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Empty but nice

Jim Gilchrist, the Tories' education spokesman in Edinburgh, was at his most politically combative when he launched into a defence of nursery vouchers at last week's education committee. Labour had failed to listen to parents and had demonstrated nothing but "empty rhetoric", Gilchrist thundered.

All too much for Elizabeth Maginnis, in the chair. "If anyone needs lessons on empty rhetoric, they need only listen to you," retorted the convener. "I do it well though," chirped Gilchrist.

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