16th July 2010 at 01:00
Where charity begins

Where charity begins

In the great excitement of changing governments and sacking public sector workers, the people left behind by the tides of historic change can easily be forgotten.

And so FErret thought to check up on Kevin Brennan, former FE minister and guitarist in House of Commons band MP4, to see how he was getting on.

It was worse than feared.

The shadow minister, deprived of his ministerial salary, has been reduced to tabling an early day motion for a "national busking day", calling for a site in every town for, say, an MP down on his luck to bash out a few hits on his guitar for a bit of loose change.

Mr Brennan, who as a young man travelled around Europe like a wandering minstrel, also called for busking to be permitted in the Palace of Westminster, presumably so he could more easily combine two jobs. All proceeds to charity, he said - but if there isn't a charity for MPs down on their luck, by God there should be.

Body of work

While not of a particularly squeamish nature - a FErret has to eat after all - a recent grisly tale accompanied by some gruesome photographs from Newcastle College certainly left him feeling slightly green around the gills.

It involves the college's innovative forensic science and computing provision and its coup in acquiring a prototype silicon model of a decomposing corpse.

So lifelike is this armless - and there's no dropped aitch - model that FErret almost choked on a rabbit leg when he opened an emailed photograph of it half-buried next to some students.

But worse still were the enthusiastic comments from summer school students enjoying the, erm, taster session.

"I really liked looking at the bugs on the decomposed body, which will tell you when the person died," gushed one.

More proof of FE's cutting edge.

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