Jonny Bairstow carrying off Just Stop Oil protester was a refreshing victory for manliness: Sarah Todd

Cricket has never been a particular area of interest; but the sport gained a new fan after England’s Jonny Bairstow carried a Just Stop Oil protester off the pitch at Lord’s.

In our topsy-turvy world it was truly wonderful to see a man being, well, manly.

The way he scooped the lad up was absolutely magnificent and fans were right to suggest, however tongue in cheek, that he should be given a knighthood.

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Just recently the world has gone a bit mad with advertising campaigns for everything from make-up to dresses being fronted by men. Blink and there’s another man in a swimming costume identifying as a woman. There is a fine line to tread between being British and keeping a stiff upper lip and pretending strange things haven’t been noticed. But really?

England's Johnny Bairstow carrying a Just Stop Oil protestor off the pitch  during day one of the second Ashes test match at Lord's, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.England's Johnny Bairstow carrying a Just Stop Oil protestor off the pitch  during day one of the second Ashes test match at Lord's, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
England's Johnny Bairstow carrying a Just Stop Oil protestor off the pitch during day one of the second Ashes test match at Lord's, London. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

It was just so refreshing to see a bloke being a bloke. Bairstow saw someone causing trouble and put a stop to it. No dilly-dallying about. No wondering whether the protester’s human rights were being infringed or his mental health threatened. Just sorted.

It got this correspondent thinking that, rather like the Campaign for Real Ale, there should be a Campaign for Real Men. An appreciation of traditional male endeavours like changing tyres, opening doors for ladies and setting anybody displaying loutish behaviour straight.

Nothing has given greater pleasure than seeing our 19 year-old son doing jobs like fitting an exhaust or pulling up with a tractor and trailer alongside a combine and timing it just right so not a single grain of corn is spilt. He’s at university, but it’s these practical skills that make this mother burst with pride. Not every lad has the opportunity or the inclination to do these sorts of hands-on things.

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There have always been more studious, bookish types of men and there is nothing wrong with that.

The thing that’s changed during the past decade or so is that manly characteristics have been nit-picked away by the politically correct brigade.

While walking to catch a park-and-ride bus an oik tried to grab this hapless shopper’s purse. While his victim stood up to him and made an attempt to grab him, all around were ‘men’ who did nothing.

They all looked the other way, as if the right thing to do was to just hand the money over and not cause any embarrassment to the would-be thief. The reaction, or lack of any, from others was more shocking than the actual attempted mugging.

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Thirty-odd years ago, as a young newspaper reporter, barely a week went by when there wasn’t a story written about some have-a-go-hero stepping up to the plate. Where have they all gone?

Society has made them an endangered species. Of course, there are completely understandable reasons such as the fear of an attacker having taken drugs and pulling out a knife, but there is also a more basic shift of turning the other cheek. Of being less Jonny Bairstow.

Penning this week’s offering with a Jack Russell terrier asleep against the table leg, it’s perhaps unfair to pass comment on the new Renters (Reform) Bill that is being considered by Parliament and would allow tenants to keep pets in rented properties; taking away the right of landlords to simply say a blanket no to animals being allowed.

There was a lady on the news welcoming these proposals. She had three young children and was also working. Just because you love animals, the harsh truth is it doesn’t mean you are at the right stage in life to own them.

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Yes, the rental market has changed and rather than being a stepping stone for young people to get onto the property ladder, more people are renting their forever long-term homes. Some acceptance of the joy that a family pet can bring to a settled home has to be good news.

But elsewhere in the rental market, in small properties without gardens, is it right - from some poor cat or dog’s point of view - to say pets are automatically allowed?

Animal shelters are already in crisis with so-called pandemic puppies, bought when the nation was in lockdown, now in need of new homes as people realise it’s impossible to devote time to their pet now that real life has got back to normal. For the sake of the animals, this needs monitoring.

Talking of monitoring, a local pub has been told it can no longer offer seating outdoors.

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Something the landlady has done for at least the last ten years. A huge blight to communities is people who move into an area knowing full well it is home to things like farms, pubs, schools and shops and then

complain. Who is left in the world to stand up to them?