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Caught sneaking

Sometimes the Educational Institute of Scotland can be too clever for its own good. The union rushed out a press release to coincide with the education White Paper, denouncing its "irrelevance". The problem was it was issued before the White Paper - a neat trick if you can get away with it.

The EIS, alas, gave the game away by referring to "early press speculation" about the document's contents. It might have been better to pretend it knew for sure what the proposals were.

The union's pre-emptive strike was loftily dismissed by Michael Forsyth at the White Paper's launch: "I was always taught at school to read something before commenting on it."

The EIS, he could not forbear from mentioning, "represents the teaching profession - or some teachers".

On his lips, the union which is arguably the most powerful in Scotland if not the UK sounds positively like a disease.

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