Influencers tread a path paved by Michael Gove and co | David Mitchell

Social media stars swanning around the world are just working within the government’s flabby Covid rules

It’s hard to sympathise with all those social media influencers who’ve snuck out to Dubai to take photos of themselves in swimwear while the rest of us are stuck indoors, but Priti Patel and Michael Gove have shown me the way. This may mark my final submersion in the waters of contrarianism, but what the home secretary said to MPs about influencers made me see things from those poor, silly narcissists’ point of view. I’m talking about the influencers.

The government is clearly very irritated that, at a time when it wants everyone to stay still, a bunch of affluent young people have not only refused to do that but are publishing pictures of themselves not doing it. As always with this pandemic, there’s confusion over whether this is actually breaking the rules or just finding a loophole in them. But the government would rather we didn’t focus on that detail because what’s important is the “spirit” of the rules.

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