Black watch.(Parliamentary Roundup)

Don't believe a figure of it. Last month's pledge of monumental civil service job cuts simply will not happen.

Too much trade union pressure against what was not so much a three-year spending review as a one-year pre-election run-up.

Increasingly it is becoming difficult to discover what government actually stands for--the true agenda. One needs sometimes to turn to present statistics to detect exactly where we are heading.

Look at local government future policy promises. We hear constantly of ministerial moves to make it more powerful--regional assemblies, unitary authorities and all that.

Yet if more power is actually being passed from Whitehall to Town Hall, why have the following facts emerged since 1997? …

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