Pete Barron, the respected editor of the Northern Echo, can be relied upon to choose his words with care. He knows his opinion, and that of his paper, matter in the North East. He is capable of dismaying politicians of all parties with his trenchent comment.
So his blog piece today on Nissan was particularly telling. Pete makes the point that without the robust support of Regional Development Agency One North East, it is difficult to imagine the investment from Nissan having been secured with such speed. The only alternative to an RDA is a myriad of local authorities pulling in their own directions.
The Tories, of course have a long-standing antipathy towards the RDAs - not because they are not effective - patently they are - but because of their own obsession with regionalism and the European Union. It's a classic example of a party's internal dogma working against what is in the best interests of the people it professes to care about.
Don't expect the Tories to change their spots anytime soon on the RDA's - hatred of anything regional is seared into the party's rassroots' political DNA. Maybe the Nissan development will help reinforce to North East voters, however, that the Tories have nothing to offer them at the General Election.