Tommy Farrell, East Ayrshire's wily education convener, has always been rather proud of his council's close links with parents, particularly the appointment of a parent rep to the education committee. That was until last week.
Andy Torrance is a senior BT manager and chose to exercise his independence as parent rep by voting with the SNP over a nursery school row at Galston.
Over an amicable chat afterwards, Torrance sought to make amends. "I suppose that's me off the Christmas card list?" he asked.
"Christmas card list? You'll be lucky to see Christmas," chided Labour's fixer.