have peaked” – With Winter Solstice out of the way, latest Covid statistics show signs of a slowdown, and some experts believe lockdown will not be needed, say Sarah Knapton and Ben Butcher in the Telegraph. “ Irish urged to limit contact to Christmas day guests” – Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer says people should only see those they plan to spend Christmas with, reports BBC News. “ Prepare for fourth Covid jab, Tony Blair Institute says” – “The research institute founded by former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on the Government to create a command-and-control team that could help it remain ‘ahead of the curve’ and quickly roll out more vaccines,” reports RT. “ We must stop the perpetual spiral of restrictions” – With most of the population double or even triple-jabbed, we are still having the same debate as last year, says Telegraph View. “ Bring back masks now: Australian Doctor issues a plea to the Government” – The Vice President of the Australian Medical Association has called on the Government to reintroduce mask mandates. But not everyone agrees, reports the Mail Australia. “ U.S. Justice Department says inmates sent home due to Covid will not be returned to prison” – “The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced it would not force federal inmates who were sent home due to the Covid pandemic to return to prison once the emergency is lifted,” reports Reuters. “ New York’s next mayor delays inauguration plans as city offers $100 booster incentive” – Eric Adams’ move comes as city faces surge in Covid cases, reports the Guardian. “ Germany bans fans from stadiums and limits gatherings to 10 people” – Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Germany will limit private gatherings for the vaccinated to a maximum of 10 people, close nightclubs and ban fans from major events from December 28th, reports MailOnline. “ No, climate change is not a ‘women’s issue’” – Environmentalists say women emit less carbon and are more climate conscious. What sexist tripe, writes Ella Whelan in Spiked. “ Orthodox rabbis demand U.S. universities abandon diversity efforts” – “The Managing Director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents more than 2,000 Orthodox rabbis, told Fox News that U.S. universities should end diversity, equity, and inclusion,” reports RT. “ Free Speech Union wins court battle” – Toby speaks to Talkradio about the case of Harry Miller, an ex-police officer who challenged a national policy which states that police forces can record the expression of ‘gender-critical’ views as a ‘hate incident’ – and won!