Express & Star

Mark Andrews: The bloodthirsty Mr Sheen, knife policy is empty talk, and why Just Stop Oil are no suffragettes

Welsh actor Michael Sheen says he finds it 'very hard to accept' English actors playing characters who are supposed to be from his country.

Michael Sheen as Brian Clough

This comes as something as a surprise, because I mainly know Mr Sheen for playing Brian Clough, who I always thought was from Middlesbrough. And Tony Blair, who I believed to be Scottish. I never knew that David Frost or Chris Tarrant were Welsh, either.

He also says he has a problem with middle-class actors playing working-class roles. A little odd, coming from the son of a personnel manager.

I'm obviously very naive, because until I read Mr Sheen's comments I was under the misconception that acting was about pretending to be someone you are not.

News that this is not the case, and that actors are only supposed to play people exactly like themselves, is a little worrying. Because although I've never seen the Twilight saga, I'm reliably informed that Mr Sheen's character was a vampire.

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Darren Rodwell, the leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, says he intends to evict parents from their homes if their children fail to dob in their mates who are involved with knife crime.

Well intentioned though it might be, this sort of draconian 'tough on the causes of crime' measure is the desperate hallmark of someone who has run out of ideas.

Let's face it, getting teenagers to talk about anything is like getting blood out of a stone, let alone grassing on the knife-wielding school bully.

And even if Councillor Rodwell manages to identify these reticent youngsters, the lawyers will have a field day. I'd be amazed if, two years from now, a single family has been evicted under his proposals.

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It looks like the police are finally getting to grips with the Just Stop Oil loons, as footage emerges of officers dragging them out of the roads.

Not before time. The problem is, of course, that the moment they pull one out of the road, another takes their place. This means dozens of officers are in a never-ending battle to keep the highway clear.

Here's a better idea: handcuff them together, and hook them up to the winch of a Land Rover. I'm amazed nobody thought of it before. And it would make far better television.

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And anybody who compares Just Stop Oil to the suffragettes really needs to give their heads a good wobble.

The more moderate suffragettes chained themselves to railings outside Downing Street, casing inconvenience to politicians. Just Stop Oil's war is against ordinary people trying to earn a living.