DORSET was well represented in the anti-cuts protest in London at the weekend and given the scale of what the county council alone has to do – £55m to be hacked from the budget in the next three years – that was only to be expected.

Equally predictable was the fact that a minority of troublemakers ensured yet again that the headlines were about violence and criminal damage, rather the size of the demonstration and the scale of the cuts.

The antics of the few overshadowed the legitimate and necessary protest of the many and it was another embarrassing episode. No-one can seriously argue that there shouldn’t be any cuts. But the big question is the extent of future public sector reform, which will be critical in the long term with an ageing population and the three ticking timebombs of pensions, health and social care.

So far, there isn’t much sign of a proper debate on that.

*Flight Lieutenant Leigh Mitchelmore who grew up in Christchurch and 13 fellow RAF serviceman were killed over Afghanistan in a patched-up plane that should never been allowed to leave the ground.

To the surprise of many, because it doesn’t happen very often, military investigators have concluded there’s enough evidence to charge a senior RAF officer responsible for Nimrod safety. Perhaps justice for the 14 families will be done after all.