Exactly what planet is Tatton MP Esther McVey on? I’m really sorry to return to the subject of Ms McVey and her views on the pandemic but she has a platform and a position and I’m really concerned her opinions may gain the sort of credence they really don’t deserve.

I realise that by repeating her words I run the risk of amplifying them but I also think it’s important that people know what their elected representative is saying, so here goes.

In a tweeted video she said: “Since March, in one way or another, we’ve been in lockdown and that means some people haven’t been able to see their mums, dads, and really close family members.

“That is really not acceptable. In which world should it be allowable that you can’t see the people who brought you up, cherished you, looked after you, maybe even gave birth to you?

“The state should not be able to stop you seeing your closest family members. It’s like some dystopian nightmare.

“What I’m saying [to the] government is: We need to lift up the lockdown. We cannot keep everybody locked away from their lives, their livelihoods and their loved ones.”

Well, there’s one thing I can agree with, the current situation is like a dystopian nightmare but that’s the ‘fault’ of a lethal, novel virus that disproportionately kills the very people Ms McVey wants to see – elderly mums and dads.

No amount of whining ‘it’s not fair’ will change that. The Tories seem to have an affection for the past, two world wars and all that, so I’ll give you an analogy. The last time this country faced a challenge of this magnitude was the Second World War. Would she have espoused an ‘oh well, never mind, let’s all do what we want’ attitude then?

I’m a dad and granddad and would have loved to have seen my family over recent months but I have too much respect for my life and my family’s life to randomly disregard those restrictions that have been put in place to protect us. I also want a functioning National Health Service that isn’t overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.

Come on Esther, let’s have some of that wartime stiff upper lip.

Don’t get me wrong, the government of which she is a member has made monumental mistakes in its handling of the pandemic – and continues to make those mistakes. The phrase ‘too little, too late’ will surely haunt Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Minister Matt Hancock for the rest of their lives.

But being philosophical about it, I can do no more than quote writer Isaac Marion who said: “We are where we are, however we got here. What matters is where we go next.”

And where we go next isn’t to a libertarian, free-for-all, anything goes because people are missing their mums.

Just to add a little context, here are a few statistics she might want to consider the next time she wants to speak out about the pandemic or spout populist nonsense about hugging family members.

n The UK has become the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest government figures.

n In the period from March to week ending October 30, there have been 56,313 excess deaths in England alone.

n On Saturday, November 14, there were 26,860 Covid-19 infections in the UK, giving a weekly total of 172,915.

n On the same day, there were 462 deaths from coronavirus, giving a weekly total of 2,878.

n Only the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more Covid-19 deaths than the UK.

And before anyone says what about Sweden, they didn’t lock down and they’ve been fine, I refer you to the euronews.com website which this week said: “Sweden appears to be changing course on its strategy to stop the spread of Covid-19 after previously favouring lighter measures compared to the rest of Europe.

“New infections and hospital admissions have surged across the country as it fights a second wave of the virus.

Officials had hoped their approach without a national lockdown would mitigate the increase but Sweden is now reporting 166,707 cases and 6,082 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says the restriction is being introduced to help ease the burden on the country’s health care system and intensive care wards.

This week, the Swedish capital, Stockholm, reintroduced a ban on people visiting their loved ones in elderly care homes.

On a different subject, I notice it was Children in Need on Friday. Apparently, it was the 40th anniversary of the fundraising telethon.

What a savage indictment of a country, allegedly the sixth wealthiest in the world, that we still have to rely on the charity, kindness and goodwill of ordinary people to help those most in need.

As German stand-up comedian Henning Wehn famously said: “We don’t do charity in Germany. We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments’ responsibilities.”