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The speech to the secondary heads' conference last week by George Haggarty, the incoming president, has added to the culinary metaphors for the structure of local government in Scotland.

Readers will recall the contribution by Sandy Watson, a former general secretary of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, who told further education leaders in June that the confusing patchwork of local authorities, health boards, enterprise companies and police and fire boards was referred to as "porridge" in the Highlands, "muesli in Edinburgh and "mince" in Glasgow. A cultural tour de force.

Now, according to Haggarty, we are to think of the 32 varieties of local council as a recipe more akin to "chutney." As a Dundee man, he knows his mince.

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