DAVID Blunkett's reading of the riot act to local authorities was not the only highlight of last week's North of England bash. Much amusement was to be had observing NUT delegates trying to cover up their conference bags - said bags being emblazoned with the logo of their deadly rivals and conference sponsors, the NASUWT.
And Don Foster, Liberal Democrat education spokesman, maintained his conference tradition by unveiling his new Chris Woodhead joke. The Diary won't trouble you with it - partly because it's too long (it concerns HMCI and walking on water) but mainly because Don promises to tell it at every conference he addresses this year.
Don, by the way, is looking for a new gag-writer - (a post thinly-disguised as a researcher - applications to the House of Commons please). The Diary can only say: he needs one.