No, not the Daily Mail doorstepping me again, but waiting to have my hair cut gave me a chance to read the Mirror, Sun and Express in the barber's shop.
In The Sun an article that referred to 'pop pervert Jonathan King' curiously omitted to mention that the convicted paeodophile is a former Sun columnist.
In the Express there was an opinion piece by right-wing commentator Leo McKinstry bemoaning the high salaries paid to local authority chief executives.
Ho hum! I am not one who thinks that all criticism of bloated bureaucracies in local councils is just right-wing propaganda. And it is frustrating when people who have conspicuously failed in one high-profile role go on to an even higher-paid job.
But even shorn of the empowerment executives and community cohesion co-ordinators that McKinstry bemoans, local authorities are still significant organisations because they collect refuse, clean streets, mend roads, run education, social services and planning departments etc. The extent of the frilly bits is often exaggerated. I imagine it would be pretty hard to find anyone remotely capable of doing the job to be willing to run, say, Birmingham City Council for the average national wage, or whatever similar amount McKinstry thinks is appropriate.
Of course, McKinstry's view will be coloured by his period as a member of the majority Labour group on the appallingly-run Islington Councilin the early 90s. Freed of his responsibilities by the electorate (he lost his seat to the Lib Dems) in 1994, I imagine he is not really in touch with how local government has changed in the last decade – in Islington more so than in most areas thanks to Steve Hitchens and his Lib Dem team.