A face in the crowd

We know that man! Son George made it a full set among our three boys when he graduated in Portsmouth today. I'm not seduced by all the flummery in which academia cocoons itself but I will own to a welling up of emotion when all the graduates were encouraged to give their parents a big cheer - and cheer they did. Another sad moment was when the parents of one girl came on stage to collect her first class honours degree in her memory since she had died before graduation.

Sandi Toksvig, the vice-chancellor, gave an eloquent and witty speech to send them off, laced with some realism about the lack of jobs out there. It's a sign of the times perhaps that among the biggest group of graduates at the ceremony - those for pharmacology and pharmacy - there was not one Smith, Jones or Brown but there were 26 Patels. How times have changed. Sadly they will struggle to find work in a saturated profession where salaries have been suppressed by employers taking advantage of supply outstripping demand. That's not something the universities tell parents and prospective students as they part with the fees.

The one for the grandparents.

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