All at sea

THRESHOLD in disarray, pound;12 billion spending review, Blunkett found moonlighting as a landlord - and where is the man who could thread us through this maze? Conor Ryan, Blunkett's spin chief, is nowhere to be seen. He's got two weeks off for holiday and jury service. The spin is clearly that this is a non-spin budget.

Perhaps Michael Barber can help explain the new spending plans? Nope - he headed off on holiday almost as soon as Gordon Brown sat down.

And where was David Blunkett on Monday whe questions were asked in the Commons about the threshold fiasco? En route to London, apparently. He told the world on Radio 4 that he accepted the blame, but it was Estelle Morris who toughed it out in the House.

Just to be even-handed, we could ask where Doug McAvoy was when the National Union of Teachers recorded its triumph (and his fellow union general secretaries appeared before the Commons select committee). He too was away, in the States. We know it's summer, but what is going on?


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