Mark Andrews on Saturday: Mr Canoe from Seaton Carew, own goal by eco-protesters, and Pcs gone mad

Watch out Putin, John Darwin is heading your way. The infamous conman, who successfully feigned his death in a canoe while his wife claimed half a million in life insurance, is heading to the Ukraine to sock it to the Russkies.

John Darwin, going to sort out Putin
John Darwin, going to sort out Putin

Darwin's second wife, a 48-year-old Philipino called Mercy Mae Avila, doesn't seem overly concerned about the dangers facing her 71-year-old husband in the battlefield.

"He will have a bullet proof vest and good life insurance," she says.

You don't say. I wonder if he is going to row there.

* * *

Good to see Insulate Britain back in business, just weeks after being released from jail after bringing the M25 to a standstill.

One of them, 21-year-old Louis McKechnie held up last week's game between Everton and Newcastle for eight minutes after he attached himself to a goalpost.

Shame on the referee. If I had been in charge, I would have let the game carry on. Indeed, it would make for some great half-time entertainment inviting kids to line up using these jokers for target practice.

Actually, Louis – who bears a striking resemblance to oddball teacher Scruffy McGuffy from Grange Hill circa 1978 – wasn't representing Insulate Britain on this occasion. Loft insulation is so 2021.

No, he was representing a new splinter group called Just Stop Oil. And, just out of interest, what did he think the plastic cable tie around his neck was made from?

* * *

West Midlands Metro on the wrong track

It looks like the West Midlands Metro will once more be out of action for the foreseeable future after yet more cracks were found in the sleek, hi-tech tramcars. Maybe they could borrow a few from the Black Country Museum? They seem more reliable.

* * *

Talk about Softly Softly.

According to a whistleblower at West Midlands Police, rookie constables have been complaining they are scared of flashing blue lights, that car chases make them sick, and their parents are turning up at the cop shop worried they are going to be late for dinner.

One young officer brought his mum along to his first day at work, while a mother from Wolverhampton complained her daughter had been sent on a job that "really upset her”.

It is claimed a lot of these namby-pamby officers are coming through the graduate recruitment scheme, having spent three years having their heads filled with woke nonsense. Looks like the force's £74,000-a-year "director of fairness and belonging" and "assistant director of talent and organisational effectiveness" will have their work cut out.

On the positive side, this has all the makings of a great television sitcom. Certainly more fun than all those "gritty dramas" where Sarah Lancashire mumbles for hours.

It Ain't Half Hot, Mum.

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