Hart to heart

12th September 2003 at 01:00
Willie Hart, erudite secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland in Glasgow, can usually be depended on to come up with a pithy phrase and did not disappoint at the most recent education committee in the city.

Speaking in his capacity as a teachers' representative, Hart gave a guarded welcome to the council's pre-12 strategy (aka primary school closure programme), before finishing with a heart string-tugging plea.

"I trust the strategy will offer some reasonable opportunities for mature members of the service to retire with dignity", he said, delivered with a gravitas that would have had the proverbial glass eye watering copiously.

Not even Hart, however, with his long experience in the union that practically invented political correctness, could have bettered the description in the committee papers of decrepit primary buildings as "distressed andor challenged".

Surely this is the first time that PC has been deployed in deference to the sensitivities of inanimate objects.

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