I can't resist a quick comment on the news this morning that Middlesbrough is the worst town in which to live in the UK.
A quick glance at the list, compiled by Channel 4's Location, Location, Location, shows that no less than 7 of the top 20 worst towns in the country have elected Mayors. Joining Middlesbrough are Newham (3rd), Mansfield (9th), Hackney (12th), Stoke (13th), Doncaster (15th) and Hartlepool (20th).
The programme's website reveals that Middlesbrough was previously the 6th worst place last year and 5th worst place in 2005. Ray Mallon did warn the people of Darlington that elected Mayors have the power to "bring a town to its knees" but I don't suppose this was what he had in mind. All of the top 20 places to live have Leader and Cabinet arrangements - make of that what you will.
Ray's responded by declaring that Channel 4 and its researchers are enemies of the town - "and I treat enemies accordingly" whatever that means.
There is of course only one way to sort this out - Locations's own Phil Spencer and Robocop himself in a Celebrity Deathmatch. Let's get it on!!