Etiquette guide a gift for the media

YOU have to hand it to Aberdeenshire Council: they have issued journalists hopefully helpful comprehensive guidance on how they should behave at council committee meetings. The document, distributed these last few days, is designed to provide the press with “some useful information on the do’s and don’ts concerning committee meetings”.

And among the useful pieces of advice is clarification that “the recording of audio is not permitted during committee meetings”. The document adds: “Interviews should not be held inside committee rooms while meetings are ongoing.”

But might it be a tad too precise? As in classrooms across the country, the document decrees that “the use of mobile phones is not permitted”.

There’s advice too on arriving at meetings late and when it would be impolite to leave a meeting still in session.

As one recipient wryly observes: “It does fail to clarify if you should put your hand up if you need the toilet.”