Gordon Brown's roadshows about "Britishness" are such a flop that the government are paying people to turn up.
Just ten ordinary members of the public have gone to the eight debates held so far.
Desperate civil servants have paid 455 people between £75 and £85 each to be 'an invited member of the public' - adding up to more that £35,000. The events so far have cost an estimated £1 million.
The first debate, hosted by Jack Straw in Leicester two years ago, attracted 21 local councillors - but none came to the latest two events in Gateshead and Birmingham last month.
Shadow justice minister Eleanor Laing, who forced the Ministry of Justice to reveal the figures, said "The public has spoken: Gordon Brown's Britishness roadshow is a colossal waste of money."
I wonder if they pay travelling expenses too. It was around -8 here last night so an away day isn't too bad an idea right now.