Lansley the Leveller should be saying his prayers, according to the joshing banter and bonhomie around our Joint Consultative Committee table.

Makes you a bit nostalgic really. Oh for the halcyon days of the Joint Shop Stewards Committee locking themselves up for a two hour pre-meeting, then opening the door to allow the unit administrator to cut their way through a blanket of smoke and sit down for a bun fight about compulsory competitive tendering and the quality of the subsidised lunch. All a bit anodyne these days, what with partnership this and partnership that, as well as full agreement on the need to relaunch and enforce the no smoking policy.

But maybe we’re back, what with Ed Milibandski and the Boyos cracking open the beer and sandwiches, union membership through the roof and even the British Medical Association starting to kick up rough about this GP commissioning lark. (Sorry! The BMA is no more trade union than the Local Medical Committee. And the Pope is not Catholic).

Or maybe not, given the agenda for this week’s water and fruit affair. OK, I accept that the chairman picking up the Innovator of the Year award raised a few eyebrows (particularly since he chairs the awards panel), but did we really need to spend the whole two hours on the review of the staff achievement awards? And to pre-empt any debate about the minutes, I am very clear we did not agree that (i) Trade Union Activist of the Year would become a new category (ii) providing alcohol would be a good way of getting the party going or (iii) if we really cared about the staff then next year’s ceremony would be held at the Hilton.

Because you know what? We’re not changing a thing. Frankly, I don’t know what the Going the Extra Mile category actually means. And I certainly don’t know how Matilda Dilworth won the Achieving Customer Excellence award given that she walks around the place with a face like a bashed crab.