AFTER ash closed the airways for a week, leaving the skies over Europe remarkably free of pollution and those people living next door to airports sighing with relief, my Green Party chum Charlie said, “It was such a good experience I think it should be extended in other ways.

“Why not close the internet every Thursday?”

Like the shut-down of air travel, this would not affect everybody but, by heck, it would cause a lot of people, in what is laughingly viewed as civilised society, a lot of problems – me included.

Instead of bashing off an email I would have to actually write a letter, with pen and ink, and post it and, cut off from my umbilical broadband connection, I would have to go onto the office and write this column rather than cogitate over it in the privacy of my own home (they can't touch you for it) and send it by the press of a button.

What if, taking this Green concept another step further, we banned motor engines on Mondays, meaning all cars and buses had to remain in their garages and everyone had to use either bicycles, horses, Shanks's Pony, trains or wind-powered skateboards.

We could ban trains on Tuesdays but I'm not sure if anyone would notice.

I would be all in favour of banning mobile phones on Wednesdays if only to wander round town looking at how helpless young people would be having to walk somewhere without the comfort of a telephonic or text connection. Slack faces, wide eyes, dropped jaws. It would be like the land of the living disconnected. “Sorry, this line is dead.”

Oh, the fun we could have, banning things. The people we could annoy.

“How about we ban TV, pubs and curry at weekends?” said my wife Maria, who has been known to have a radical streak.

Now hang on. We can do without planes, trains, automobiles, the world wide web and mobile phones, and soldier on with that Dunkirk spirit, but please.

The majority of the male population of this nation demands all day TV sport on Saturdays and Sundays, a few beers and a chicken balti big enough to finish cold for breakfast. Withdraw those immutable rights and there could be riots in the street.