Mark Andrews: Perils of banning snobbery, Jasper's hair, and why we should say no to internet banking

Bridgette Rickett, head of psychology at what used to be Leeds Polytechnic, wants to make snobbery illegal.

Can you really ban snobbery?
Can you really ban snobbery?

She reckons class-based discrimination is rife in organisations such as schools and the NHS, and calls for the Equalities Act to be expanded to treat social class as a "protected characteristic" like sex, race, and age.

What I think this will mean in practice is that next time I go for a blood test I will not only have to answer daft questions about whether or not I am pregnant and whether I identify as male, but also about how many RyanAir flights I have been on, and whether I prefer Aldi, Waitrose or Fortnum & Mason.

Which I'm sure will cut waiting times for working-class people no end.

* * *

Another week, another round of bank closures. This time, branches in Bridgnorth, Aldridge, Darlaston, Shrewsbury, Smethwick, the Merry Hill centre, Ludlow, Drayton, Whitchurch and Cleobury Mortimer all on the hit list.

If you do manage to find a branch near you, it will probably be closed. Because banks are open about as often as the railways these days.

In the unlikely event it is open, you will be confronted by something resembling an amusement arcade, surrounded by machines and a single member of staff who will try to persuade you to bank online instead.

And having made the experience as difficult and uncomfortable to use as possible, the bank will blame branch closures on the fact nobody goes in them.

* * *

The answer, of course, is that we should all resist the pressures to switch to online banking. If they can't be bothered to speak to us in person, they don't get our business.

And for all the assurances the banks give, cyber-fraudsters can't hack your online account if you don't have one.

* * *

A hospice charity has mistakenly sold a unique painting of Jasper Carrott, made with his own sweat, blood, hair and spit, for just £20.

The lucky punter must be chuffed to bits. I mean who wouldn't want Jasper's sweat, blood and spit in their dining room?

But one thing puzzles me. Where did they get his hair from? Because I'm pretty sure it didn't come from his head.

* * *

Last week I observed how the roads between Wolverhampton and Dudley have suddenly become much smoother ahead of the cycling time trials in next week's Commonwealth Games. This week it has been the turn of the gardeners, tidying grass verges and removing weeds that had been rampant at the roadside for months. I do trust this level of service will be maintained once the Games are forgotten.

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