Is Chris Patten a double agent, leaking Britain's few remaining secrets to international spy Jonathan Dimbleby? Or has the whole thing been concocted by counterspy Mandelson to cover Government blushes over an old-fashioned indiscretion by the foreign secretary? And if so, what would he do if there was ever a really serious scandal that needed eclipsing? We know not, but as alumni to be proud of Nos. 119-124, the principal actors show the link between skulduggery and pricey education is still strong in Labour Britain.
Patten: Balliol, Oxford. Dimbleby: University College London. Mandelson: St Catherine's, Oxford. Cook: Edinburgh. Royal Yacht Britannia: John Brown Shipyard, Govan. Without invading the privacy of Dr Margaret Whitmore (Mrs Cook) we can state she met her husband while a student in Edinburgh, in her case at the medical school.