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We are once again treated to the less than edifying spectacle of our government’s stock response to anything which might bring real debate to any of its programmes – in this case the very serious issue of the planned “economies” in our further education sector.

It is matter of real concern that a minister should be so 
exercised to restrict access to what was being discussed on such a vital subject.

Our education secretary has been an assiduous student of his leader in the areas of bluster, pomposity and self-importance – all of them characteristics which seep bleakly from the “unprecedented letter” (your report, 14 November) from Mr Russell to participants in the wake of the meeting over college restructuring.

Regrettably, there are all too many precedents from this administration for the hectoring, patronising and intimidating tone deployed to quell anything that has the scent of opposition.

The same report quotes Mr Russell as saying that he “had no power to demand any individual’s resignation”.

That is clearly not a problem to someone so adept in exploiting his position to denigrate an individual, using the familiar expedients of the bully to contrive the outcome which he has no mandate to command.


Douglas Paterson

Cluny Terrace