Star comment: More must be done to clamp down on hate crime

The rise in hate crime is alarming. The West Midlands has shown the biggest rise in cases, with Staffordshire and West Mercia not far behind. The fact it is being linked to a football match is shocking.

Football should be a game about inclusivity, with a wide racial mix both on the pitch and in the stands. If we look at the history of some of our great clubs, like Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, they were pioneers who broke down racial divides and created a sense of inclusion and diversity.

Regrettably, for some, football remains a platform on which to spread hate and abuse. It is absolutely right that players and cubs have a zero-tolerance policy towards abuse. That means criminal action and life bans for those involved. Player Romaine Sawyers should be praised for his courage in standing up to a racist, as should West Midlands Police for seeing a conviction through.

All right-minded people who care about football and society in general must also call out racism and hate wherever we come across it. It should be all of our responsibilities to isolate those who are still determined to spread their hate. British society is there to be enjoyed in all its riches by all, regardless of race, religion or sexuality.

Too often, our society is fragmented and divided. We live in times where rudeness and abuse are endemic on social media and where people engage in nefarious acts without fear of consequence or punishment. Such behaviour must stop and those responsible should be brought to book. There is no place in society for such behaviour, whether in person or online. The authorities must step in.

The many drinkers who enjoy a nice green glass bottle of Carlsberg are in for a shock.

The brewery, which has a tie-in with Marston’s, is trialling white fibre bottles that are better for the environment. The change will all take a little getting used to - a bit like milk bottles getting fatter or plastic straws turning back into paper.

It’s important that we adapt as we learn to better use the world’s finite resources. We have to change as we move towards a society that lives in closer harmony with the planet and that doesn’t contribute further to the climate crisis.

Presuming it is a success, the Carlsberg bottles will be here to stay and other companies will probably follow suit. We will almost certainly get used to it and our children and grandchildren will be glad that the planet is not further damaged by us - as long as the lager still tastes right.

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