The Diary has often marvelled at the efficiency of Her Majesty's Opposition. Who can forget spokesman Graham Brady's hard questioning about the costs of a minister's visit to Brazil that, er, only happened in his imagination?
But the excellence of Tory education thinking extends to the backbenches, as Bognor Regis MP Nick Gibb made clear in the Commons last week. Reaching the climax of his questioning of minister Stephen Twigg, Gibb began quoting a mysterious figure called Ryan Conor, former special adviser to the department, who didn't think much of the literacy strategy. Excellent point, Nick, but who is Ryan Conor? Could the well-briefed Opposition be referring to Conor Ryan, David Blunkett's former spin doctor?