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DIARY - TOULMIN SMITH

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Sight gaff...
Sight gaff

Braille inscriptions enable blind people to read but the crucial point is that they have to be able to touch them.

Camden LBC is the new owner of a splendid piece of public sculpture, situated near Hampstead Theatre.

Sculptor Martin Richman decided to include a quote from Shakespeare in Braille.

However, the sculpture needed to be protected, so the quote ended up behind glass and is thus intelligible only to the handful of sighted people who can read Braille visually.

Bunch of skivers

It seems unlikely, but could civil servants be using the election as an excuse to dodge dull meetings?

Senior officers report cancellations have multiplied compared with four years ago, even when the subject up for discussion is bereft of political controversy.

Matter of fact

Wags are referring to the adult social services green paper, Independence, Wellbeing and Choice, as 'Every Pensioner Matters' .

A fine mess

From France comes the news of a motorist who escaped seven parking fines after a court ruled Boulogne-Billancourt municipality had acted illegally when it installed parking machines that accepted only pre-paid cards and not money.

French law gives no legal precedent here. But has anyone tested the legality of London mayor Ken Livingstone's no-cash buses?

Spot the difference

The Rizla paper challenge has been launched by observers of electioneering for the May general election.

The two main parties have fallen over themselves to be virtually identical, for fear they might lose a vote.

Both seem to have it in for education departments, with commitments to give schools more control.

The Tories promise to give 'heads and governors full control over admissions and expulsions'.

Labour says: 'Heads and governors will be in control.'

Can you spot a substantive difference between the manifestos? If so, send your observations to the usual address.

By the book

Picture it - you're a busy chief executive on a typically high-stress morning.

Then a 20-page bound document arrives on your desk. It is the work of an enthusiastic, but misguided, postgraduate student of public management.

It contains 217 questions, all about best value. Some of these require you to draw complicated bar graphs charting your organisation's performance over a five-year period. Do you:

A) Cancel all your meetings and those of your directors, and make sure you all put aside two hours to fill it in?

B) Throw it in the bin?

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