And the hackery chuckled heartily

16th February 2001 at 00:00
IT was the Department for Education and Employment's big day out. Everybody who was anybody had been invited to Downing Street to explain their jolly new "five-year plan" for getting rid of those dashed awful "bog-standard comprehensives". What fun!

In swept David Blunkett through the hallowed portal of Number 10, accompanied by his ever-present courtier, Conor Ryan. As they passed the fourth estate crammed into Number 10's lobby, Sir Conor whispered: "To your lft, are the assembled ranks of the press." Baron Blunkett gave a deep and sweeping bow before hastening towards the King's quarters.

Next came two more minor royals, education junior ministers Estelle Morris and Jacqui Smith, only to find their path to the inner sanctum barred by a stern-looking footman. "Are you press?" he boomed. Ms Morris fixed the underling with a stare and hissed: "No. Minister" before hastening away before the chuckling hackery.

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