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Every minister likes to announce some goodies at the party conference and Brian Wilson upheld a fine tradition last weekend at Perth. Unfortunately, his funding bonus for Newbattle Abbey College and news of cash for reading materials and special needs had rather less impact than intended.

An itchy finger on the Scottish Information Office fax mistakenly sent details a day ahead of schedule and Wilson's big announcements were in the papers a day before he addressed the restless delegates.

He therefore revealed the package three times. Once through the department of oops-a-daisy, again to the Socialist Educational Association's fringe meeting and finally to the conference. The Government's top priorities are clearly on message, on message, on message.

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