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No blaze, just smoke

Conservative leader David Cameron's "bonfire of the quangos" fizzled out a bit as the party proposed a few reforms rather than scorching the earth.

Mr Cameron told news hounds: "It would be far too simplistic for me to stand here and announce some kind of `bonfire of the quangos'."

It certainly would, given that invitations were sent out labelled "Bonfire of the Quangos".

FErret thinks the Tories missed a trick by not blaming the unelected bureaucrats of the Health and Safety Executive for deeming a conflagration far too dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Labour party points out that Tory plans so far would mean the creation of 17 new quangos, including two for further education: a skills advisory service for service personnel and an all-age careers service.

Rather like the way sequoia trees thrive after forest fires as their seeds grow rapidly without competition, the hardy pen-pusher will always find some way to prosper.

Cheers to a new life

College staff and students in Kent may want to put on their tin hats and dive for cover at the news of the latest recruit to further education.

Susan Bruce has been dubbed "Britain's worst binge-drinking mother" by the tabloids (although all the evidence appears to indicate she is rather good at it) and "a very stupid girl" by a crown court judge.

His comments came as he sentenced her to a 56-day curfew after she brawled with nightclub bouncers and police on a night out, her 10th conviction for booze-fuelled violence.

Of her drinking, she said: "The Government should do something about it."

Well, they have done such a good job with everything else .

But the 22-year-old from Canterbury is seeking to turn her life around with a college course in September. It gives new meaning to FE's reputation as education's last-chance saloon.

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