A Glasgow University round-table discussion "Adult learners: always the afterthought?" lived up to its name when Brian Wilson, Scottish education minister, cancelled due to a starring role on Question Time. But Ed Weeple, head of the lifelong learning group in the Scottish Office, stepped into the breach, with a stage whisper from the audience announcing: "He's going to read the speech he wrote for the minister." Bob Fryer, chair of the national advisory committee for continuing education and lifelong learning, presented his own speech. But he remarked on the number of advisory groups springing up.
"Living under new Labour is a bit like being at one of these old bonfire parties which you're not allowed to have any more, where everybody brings their own fireworks and lets them off where they feel like it."