Over at the Daily Express, the very latest in "you couldn't make it up" nanny statism: plans are afoot to make every dog owner in Britain pay up to £600 a year for puppy insurance, as the government tries to clamp down on dangerous dogs. Doesn't matter if you've got a miniature schnauzer, doesn't matter if you've had harmless Rufus for a dozen years and all he does is snooze by the fire – according to this hare-brained scheme, you'd have to cough up to cover the costs of the nutter who breeds bazooka-bearing bulldogs.
We have managed to own dogs in this country for hundreds of years without any tax or insurance requirement.
There’s a reason why the saying is ‘One man and his dog’ and not ‘One man, his dog and his third-party liability’. This policy is absurd and completely disproportionate.
But I don't think it will actually happen. You can tax us to high heaven, you can authorise bullying policemen to push us from pillar to post – people in this country just take it. But any man who messes with the great British pet is a fool – they simply won't manage to enforce this one.
This essential part of many families will be happily uninsured long after this government is history.
By Alex Deane