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The war cry

CHRISTMAS doves of peace in Hammersmith and Fulham beware. For those not already aware of the hawkish nature of John McIntosh, head of the London Oratory grant-maintained school, conclusive proof arrives.

Readers of the Observer newspaper on Sunday may have been surprised to read Mr McIntosh's thoughts on the bombing of Baghdad, part of a round-up of the views of the great and the good on the four-day blitz of Iraq.

"I entirely support what is being done. Saddam is a dreadful threat to peace," he is quoted as saying. Given that the Prime Minister's sons attend his school that removes one potential source of conflict at parents' evenings.

Of course some in the local-authority sector view Mr McIntosh as a dreadful threat to their peace. He has been probably the highest-profile GM head in the country and a fierce and fearsome defender of schools' independence from LEA interference.

However, 1999 will be the year he returns to the warm bosom of Hammersmith and Fulham Council as a foundation school. Should be fun.

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