Express & Star

Mark Andrews: Mystery behind election betting scandal, cutting the drink-drive limit, and the police get tough with a stray calf

The police officer who twice rammed a stray calf with a pick-up truck at 30mph has been withdrawn from frontline duties pending an investigation.

The Just Stop Oil protest took place in London, on Wednesday and are continuing throughout the month

Now is not the time to vilify the officer concerned, although I'm sure we would all love to hear the reasoning behind what appears a somewhat heavy-handed response to an animal peacefully mooching about. Surely a temporary speed limit, and a couple of warning signs would have been sufficient?

Still, with the weather getting warmer, it is a fair assumption that Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, and all the other crusties will resume their war on the Great British public, gluing themselves to public transport and blocking the paths of ambulances.

Maybe instead of suspending this officer, they should deploy him to clear some of the roads?

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Cutting the drink-drive limit in Scotland has had no impact on reducing the number of road accidents, concludes a study by the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

So, sure as night follows day, calls are now mounting for England and Wales to fall in line with Scotland.

The British Medical Association, which as far as I understand is not a body which specialises in driver safety, argues that Britain's drink-drive limit is more tolerant than in most other European countries.

What it didn't point out was that Britain's roads are also safer than most European countries. Only Sweden and Norway have fewer deaths per capita, and those are notably less populated countries.

It's a bit like when they reduced the speed limit on the Wolverhampton ring road. Which was followed by a 50 per cent increase in the number of crashes.

I'm sure to some bright spark in central London, surrounded by buzzing bars and round-the-clock public transport, cutting the drink-drive limit sounds eminently sensible. But to the landlord of a remote pub somewhere out in the sticks, it probably represents another nudge towards bankruptcy.

Which might be a price worth paying if it actually saved lives. But given that the evidence suggest that it probably won't, this is an idea that should surely be confined to the dustbin.

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Regarding the General Election betting scandal, one question that nobody seems to have asked so far: Why would anyone place a bet on the date of an election, unless they felt they had a pretty good idea of when it was going to be?

And given that assumption, why would any bookie want to offer odds on such a bet? Particularly when the bloke brandishing the cash is the local MP.