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Drink to absent enemies;FE Focus

Old adversaries never die they just open hostelries.

First, disgraced Association of Colleges chief Roger Ward started a chic wine bar in Muswell Hill, north London. The champagne-loving Mr Ward was confidently predicting first-year profits of pound;500,000 for his Cafe on the Hill when a newspaper profiled his new venture.

But he'll probably have to do without the custom of Paul Mackney, general secretary of lecturers' union NATFHE, and his right-hand woman Sue Berryman who both live within a few minutes walk of the premises.

Meanwhile, Mr Mackney's predecessor, John Akker, is going back to his roots and negotiating to buy a pub in his native East End.

Mr Akker, who enjoyed regular verbal ding-dongs with Mr Ward when he was general secretary, wants to be the landlord of the Alma, just off Brick Lane.

The Alma was thought to be Jack the Ripper's local, so after a lifetime of union politics, Mr Akker should feel at home. And when it comes to chucking-out, the man who was unceremoniously booted out as NATFHE leader in 1997 certainly knows how it feels.

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