LYING flat on my back on the Guildhall Square, I was supposed to be pretending to be dead.

But with two puzzled dogs continually sniffing my face to see if I was alright, I couldn’t help laughing.

A die-in, they call it. A favoured tactic of Extinction Rebellion activists drawing attention to the gloomy future for humanity if we don’t take better care of our planet.

It reminded me of that game of ‘dead bugs’ that’s so useful in controlling overexcited children at birthday parties.

It wasn’t quite how I’d envisaged ending up when Mr Riddle and I, plus Poppy the laid-back lurcher and Teddy the anxious whippet, joined the hundreds of good-humoured participants in Friday’s Climate Strike procession.

For stuffy old Salisbury it was a remarkable turnout, and the reaction from those we passed as we marched – or more accurately, shuffled - through the city centre was generally supportive.

And that’s where I’m afraid I have to take issue with John Glen.

I don’t often do so, and I don’t often bother looking at Twitter, either (I value my sanity) but someone drew my attention to one particular tweet of his, and on this occasion our MP struck the wrong note.

He said: “Extremely proud of our record on climate change.

“No need for anyone to skip school today when we have decarbonised the economy at the fastest rate in the G20 since 2000 and we were the first major economy to set a legally binding net zero target.”

Firstly, I’d say that this was a rather patronising tone to adopt towards the very clued-up young people who played a leading role in Friday’s protest and whose future depends on what we oldies do now.

They understand that it isn’t just what happens in Britain that matters.

With the likes of presidents Trump in America and Bolsonaro in Brazil denying that climate change even exists, and the Chinese still building hundreds of coal-fired power stations, our little nation’s “net zero target” – and it’s only a target – is not enough.

This is an issue on which communities across the Earth – the one Earth upon which we all depend – have no choice but to work and campaign together to influence each other’s leaders. As they did on Friday.

Mr Glen’s tweet is also startlingly complacent.

How much of the reduction in Britain’s carbon emissions is due to the closure of so many of our manufacturing industries?

We now import the goods we used to make, and turn a blind eye to some other nation doing the dirty work for us.

The same attitude we’ve taken to dumping our plastic waste abroad for someone else to deal with.

Can I point out, finally, that our MP has long taken a special and praiseworthy interest in the struggle for human rights in the Maldives.

Yet these low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean are among the most vulnerable in the world to rising sea levels.