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Why posterity will miss out

Tony Blair's famous smile was on display for 200 guests from FE at a reception last week.

However, as a public relations exercise, I'm sad to report, it rather backfired, thanks to Downing Street and the Department for Education and Skills' organisation of the publicity.

The reception was a "private" affair. Reporters were kept away then issued with a bland press release of the PM's platitudes the following day.

Apparently the Association of Colleges wanted to arrange a photographer so the occasion could be promoted as a welcome morale-booster for colleges.

The civil servants, who had insisted on taking charge, gave the Press Association just two hours ' notice of the event.

Meanwhile, the AoC was told that it could take its own pictures outside Number 10, but their photographer was turned away at the gate.

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