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Anorak | Anyone Fancy A Top-Up?

Anyone Fancy A Top-Up?

by | 28th, January 2004

‘STEVE McQueen did it on a motorbike, but Tony Blair’s great escape was achieved by a rearguard offensive led by Gordon Brown and John Prescott.

Blair denies hedging his bets

Facing a catastrophic defeat in the matter of student top-up fees, Tony achieved a winning margin of just five votes.

A victory margin of just one is enough, of course, but as the Guardian reminds readers, the Government enjoys a Commons’ majority of 161 MPs.

For this reason, it is only a victory ‘of sorts’, as the paper puts it, having been achieved at considerable cost to Blair’s Teflon coating.

Not that Our Tone’s looking all that glum. If he has been in a fight – the Independent says he has, calling this student vote Round One, with Lord Hutton waiting for him in Round Two – his teeth are unscathed.

Indeed, he’s showing them off on the cover of the Guardian, positively smiling, grinning even.

The reason for Tony’s apparent happiness could be that he’s just read the Independent’s story that a leaked copy of the Hutton report claims that Downing Street is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The other reason for the beam could be that Tony is a happy kind of guy who has correctly gauged that while ‘top-up’ has entered the political lexicon, few if any of us know what the phrase means.

One who claims to have followed the sub-plot is the Times’ Simon Jenkins, who puts the facts over a number of columns.

And the conclusion: ‘The student fees argument has become a bundle of nonsense wrapped in humbug, enveloped in class prejudice.’

Although nicely put, it fails to really pin down what top-ups are.

But our research tells us that they are something to do with mobile phone credits and/or drinking gin in golf clubs.

To wit the exchange: ‘Would you like a top up, Gordon?’ ‘No thank you, Tony, I’ve had my fill already…”



Posted: 28th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink