Fall guys and girls

September 5, 1997

The Labour party seems to have used the parliamentary recess to watch enough police movies to perfect its good cop, bad cop act. The Machiavellian manoeuverings of Peter Mandelson enhance the gravitas of Tony Blair, the eruptions of Clare Short make Robin Cook look like Mr "I understand how awful it is when your island blows up". And the attempts by higher education minister Tessa Blackstone to explain higher education policy have drawn the flak that should have gone to her boss, David Blunkett.

The gap year fiasco was left to Baroness Blackstone to explain, and the consequent u-turn was described in terms of a listening Government. Now the introduction of student fees, and whether they will really be a fee or a tax, still has to be explained. Mr Blunkett has to sort out a few problems with the Treasury before this is possible. Which begs the question: who is Mr Brown's fall guy?

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