FEW potatoes of local concern have been hotter of late than the changing of the guard at Argyll and Bute Council.

Whether or not you approve of the new regime, whether or not you preferred the ancien variety, I think council tax payers should be given more respect than having their future, and their budgeting, predicated on whether the incumbents or the challengers have the ability to get lucky with a cut of the cards.

It seems from where I’m sitting that it turns a fairly vital process, in terms of the many and varied council responsibilities, into little more than a conjuring trick.

On the meat and bones of it all I can, irritatingly, see both sides. I recognise that councils have long been underfunded and endlessly asked to do more with less. This is not a dilemma peculiar to us, either, with some heavy duty councils down south essentially going bust.

On the other hand, I can readily sympathise with those who say that a big hike in council tax is both unfair and unaffordable for families who are already struggling to keep the family finances in the black.

Just ask the folks at the local food banks how tough the last few years have been for families who may have at least one wage coming in but still have far too much month left at the end of their money.

There are no winners here, however you cut the deck.

The trial of Donald J Trump – the one of four criminal court appearances his briefs were unable to postpone – will only take place in a four day week. Apparently the judge has another commitment on Wednesdays.

I hope it’s more important than a weekly golf four, since I can’t think of anything much more crucial than preventing this old fraud from getting his mitts on the White House and a second chance to be a human wrecking ball.

Not so very many years ago, candidates could get thrown off the ticket for crying in public, having a nubile fan sit on their knee, or getting caught with their pants down when not with their missus.

Yet here we have a bloke who has no respect for his own constitution, who orchestrated a riot in Congress, who has a more than shaky relationship with the truth, and yet his party seem too feart to point any of this out. For fear, it seems, of alienating the rag bag of nutters and conspiracy theorists who comprise his base.

America has always been more right wing than the UK. But its two major parties could at least be called respectable and borderline rational. No more.