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Things have come to a pretty pass when a teachers' ballot which could pave the way for industrial action is held up by, er, industrial action. For the West Lothian postal dispute threatened to throw a spanner in the works, although it turned out all right on the night.

At least the heartbeat of the Educational Institute of Scotland HQ in Moray Place will have kept abreast of developments - general secretary Ronnie Smith lives in West Lothian and his wife teaches there.

Funnily enough David Eaglesham, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, lives in West Lothian too, and also has the benefit of a wife who is a member of the EIS -a perfectly balanced household.

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