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Biting back;Jotter

Two luminaries from the past have risen from the backbenches to enter ongoing controversies. Ian Davidson, Glasgow Pollok's Labour MP and former Strathclyde education chairman, was moved to denounce posh East Renfrewshire for building brand new schools and enticing people away from his Glasgow constituency, which borders the socialist republic.

Then Michael Connarty, the Falkirk East Labour MP and sometime president of the Educational Institute of Scotland in Central Region, entered the lists to condemn senior chief inspector Douglas Osler and Scottish Office officials.

Some 55 circulars had gone out to education authorities from the Scottish Office recently, he thundered in an impressively well researched letter which he has sent to all directors and conveners. "Hopefully he will rein in his chief HMI and departmental officials."

Connarty had already raised this matter with Education Minister Brian Wilson in the Commons. If any unnecessary letters have been sent out to schools, Wilson responded diplomatically, "I shall ensure that the flow is reduced".

Let's hear more from the silent majority on the Labour backbenches.

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