Mark Andrews on Saturday: A barking-mad idea, trigger warnings and the end of the road for 'smart' motorways

Mark Howell, a councillor from Dorset, says it is time to 'phase out' large and medium-sized dogs. He likens owning a labrador or alsatian to driving a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Are labradors really worse for the planet than 4x4s?
Are labradors really worse for the planet than 4x4s?

There speaks a man without a heart.

"I am not saying we should ban or exterminate dogs," he says, benevolently.

"What I am saying is that people need to think carefully when their animals pass away, whether they need to replace them or scale down the size of their pets."

Is this guy for real? He makes the death of a much-loved family member sound like an outdated gas boiler.

What next? Emissions tests on animals? Different tax bands, depending on what comes out of their backsides?

A person less tolerant than myself might suggest it is time to 'phase out' pompous, woke politicians. I'm sure Councillor Howell's carbon footprint is bigger than that of the average labrador, and he sounds far less lovable.

And if net zero is not about protecting animals, then really what is the point?

Miss Havisham: trigger warning?

Salford University is introducing "trigger warnings" that Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and Emily Bronte's Jane Eyre may contain scenes readers could find distressing.

Now I read Great Expectations when I was about 10 years old, and can't say I found it too traumatic. I always assumed folk in Salford were made of sturdier stuff.

If Pip's dealings with Abel Magwitch and Miss Havisham are so upsetting for today's 20-somethings, how do they cope with the news?

And why are today's university students studying texts which not so long ago were on the primary-school bookshelf?

The "smart motorway" project is finally being cancelled

The idiotic "smart motorway" programme, which should really be called the "death-trap motorway" programme, has finally been scrapped after 24 deaths and countless unnecessary crashes.

Not before time. I'm sure I wasn't the only who thought, right from the beginning, that ripping out all the hard shoulders was not an especially "smart" thing to do.

The change of heart is the result of an excellent and tireless campaign by Claire Mercer, whose husband Jason was killed on one such motorway. She should be rewarded with an honour of some kind.

It was a campaign, incidentally, which was won without a drop of super glue, blocking any roads, climbing on public transport, or throwing any statues into the harbour. Just dogged determination and being on the right side of the argument.

Something Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion, the Colston Four, et al, would do well to learn from.

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