WHETHER or not the bosses of water companies deserve to be pilloried over the amounts they are paid and bonuses they receive, I had to smile at at least one report into the debate this week.

Southern Water chairman Colin Hood came under attack for his £950,000 salary and the fact his water authority is imposing a hosepipe ban in areas here in the south, but not Hampshire.

Naughty, naughty Mr Hood, that you should earn so much when you cannot influence God to make it rain more often.

But worse than that, Mr Hood was pilloried because he could avoid the hosepipe ban by drawing unlimited amounts of water from the river which runs at the end of his garden, at least one national newspaper trumpeted.

Shocking. Only the gardening question, in fact the house in question, is in Scotland where not only is there no hosepipe ban but nor is there ever likely to be one so wet is the climate.

The cost of water, how we can improve delivery, and how much we pay our water bosses are valid points for discussion. But let us not drown these issues in silly, muddied waters.