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Life of Brian

Life will be so much quieter in these parts now that the rumbustious Brian Monteith has taken his boundless energies in the service of the Tory Party to local government and finance, being replaced in the education posting by the gentlemanly Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, the former Tory educa-tion minister.

As if. Just as we were contemplating this change, a press release landed on our desk from none other than Monteith, offering us his latest thoughts - on education.

The Tories' crafty spokesman for everything had spotted a loophole. The Audit Scotland report on special educational needs was about the costs of mainstreaming and patchy planning for it by education authorities. So who better to respond than the spokesperson for . . . finance and local government.

Expect more of the same. Meanwhile we await the first educational missive from Lord James.

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