Radio 2 this morning. Matthew Bannister cues up his sub-Littlejohn call to housebound Little Englanders everywhere to reach for the phone and bark away about something. I paraphrase, but it went along these lines: "NHS workers are more likely than people in the private sector to ring in sick. Is that because people who work in the public sector are lazier?"
Ken Bruce, almost embarrassedly, popped his balloon with: "Or it could be those sick people they work with."
Yes, it could be that, couldn't it? (It could also be the ridiculously long hours and understaffing, but let's for a moment stick with the apparently inconceivable idea that if you come into contact with people who have contagious illnesses, then you may become ill).
No-one seems to have contemplated this simple idea. Or have they? Surely it's not difficult to understand. It's not as if NHS workers are being compared to private healthcare workers, is it? No, it's not. But, despite the simplicity of the argument against, you can expect reams of drivel to be poured out in the public-sector-hating press over the next day or so, about 'lazy' public sector workers (probably with 'gold-plated' pensions for a bonus rant).
You expect it from the likes of the Mail - in fact, here it is, look! - but the BBC? It strikes me that if you want to know where to find lazy taxpayer-funded workers, you might do well to start in a BBC newsroom.