The Arts and Humanities Research Board will have a proper seat at the funding table when it becomes a research council next spring. In recognition of its importance, Charles Clarke showed up at the board's summer party (fully dressed) last week. Or at least we think he did. No sooner had he been spotted entering through the door than he had disappeared back out of it. Either he had seen the size of the canapes or he'd remembered that his department still has a policy of underfunding most of the people who were clutching wine glasses in the room.