Through the wringer at lunchtime on The Politics Show, interviewed by Richard Moss about the prospect of an elected mayor for Darlington.
My interview was preceded by a piece about Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon, and I watched his interview with his political agent. I've seen Richard's interviews often enough to know that he doesn't take any prisoners, but as he pinned Mallon on his record on crime, I was thinking "bloody hell" as I contemplated my turn.
Although there were a few interruptions and challenges, I tried to get across my key message that an elected Mayor dangerously concentrates power in one individual, at a time when local government is trying to act more pluralistically. The debate so far in Darlington, such as it's been, hasn't begun to properly consider this point, or indeed the fact that in at least 4 places in England where there are elected Mayors, residents are collecting signatures to return to the Cabinet and Scrutiny model!
In the three minutes allotted there wasn't time to talk about the loss of our 140-year-old ceremonial non-political Mayor if the proposal goes through, but this can be done at another time.
Elected Mayors are another gimmick of americanized politics shipped into the UK, and frankly their time has been and gone. After Monday, when the petition finally comes in, the debate proper can begin.