2nd April 2010 at 01:00
The power of advertising and the college crusader

Power of advertising

"This is the trouble with the public, they're horrible," as Peter Mannion put it in the political comedy The Thick Of It. But if it's bad enough for politicians to meet them, how much worse is it for civil servants?

Barry Brooks, the former deputy director of Skills for Life and now with Tribal Group, tells FErret how he once had to deal with just such a code red incident when a member of the public managed to get through to him at the then Department for Education and Skills.

No one knows how such a breach of protocol occurred, but the woman wanted to complain about the gremlins advertisements for Skills for Life, which successfully guilt-tripped hundreds of thousands of adults into learning how to read and write.

"My son can't read and he's having nightmares that the gremlins will get him," she wailed. "What am I supposed to do?"

"Well, I think perhaps you should make sure he learns to read," Mr Brooks replied.

Ice cold, but the logic is faultless.

College crusader

Well done to Uxbridge College student Matthew Creeber, who has been hailed a hero after rescuing a police officer under attack.

The motor vehicle maintenance student was on a bus, which was reportedly held up after a man threw himself in its path and tried to rip off the windscreen wipers. It is perhaps not a coincidence that this incident happened just outside a pub.

PC Fai Li tried to arrest him, but got a blow to the face for her troubles. At this point, Mr Creeber, described by Li as "this little chap", stepped in to restrain him while the officer clapped on the handcuffs. "He is my hero," she said.

FErret is pleased to report this positive trend in college-related bus news, which marks a considerable improvement from last November's riot in Orpington, Kent, after students couldn't get on a packed bus.

Keep up the good work, students!

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