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Nigel: de new Woodhead?

Is Diary favourite Nigel de Gruchy getting a touch demob happy as his time at the top of the NASUWT nears its conclusion?

Never famous for his reticence with the media, he confided to the Cambridge Union recently that he felt more able to "speak my mind" in the twilight of his reign. Just to make the point, he fired off a broadside at "lax" teachers in the 1970s that would have done Chris Woodhead proud.

Mr de Gruchy has kept Diary readers entertained with offers to act as "industrial action consultant" to the newly-radicalised headteacher unions as they do battle over pay. (His first recommendation is for the Secondary Heads Association, or SHA, to rename itself SHANT!) This week he has surprised us again: the NASUWT now has a foreign policy. Returning from a trip to Gibraltar last week, Mr de Gruchy wanted to discuss the rights of citizens, rather than mere teachers.

"Britain is selling Gibraltar down the river just so Tony Blair can get into bed with the right-wing Spanish prime minister," the new statesman explained.

He emphatically backed self-determination for Gibraltarians. The sighs of relief could apparently be heard right across The Rock.

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