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Mass distraction

A telling juxtaposition at the post-16 conference at the Cafe Royal, London last week.

As an uneasy mixture of sharp suits and corduroy talked FE and milled around Charles Clarke, gold braid and shiny boots were the order of the day on the floor above. At this alternative conference - cryptically titled "Partnering Alliances" - arms dealers were pushing their wares of mass destruction to the military.

"There seemed to be an awful lot more money sluicing around on their floor than on ours," moaned one of the education people.

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