Mark Andrews on Saturday: A proper Charlie, Mings the merciless, and the people behind the masks

So-called Freedom Day comes on Monday, and already the supermarkets are insisting that masks must still be worn.

Like most people, I will obediently do as I am asked, because I don't want to rock the boat. But I do wonder whether some people will ever consider it the right time to ditch the rules.

For example, there are now calls for masks to be worn indefinitely, even when the pandemic is over, on the grounds it will prevent the spread of other infections such as 'flu.

It seems there is a small but vocal society which really loves all these rules.

You know the sort. They don't want furlough to end, ever, or at the very least expect to work from home indefinitely, to give them ' a better work-life balance'.

In other words, more opportunity to pass their time on Twitter, wearing a mask while demonstrating their knowledge of acronyms and buzzwords. Or more time wearing sandals down the pub, where they can throw evil glares at anyone who dares to talk while Fairport Convention is on the jukebox.

For some, masks are not about protecting themselves from the virus, and they're certainly not about protecting others. They are about self-righeousness, being part of a special group, about being seen by their peers as ultra-responsible and serious-minded.

Face masks are becoming a real-life hashtag. Or yet another weapon in the culture war.

* * *

Tyrone Mings is a great footballer, and handled himself superbly when subjected to racial abuse on the football field.

But his pronouncement that Priti Patel cannot condemn racism because she doesn't support taking the knee is ludicrous.

There are lots of reasons why people may not like taking the knee. Aside from its connotations with a, shall we say dubious, political movement, its origins lie in Martin Luther King kneeling in prayer before being sent to jail. Turning that into a gesture at the start of football matches seems disrespectful to me.

But apart from that, isn't there another, glaringly obvious reason to knock it on the head? Namely that it isn't working.

All this kneeling down hasn't united the nation against racism, it has simply divided people into two camps. Maybe if the football authorities came up with a new gesture against racism, untainted with political controversy, everyone could get behind it.

* * *

What is wrong with law enforcement in this country, in two sentences.

Food critic Giles Coren is reduced to riding his bike around London as he searches for his stolen car, because the police declared the case closed in just 47 minutes. Meanwhile, the authorities have found time to raid two addresses during their investigation into who blew the whistle on Matt Hancock's philandering.

* * *

A proud week for Charlie Perry's parents. The 25-year-old Chelsea fan revealed how he limbered up for the European Championship Final by sinking 20 cans of Strongbow, "banging a load of powder", before dropping his pants and sticking a lit firework up his bum.

Charlie, who got in without a ticket by bunging a corrupt steward, says he can't wait for the World Cup next year.

Hmmm. Something tells me the authorities in Qatar might not be quite so accommodating.

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