The best of last night's telly wasn't the unedifying spectacle of former ministers pimping themselves like Portsmouth brutes, promising a fake PR company a good time in return for £3k a day, thereby confirming that politics is indeed a profession, and the oldest one to boot. No, the best was the preceding hour, and Anthony Seldon's take on 'trust'.
For Simon Jenkins, doyen of Localism, it must have been a busy time. Documentaries are like buses - nothing for ages, then two come along at the same time. First, Portillo's take on mending our broken democracy on Saturday, then Bliar's erstwhile biographer Seldon last night.
The answer that Jenkins gently steered both men towards was the same; only a mass devolution of power from Whitehall to village hall will restore faith and trust in democracy. This is fast becoming something of a revealed truth, lacking only the revisionist backlash docu promoting central Statism as the best way forward, with Gordon Brown and Ed Balls speaking in support.
Localism, it seems, is going mainstream. When I started this blog back in 2007 to promote Localism and condemn the loathsome political class, the former was something a bit cranky; the recommendations of the first 'Power' enquiry, a seminal paper on big-bang Localism by Simon Jenkins and a few academic essays, and a few bloggers. Then Hannan and Carswell published a neat little book that embraced Localist principles, and finally Dave now includes it in his speeches although it's clear that as yet neither Eric or the rest of team Cameron know what it is. Still, progress indeed.
BBC iPlayer links for both programmes below
Michael Portillo: Power to the People
Anthony Seldon: Trust politics