The limits of localism
Joined-up thinking Eric Pickles style:
"We Tories are the party of localism. We want councils taking decisions, not Whitehall.
But if you as as elected local councillors want to run a local council newspaper because your local paper is rubbish, has a very low circulation, and doesn't tell people anything about council services, local events or good news because it's editor thinks only crime shifts copies, you can't. Because I say so. Independent local newspapers are so essential we are going to force local councils to subsidise them through sticking statutory notices and job adverts in them even if that doesn't represent best value for money because fewer people read it than would a council freesheet delivered to every home.
Moreover, please don't let yourselves think that you as elected local councillors can decide what jobs you'd like your council staff to include. Particularly if they have the kind of silly pseudy job titles the Daily Mail and bluff Yorkshiremen like me find wildly amusing - you know, anything with the word "co-ordinator" or "communications" in it. Even if posh job titles help get people to apply to do what are actually worthy but dull jobs, usually about encouraging your residents to hit the targets set by me in Whitehall. I reserve the right as Secretary of State to interfere in the titles given by individual councils to very junior staff and make knee-jerk judgements about the value to the public purse of roles I've not bothered to look into, whilst pulverising the morale of some poor graduate trying to encourage more recycling or get the local youths to play football instead of shooting each other. Clearly this is a priority for me as a Cabinet Minister.
And please don't let yourselves think that you as elected local councillors can decide to place adverts for jobs in the Society section of the Guardian, even though everyone looking for that kind of job knows that's where you look. An independent press at a national level which might scrutinise us as a government is definitely a luxury not a necessity and there is no way we are prepared to see it being kept commercially viable through you lot advertising jobs with silly posh job titles in it. Instead we will make you all put adverts on a big website featuring a big picture of big Eric.
I hope that is now clear and you will now obey our national instructions to implement our new localist philosophy."