Letters extra: what nightmare, Mr Blunkett?

18th May 2001 at 01:00

David Blunkett said during his last parliamentary questions ( TES May 4) that he found the left-wingers at the NUT conference in Cardiff a "nightmare".

I must have attended a different conference, because I saw a Secretary of State well up to the job of playing to the journalist gallery.

I think Mr Blunkett must have been be thinking of the measured and devastating comments of the new NUT president, John Illingworth. As Mr Blunkett sat down after his uninspiring speech, his crass inability to address important issues was exposed by the incisiveness of the president. The positive campaigning and professional co-operation with education agencies and the NUT's contribution to educational research would go unreported, Mr Illingworth said. He was right.

David Smale
Secretary, National Union of Teachers, Plymouth division

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