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Must all progress be halted so a few weird beards can sing Kumbaya at summer solstice?

AFTER a 40-year battle, the Government has finally decided to widen the notoriously busy A303, as it passes Stonehenge.

To keep everyone happy, the new dual carriageway will be housed in a tunnel and the existing road will be turned into a public right of way for walkers, cyclists and horse enthusiasts.

So that’s all lovely. The traffic jams that plague this stretch of the A303 at the moment will end. The new road will be hidden underground so there’ll be no noise. Fresh air fanatics will have a new footpath to enjoy. And yes! You’ve guessed correctly. The country’s ecomentalists are furious

Led by that man who was knighted for being Baldrick, they’ve formed something called The Stonehenge Alliance and say that the decision to inject “a great gash of Tarmac and concrete into Britain’s most precious prehistoric landscape is . . . sacrilegious”.

It’s a tunnel you idiots. You won’t know it’s there. And what do you mean when you say it’s “sacrilegious”?

I accept that a few weird beard druids think the big old stones are sacred but are you suggesting that progress has to be halted just because someone in a smock wants to sing Kumbaya at the summer solstice?

Let’s face a few facts here. The big clock, or calendar or church or whatever it is at Stonehenge was almost certainly built without planning permission.

Many of the 95 boulders, some of which weigh 25 tons, were taken from a quarry about 20 miles from the site and then pulled into place by an army of half-naked pygmy people who had not yet invented either the wheel or high ­visibility jackets or even the vaguest notion of health and safety.

If I did that today, employed a team of naked slaves to build a 40ft tall stone model of a Jensen Interceptor, Sir Baldrick would froth at the mouth with rage.

So why’s he so bothered about ­protecting those illegally built boulders in Wiltshire?

Everyone is running around saying that the tunnel — which doesn’t go underneath the site or even near it — will cause “irreversible damage” to this place of “acknowledged human significance”.

Really? What human significance? No one, not even Baldrick himself, has the first clue what it was built for. It could have been an early-days sex shop for all we know. Or a brothel.

I’m not suggesting we should wilfully damage it. But I am suggesting that widening the A303 and putting it underground will improve life for everyone.

Especially the druids, who’ll now be able to sing Kumbaya every June without being drowned out by the sound of ­passing motorcyclists.

JUST RELAX – WE’RE DOOMED ANYWAY

NORWEGIAN scientists have announced that even if we cut our emissions to zero tomorrow, the planet will continue to get warmer.

They said that no matter what we do, cities such as London and New York would inevitably be swallowed one day by the sea.

And straight away, environmentalists went mental, saying that such a frightening message will scare the public half to death.

I think what they mean, though, is that they don’t want us to be told there’s nothing we can do to stop climate change.

Because then we wouldn’t bother ­buying an electric car or turning the ­central heating down a bit.

KEEP IT IN CHECK

THE latest TV breakout hit is The Queen’s Gambit, which tells the story of a young orphan girl – played for most of the series by Anya Taylor-Joy – who becomes a chess grandmaster.

I’m enjoying it very much, especially because the chess games are realistic.

In most drama, players always look completely surprised when they are put into checkmate but, as I play a bit myself, I know that you can always see the end coming for about two hours.

Being surprised, therefore, is like being caught on the hop when you hear the guns of your firing squad go off.

WE'RE IN A WORLD OF SHUT

BET you’re looking forward to taking a holiday when all these coronavirus restrictions are finally lifted.

Well let’s hope it happens soon, because as we all hide under our beds, not even daring to talk to the postman, IS terrorists are very quietly – apart from the occasional large bang – taking over the world.

A terrifying map published by the Sun Online this week shows that while we weren’t looking, Islamist fanatics have already made half the planet a no-go area.

Just two years ago, we were filming a Grand Tour special in Mozambique and all seemed peaceful.

But now IS has rocked up and is busy tearing around the place cutting everyone’s head off.

Then we have the Middle East.

I filmed there ten years ago and thought how lovely it would be to go back to Syria on holiday one day. Ha! Fat chance of that now.

Almost all of North Africa is out. Bali is out. And the Government is even saying that a terrorist attack on tourist resorts in the Maldives is “likely”.

You might think of course that you’ll be fine if you stick to Europe, but look at what happened in Nice recently. And Vienna.

It’s a worry. Because when we are finally allowed out, there won’t be anywhere for us to go.

MY OWN SMALL REBELLION

I WAS on the Swindon ring road on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, so I pulled into a lay-by to spend two minutes in respectful silence.

However, because those two Extinction Rebellion half-wits had trampled over all the wreaths laid at the Cenotaph to make some idiotic claims about climate change, I staged a small protest of my own . . . and kept the engine running.

CENOTAPH ROW

IF I’d rung Buckingham Palace last weekend to ask if Mrs Queen would lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on my behalf, I’m fairly sure they’d have politely told me to get lost.

Because I’m not a member of the Royal Family.

So why did Harry Markle think that someone should lay a wreath on his behalf?

Because he’s not a member of the Royal Family either.

HAVE A BLAST AT MY FARM

A CZECH carpenter was in court this week having been found trying to shoot pigeons with an air rifle in a public park near Bury, Lancs.

The judge said that if he had fired the gun, a member of the public could have been injured.

And that’s true. But it was only an air rifle so they wouldn’t have been very injured. And it’s immaterial anyway because he didn’t fire the gun.

Even so, the poor chap was given an eight- month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

You’re welcome to do that on my farm mate.

We’ve got one hell of a rat infestation that needs sorting out.

HOT WHEELS

AN Indian army officer broke a world record this week, having ridden his motorcycle through a 127-metre tunnel of fire.

Sadly he emerged from the run completely engulfed in flames and had to be rushed to hospital with severe burns.

Hmmm. And what exactly did he think would happen?

GERMAN'S WIN AGAIN

EVER since the world’s scientists set off in their headlong rush to develop a Covid- 19 vaccine, people have been speculating ­excitedly on who would win the race.

I don’t know what we were thinking because it was always going to be the Germans. And sure enough, it was.

I honestly do not know why we don’t just put them in charge of ­everything.

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