Devon County Council has said that it will dock the pay of teachers who are stranded overseas. They are not the only council. Hammersmith and Fulham, another Tory-led administration, is likely to do the same, having asked headteachers for lists of those have not reported for work. The thousands of people who have been unable to get home, the result of a volcanic eruption in Iceland that forced the closure of British airspace, have already maxed out their credit cards. Their prolonged stays have hardly been enjoyable, given the daily requirement to spend hours in an airport, on a bus or in a rented car, being ripped off every which way. This latest news adds only insult to injury. Yet this is not solely the petty jealously of small minded locals who believe teachers get all the perks. It instead provides an indicator of what a Cameron government would be like, and demonstrates that when it comes to knowing the true value of the public sector (and of those who work in it), the Tories haven't a clue. It was shadow chancellor George Osborne, after all, who recently praised Devon as a council that he and David Cameron could learn from: "When it comes to rooting out waste and cutting costs, or improving services through innovative new policies, Conservative councils are showing us that it can be done." At least now we have a better idea about his definition of "waste".