Quote unquote;Jotter

1st May 1998 at 01:00
Politicians may dislike having quotes flung back at them. But Brian Wilson was even more annoyed last week as a misquote was thrown his way barely minutes after he had uttered it.

The Education Minister had been addressing Catholic secondary heads at their annual chinwag in Crieff. Anne Marie Fagan, the head of John Ogilvie High in Hamilton, thought she had spotted a ministerial accusation of falling standards in schools.

A veritable misquote, Wilson retorted. "I took it down in shorthand," Fagan replied triumphantly. As a journalist to trade, the Minister is a practitioner of that art as well. But he had no need of it on this occasion.

The prepared text said it all: "There was concern, not about falling educational standards, but about how the standards our children achieved in schools had declined in relation to our economic competitors in other countries." So there: it was all relative.

Wilson helpfully suggested a refresher course in shorthand.

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