THERE are times in my dealings with local government when I am irresistibly reminded of the late, great Kenneth Williams.

More particularly, of his immortal line as Julius Caesar in Carry On Cleo: “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!”

It’s been voted the funniest film one-liner.

It’s no laughing matter, though, when this is the knee-jerk response of every Conservative politician whose actions I or my colleagues happen to question.

I say Conservative purely because that is the party taking all the decisions about what happens at the moment.

I can’t question what Labour or the LibDems are deciding on our behalf, because they aren’t in a position to decide anything, or even to influence anything, thanks to our first-past-the-post system.

Back in my reporting days, I remember being invited to lunch in the County Hall staff canteen by a Wiltshire Council PR officer during a break in a marathon meeting that I was covering.

Back at the door to the council chamber afterwards, I found myself being accused by local Tory councillors of “lunching with the opposition” – a heinous crime, wouldn’t you say?

One of them (I won’t embarrass him by naming him) even wrote to the Journal griping about it. Yes, really, that’s what some of them are like.

Clearly, since I’d not been in the same room as them, they’d added two and two together and made five.

Let’s hope that’s not how they work out their budget!

It didn’t bother me much, I simply stored it away for future reference – and there you are, I knew it’d come in handy one day. It was a classic example of that tribal mentality that I’m always complaining about.

Recently, when I criticised the ill-fated proposal to close the tourist information office, it surfaced again. “She hates the Tories,” a Guildhall Gang member informed one of my fellow journalists.

I don’t hate ‘The Tories’. I quite like some of them. The ones with good manners.

I don’t hate anyone.

But I do feel very strongly about a great deal of what has been done to our city by people in power at all levels who happen, at this point in history, to be Conservatives.

And I am disgusted by the contempt that the possession of a majority seems to engender for any other point of view.

It’s so easy to simply dismiss those who ask awkward questions by saying we’ve got it in for their party.

It’s insulting the intelligence of the public – although sadly I suspect that most of my fellow-citizens gave up giving a damn a long time ago.

And it’s not real leadership, which consists among other things in persuading people by your own example that you are worthy of their trust.

Sermon over. I’m off to the airfield planning appeal.