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'Too old to learn'

LIFELONG learning was also on the Beijing agenda, but while Blunkett espoused its joys, a knife was being stuck in his back.

Peter Mandelson has a habit of treading on toes when he gives speeches in Northern Ireland. Last month he alarmed Gordon Brown telling Ulster business leaders how good the Ero was.

Now, striking a blow against Blunkett's vision of octogenarians at the OU, he told pupils at the opening of a new school in County Armagh: "This wasn't built for your teachers or your parents or your politicians - we're much too old to learn anything". Tsk-tsk. Very off-message.

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