It will have been a shock to many people to pick up their News Guardian and find it covered in a four-page wraparound from the Conservative Party.
The essence of local newspapers has always been that they remain politically neutral.
I speak as a former journalist who trained on one and who has remained loyal to her local weekly ever since.
This point the editor Paul Larkin attempted to underline with a statement to that effect on page 5.
However, the decision by the paper to allow the wraparound, which will have cost a considerable amount of money – the reason it was accepted by the paper – does not speak well in terms of local democracy. Neither does the content of the wraparound.
Whereas the four pages are devoted to beseeching people to vote Conservative on June 8, there is no mention at all of the local Conservative candidate.
I believe this treats democracy, and in particular local democracy, with complete contempt. The message, presumably, is that the actual candidate for whom people are being asked to vote, who will represent them and their concerns in Parliament, and in whom they are being asked to place their trust, is of no consequence whatsoever.
Something worth remembering on polling day.