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No need to fret

Good news for Petroc College music lecturer Tony Butler, who is also the bassist for Eighties rock band Big Country: he has been reinstated after an allegation that he had sex with an adult degree student.

The north Devon college's decision to dismiss the 53-year-old was overturned on appeal, but there's no word on whether that's because the affair never happened, or the college judged that they were both consenting adults and it's their own business.

One can only marvel at the response of Big Country manager Ian Grant, however. He posted a comment on a local paper's online story about the dismissal - to point out that Big Country were still active and to give their tour dates. It's an unsentimental business, the music industry.

Cards close to his chest

There was feverish anticipation as the National Union of Students last week promised its most important announcement on apprenticeships ever.

That was the hype from NUS vice-president for union development Ed Marsh, who said the day was so important he "put a shirt and trousers on" - there's a man who clearly knows how to mark an occasion.

What could it be? A pay increase? The NUS staffing its own offices with apprentices? No: it was an extension of its student discount card to apprentices.

FErret is not saying the card isn't a step forward, but it doesn't exactly dispel the myth that student unions are only in it for the cheap beer and discount jeans.

As for whether it was the NUS's most important apprenticeship announcement ever, it didn't even get a mention on the news section of its website, where the latest story promoted the Graduate EXTRA card instead. Symbolic.

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