Elementary politics

Now we know which subject most turned Peter Peacock off at school: chemistry, a failing for which he apologised to fellow Labour MSP Elaine Murray (a former university lecturer in chemistry) in his recent evidence on curriculum reform to the Scottish Parliament's education committee.

Under interrogation from committee convener Robert Brown about the future for modern languages after the Scottish Executive's curriculum review, Peacock made a further confession - he also hated French at school, because of the way it was taught.

So what did this "disengaged learner", as our resident psychologist Alan McLean might describe him, actually like? History, PE and engineering drawing, he said.

Clearly, all useful preparation for a ministerial career.

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