Someone who may be reading the opinion polls with about as much equanimity as John Major is Brandon Gough, the noted Kent-dwelling chairman of Yorkshire Water and of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which is based in Bristol. Gough is an accountant who believes in accumulating the readies as well as counting other people's.
In this quest, he has just taken on the all too appropriate chairmanship of banknote manufacturer De La Rue. However, his associations with rain-swept but drinking water-free Yorkshire may be fatal to any plans to continue in office under new Labour or to chair a joint funding council for further and higher education.
One step he could take to impress the possible incoming government would be to abandon the Pounds 37,000 a year which HEFCE pays him for under two days' work a week. This can be viewed either as a professor's full salary or a vice-chancellor's pro rata, but in either case it seems a lot for someone who says that he regards the task as a public service.