There are few laughs to be had in a Parish Council election.
But the absence of what we were once expected to view as the power couple of Neil Fleming and Brynnen Ririe, not only as candidates, but as even so much as signatories to nomination papers, has tickled me even more than did the announcement of an all-women shortlist to succeed Hilary Armstrong on the day after Fleming had had the local press report him as the candidate.
Fleming was made Chairman of Lanchester Parish Council after he had not only failed to hold a Labour seat on the old District Council in 2003, but had taken a distinguished Labour Councillor down with him. In 2007, he very nearly lost his own Parish Council seat. He did not complete the term, since he moved out of the Parish and in with the Ririe.
However, he and the Ririe are back now. Although they are not permitted to make the voters aware of even so much as their existence. Alas, therefore, I fear that I shall forever be denied the opportunity to beat Fleming in an election to a principal authority. That I would certainly do so is why that is the case.