21st May 2010 at 01:00
Sign of the times amp; FE in the house

Sign of the times

"Vote for change." "Change that works for you." With those battle cries, the human centipede that is Cleggeron lurched into power and wasted no time implementing its radical agenda of, er, altering the name of a department.

FErret's spies inside the Department for Children, Schools and Families - rest in peace - saw the signs torn down within an hour of David Cameron meeting the Queen. By 3pm, it was all hail the new Department for Education. Priorities!

By "education", of course, they don't mean universities. And not really colleges. Or anything for adults. Oh, and it will still have responsibility for the social care of under-18s.

So, in some respects, it could be seen as a department for, well, children, schools and families. Still, what's a little money on signs and stationery between friends when we're hundreds of billions of pounds in debt?

FErret is reminded of the moment in David Peace's novel The Damned Utd, where Brian Clough, newly installed as manager of Leeds United, has the desk of his loathed, departed rival chopped up and burned. The Tories must really have hated Ed Balls.

FE in the house

Amid all the talk of the Eton and Westminster lock on the cabinet, and the preponderance of Oxbridge graduates, it's nice to note that one of our new overlords is a former FE student.

Baroness Warsi, daughter of an immigrant mill worker, attended Dewsbury College before embarking on a career in law, and will now sit round the big table of power as minister without portfolio and party chairwoman.

Sayeeda to her friends, she is the first Muslim women ever to join the cabinet, so it's quite the historic moment. Congratulations.

However, FErret also notes that hers is the only unpaid role. It is hoped that this isn't a symbol of how much cash colleges can expect in turn, but the signs aren't good.

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