What courtier can be gambling with his career - and other peoples' - by whispering "top-up fees" into the ear of the prime minister, against the wishes of education ministers? Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat higher education spokesman, claims to know.
Addressing students at a rally in London this week, he said, darkly: "There are people in the Blair policy unit who want top-up fees. I do not think it is right to name names, but it is someone from Oxford I know very well and have played bridge with. If he counts funding as well as he counts trumps, there could be trouble."