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Mark Andrews: Be a good Sport, Karren

By Mark Andrews | Opinions | Published:

Read today's column from Mark Andrews.

Karen Brady – a good sport?

KARREN Brady, the gift that just keeps on giving. Writing in a national newspaper, the West Ham vice-chairman is unhappy with the entertainment that was provided at the Professional Footballers’ Association annual dinner.

Her objection appears to the costumes worn by the dancers, who were clad in white swimsuits.

“The harm is the degree to which these women are objectified and presented,” wrote Lady Brady.

Maybe. But I think the argument may have carried a little more weight had it come from somebody other than the former managing director of the Sunday Sport.

DATA released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that Wolverhampton Council has fined motorists £4.3 million over the past three years for parking misdemeanours.

Now I’m sure Wolverhampton Council would say that the motorists have nobody to blame but themselves, and that if they obeyed the rules they wouldn’t have got tickets. But the council has dished out 157,245 tickets over the same period, equivalent to 60 per cent of the population. And given that car ownership in Wolverhampton stands at 40.6 per cent of the population, it would suggest that the number of tickets issued in the city far exceeds the number of car owners in the city. That suggests something is very clearly wrong.

I also imagine Wolverhampton Council would say that the wardens do an important job in keeping the city moving, and are not motivated at all by a desire to fleece motorists. A point I might have been more inclined to believe had I not witnessed a traffic warden waiting outside a church on Easter Sunday, trying to catch people because the service had run a little longer than usual.

ON the same subject, a party of travellers have just set up camp at the Constitution Hill car park in Dudley, with the full approval of the council. Deputy chief executive Alan Lunt said they were directed to the car park after originally settling on nearby green space.

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“The encampment was directed to this site as a temporary measure from a green space in order to prevent damage and disruption,” he said.

Fair enough. But I trust they are all paying their pay-and-display fees, and the wardens will be just as zealous at enforcing any fines as they are on the rest of us.

GYLES Brandreth has jumped to the defence of his ‘close friend’ Danny Baker, sacked by the BBC for a third time after likening Prince Harry’s son Archie to a chimpanzee on Twitter.

But I wonder what Brandreth’s other ‘good friend’, the Duke of Edinburgh will share his sympathy? After all, it’s only been a few months since Brandreth was offering his own personal insight into the Duke’s personal life following his car crash.

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For his part, Baker insists there is nothing racial about his tweet, saying it was a comment on the class system. Well, I’m glad he’s cleared that up. It’s obviously acceptable to brand a new-born baby as a chimp as long as you don’t mean to be racist.

Anyway, back to Brandreth who a few days earlier had been tweeting about ‘my friend Iain Dale’ – he’s an early-evening presenter on LBC, if you didn’t know. Before that he was posting pictures of himself with former children’s television presenter Sandi Toksvig, author Jilly Cooper, and Kate Williams (me neither). Oh, and he also mentioned playing chess with Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel.

A word of advice Danny Boy. I wouldn’t place too much stall on support from Gyles Brandreth.

Peter Rhodes is away.

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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