Sir Michael Lyons' roar too late for Birmingham
Sir Michael Lyons is rapidly emerging as the man of action who forced plodding old Auntie BBC to face up to a storm of public protest over the foul-mouthed antics of presenters Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.
Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, is reported in national newspapers to have insisted that the corporation fast-track its handling of the fiasco.
Sources close to Sir Michael said he had decided the BBC was being damaged by what was seen as a sluggish response and that waiting for a scheduled meeting of the trust's Editorial Standards Committee was "not good enough".
Gosh. if only Sir Michael had shown the same ability to kick-butt when he was the chief executive of Birmingham City Council.
His seven years at the helm, from 1994 to 2001, saw Britain's largest local authority unable to escape from a downward spiral which, shortly after Lyons departed, resulted in the Government giving serious consideration to removing the incompetent and failing social services and housing departments from council control.
Staff sickness levels were among the highest in the country, while the backlog of work in the housing repairs unit ran into tens of thousands.
At one stage, the repairs unit was losing ÃÂ£1.1 million a month, prompting Sir Michael to warn about the "short, sharp shock" of privatisation.
Examination pass rates in city schools were poor, although beginning to improve, and the council found itself on the receiving end of damaging complaints alleging racial discrimination against employees.
Sir Michael must, of course, be given credit for playing a major role in getting huge construction projects such as Millennium Point and the Bullring off the ground, as well as understanding and encouraging Birmingham's transformation into a major conference venue.
He would no doubt make the point that his capacity for decisive action was always limited by political considerations.
There is something to be said for this. Sir Michael's period in charge coincided with a fractious, split Labour group whose control of the council was overshadowed by endless disputes between left and right and all political shades in-between.
Sir Albert Bore, who became council leader in 1999, faced regular challenges to his authority from colleagues who wanted his job, often hanging on by fewer than a handful of votes. There were indeed times when it was difficult to say who, if anyone, was in charge.
Coupled with this, Sir Michael also had to deal in 2000 with what was described as a "corrosive" whispering campaign by councillors questioning his ability to run the council and moaning about a pay rise which put his salary at ÃÂ£155,000.
It cannot have been an easy or particularly pleasant task to have been chief executive at that time.
Could Sir Michael have done more? Should he have done more?
Answers to these questions, if you please.