Pulling the strings on Kelly Island

26th August 2005 at 01:00
Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Thunderbirds are go... to the Department for Education and Skills. The latest issue of sarky comic Viz features a spot-on parody of a DfES initiative: bowing to parent power by changing the answers to the eight times table. Its most memorable touch is a description of Ruth Kelly as "Thunderbird-faced" with a caption explaining that the Education Secretary resembles the puppet series' Virgil Tracy. It is an intriguing comparison, particularly as David Miliband, the former education minister (and Kelly's ex-boyfriend), also had a Thunderbirds nickname.

Civil servants called him "Brains" after one of Virgil's sidekicks.

But Diary is not sure the comparison is entirely fair. While she may have Virgil's eyebrows, the Kellster's hair more closely resembles that of his younger brother, Adam Tracy. Fellow education ministers Jacqui Smith and Beverley Hughes will soon be scrapping over who gets to play Lady Penelope.

And what of Andrew Adonis? It would be tempting to highlight similarities between the peer and balding baddie The Hood... except that Lord Adonis is clearly Gerry Anderson, the guy pulling the strings.

(Diary would like to note that it was only reading Viz because it needed a break after reading the in-depth report in the latest volume of Technology, Pedagogy and Education on "Uruguayan Teachers' Use of Email".)

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