Teachers' new friend
Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister to address a classroom teachers' conference in the 131-year history of state education. The language was ameliorative.
Sensibly, early acknowledgment was paid to the "critical importance" of teachers in determining the nation's future prosperity. An equally early trbute was made to teachers' skills, dedication and sheer hard work.
Praise was rightly given to the way that David Blunkett had steered the Government's education reforms over the last four years. Indeed, a cynic might describe it as "a bog-standard election speech" - but that would be unfair.
Leader, April 13