Arthur Sixpence has gone on to other things and his place is taken by one of a cohort of private sector business analysts who've been brought in to add a professional gloss to the doings of Helminthdale Council. The effect has been electrifying.
Milton and I have been comparing notes over cups of Bovril.
"How many 'phone calls have you had for him today?"
"Three: two asking to 'clarify the situation with the licences' and one asking for more information about what licences are needed. How about you?"
"Two: one asking for clarification and one asking if the order for the licences needs to go to us."
"Why would it?"
"God knows. I just said that it needs to be sent to the supplier, like we told him last autumn."
"And twenty-odd times in January... It's not like we ever tell him anything any different."
"And this is for them going live next Monday..."
"Is it true that you lost your rag with him last week?"
"Yes. I think I'll have to keep you away from him or you'll be hitting him."
Shit. Make that four times.