Keir Bloomer, scourge of teachers' conditions and acting chief executive in Clackmannan, stepped into the lions' den of the Educational Institute of Scotland's education conference last weekend.
Enjoying a coffee in the ante-room, Bloomer spied a menu advertising lunch.
"I am pleased to say I wasn't on it," he cracked, although references to a "shaved turkey" may have carried some intent.
Bloomer observed that the three Es mantra of Tony Blair had in fact been a Tory policy. "John Major shared the priorities, although he questioned the order," he suggested caustically.
Margaret Nicol, union vice-president, thanked Bloomer in customary fashion. "It's always a pleasure to listen to you and - today - what you have to say."