The Today programme on Radio 4 announced that the Confederation of British Industry is complaining that the Government’s rather arbitrary target of getting 50% of kids into university was bleeding the economy dry of skilled manual trades, and recommends that more go into apprenticeships.

The government’s reply was “competitive economies are increasing their numbers in higher education, and we can’t afford to be left behind”.

The only possible reply to that is: “Tony, just because all your competitor economies stick their heads in the gas oven, does that mean you should?”