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Mark Andrews on Saturday – eco diets, parking woes, and a packed House of Commons

By Mark Andrews | Opinions | Published:

Read this week's musings from Mark Andrews.

Hannibal Lecter – eco warrior?

IN AN age where some people cast doubt on the more extreme scientific claims about global warming, it is good to see that one Swedish academic stands out as a voice of reason and calm.

Prof Magnus Soderlund of Stockholm School of Economics suggests that a simple change to our diet would go a long way to tackling the problem of climate change. He believes if people can overcome their ‘conservative taboos’ against cannibalism, eating human flesh could well be the answer to future food shortages.

Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I do think that's going a bit far. What's brought this on? Has he been reading Yellowhammer or something?

The Prof admits there is work to do in persuading the public to abandon ancient reservations about desecrating human corpses, but says people can be ‘tricked into doing the right thing’.

Well, it certainly puts the horse-meat scandal into context. Even so, I think I will give Prof Soderlund's dinner parties a swerve.

SPLENDID to see more than 800 fines have been dished out to parents caught by Dudley Council’s spy car to crack down on breaches of parking regulations outside schools. Fines totalling £30,442 have been issued since the measures were introduced two years ago.

While we’re on the subject, I would be really grateful if Dudley Council would tell us how many parking fines have been issued to the travellers camped out on the pay-and-display car park in Flood Street?

Tom Watson – referendum 'no longer valid'

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TOM Watson, the West Bromwich MP and Labour deputy leader, says the result of the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union is ‘no longer valid’ because more than three years has elapsed since the poll.

There is one major flaw in that argument. Given that Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union proposes a two-year exit process, and that delays of a further seven months were the result of MPs – including Mr Watson – rejecting a proposed withdrawal agreement, perhaps Mr Watson could explain what constitutes a ‘valid’ timetable?

Then again, I vaguely recall something about Parliament ordering the Prime Minister to write a letter to Brussels asking for further delay, postponing departure for another three months. By which time, I presume, the referendum will be even less ‘valid’.

The European Union has truly become the real-life Hotel California. You can pack your cases, you can check out. But they will always find some reason why you’ll never reach the exit.

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IF one good thing has come from the fury about the prorogation of Parliament, it is the diligence of the MPs who are desperate to turn up to work even on their days off. Those more cynical than myself observed the MPs who staged Wednesday’s sit-in mostly hailed from London constituencies, and didn’t have far to travel, but I suppose you will always get the naysayers.

Let’s be positive. Hopefully the children participating in Greta Thunberg’s ‘climate change strike’ will now follow the MPs' example and, instead of playing hooky on Fridays, will protest by turning up to school every Saturday.

Anyhow, just out of curiosity, I had a quick look at the online Parliament TV channel (you should try it some time) and selected, at random, a debate on exiting the European Union on September 5. At its height, there were about 30 of Parliament’s 650 MPs in the chamber. Towards the end I counted 15.

Still, given Parliament’s new-found determination to hold the Government to account, I’m sure this is something we will never see again.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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