Adonis's in-tray looks pretty ugly

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Andrew Adonis, new minister for city academies and London schools, has decided on a suitable title: Lord Adonis of Camden Town.

The modest peer is relieved that he can hire his ermine robes from an official known as Garter. Such now are the concerns of a man who once urged the destruction of the House of Lords as "a blow against the snobbery and anti-democratic imagery which still permeates Britain" to make way for an elected senate. He knows a lot about the place: his doctorate at Oxford was on the subject of politics and the peerage. Still, a chap's got to go where he's asked.

Perhaps mindful of the cruel jibe that he is "more Andrew than Adonis", the slender intellectual has given up the large spectacles that used to dominate his face. Has he, like Jack Straw, gone for contact lenses? Or has he bravely opted for laser treatment?

He will need good eyesight to cope with all the paper that threatens to engulf him. Just like the architect condemned to live in his own house, Lord Adonis may find dealing with some of his own wizard wheezes, notably academies, has its drawbacks. There are an awful lot of documents involved, the Sir Humphreys of the department report with relish.

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