Mark Andrews on Saturday: Fears for tiers, inclusivity, and Kanye's spot of bother

Read the latest column from Mark Andrews.

Fears for tiers: Wolverhampton is a 'high risk' area
Fears for tiers: Wolverhampton is a 'high risk' area

Let's get this right. If you go to the pub in Wolverhampton, you can't meet your friends unless they are from the same 'support bubble'. The same rules apply in Walsall, Sandwell and Birmingham.

But in Dudley and South Staffordshire, there are no such rules, providing there are not more than six of you on a table.

I wonder how many pubs in Dudley and South Staffordshire will find themselves over-run by groups of friends from neighbouring areas who can't get a drink in their home towns?

Something tells me this is going to be a very interesting weekend.

* * *

Sorry, too late. You've missed the boat. The ship has sailed.

The deadline to be become the new £62,000 director of inclusivity and diversity at the Trussell Trust food bank charity closed this week.

It's a shame, because it sounded right up my street. I was really looking forward to 'shaping and driving its D & I agenda' and establishing a 'shared frame of reference' and a 'shared language'. Which we can safely bet won't be plain English.

And yes, there is a reference to 'stakeholders' in the advert. I've said it before, never trust anybody who talks about stakeholders.

What it doesn't explain is how paying somebody £62,000 a year to work from home dreaming up gobbledegook that 99 per cent of the population don't understand can possibly be described as 'inclusive'.

* * *

The above actually makes me feel very sad. Because I've always thought of food banks as an excellent initiative we should be proud of.

I know that isn't how the narrative goes, that we should feel ashamed that they even exist, but I've never bought into that argument. There will always going to be people who fall on hard times, and the question is who would you trust your money with when it comes to helping them: independent charities dedicated to caring for the needy, or some branch of government that will always blow millions on bureaucracy, logos, mission statements, and yes, inclusivity and diversity officers? Now we see a charity, which is supposed to be about feeding the hungry, behaving like a fully fledged member of the quangocracy.

I still believe in the principle of food banks, and it would be wrong to tar the many local, volunteer-based charities with the same brush. I also feel for the many volunteers and modestly paid front-line workers at the Trussell Trust who surely can't be impressed by such high-handed profligacy.

Perhaps it is a symptom of what always happens when any organisation gets too big, but charities do neither themselves – nor the people they are there to look after – any favours with this sort of thing.

* * *

Kanye West in hot water, after allegedly ignoring quarantine rules following a flight to the UK.

Kanye West – hot water?

"Who does he think he is?" asked Piers Morgan.

Er, pot, kettle, anyone?

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