Okay, so it's a five year old story recently given new legs. But I couldn't let the week pass without commenting in some way on the fresh attempts by Her Majesty's Press Association to put regional lobby journalists out of work by offering to take over their jobs.
This story has been extensively covered by the UK Press Gazette, and also, in one of his less distinguished moments, by Guido Fawkes, who appears to take the side of PA by suggesting that its service can be provided for "a fraction of the cost of having your own lobby correspondent drinking in the bar all day."
I won't dignify that with a response, but the fact is PA has been trying to do this for five years. One of my former editors received a letter from PA encouraging him to sack me as long ago as 2001, but thankfully, it went straight in the bin as, like most editors, he realised that good regional political coverage depends on being able to work a single patch well and not try to juggle four in the air at once as PA's "Lobby Extra" service attempts to do.
As the Express and Star's John Hipwood said: "Times are hard and all regional newspapers need to look closely at their costs. But you do not improve the situation by removing your own Lobby correspondent, making do with an inferior alternative and thereby reducing the quality of your product." All power to your elbow, John.