Diary of a Schoolteacher: So, then, how will the wise men and women of the staff room vote?
I know my CSPE class are going to have a battery of questions to ask me about the Stability and Growth Pact Referendum so I'm trying to get my head around it before they realise I haven't a clue and everything goes out of control and it's all just stuff about Man City and the Eurovision.
They know how they would vote if they were four or five years older -- namely 'No' -- because the roads and estates where they live get a lot of attention from one particular party. I've no problem with that, to be honest, those guys put in the work in tough areas where others couldn't be bothered and then they reap the votes.
I wasn't timetabled until after the lunch break to take this class and grapple with the issue of whether I should vote 'Yes' to stability and jobs (as usual), and better weather too, or 'No' to more misery and a new tax on anyone who wears more than one sock at a time. So I decided to put it to the elite assembly of wise men and women they call The Staff.
First answer comes from Paul, that unusual creature, a male art teacher -- he himself jokes that, with care in the community, they're all free to hold down a job these days.
Preferring to concentrate on his personal 'conceptual experience' of the actual words 'Yes' and 'No', Paul strokes his goatee, deep in thought and then speaks in his customary measured and warm tones.
"I would be inclined to go for a 'Yes' in this referendum. You see, this year it's 40years exactly since the band YES released their absolutely marvellous symphonic rock masterpiece Close To The Edge. I think that tells us something.'
Naturally nobody has an answer to this absolutely marvellous piece of sophistry.
Thankfully, the unchallenged über-egghead of the staff, Mr Prince steps in.
"Bloody nerve of those people on the street," the science teacher snarls, "stopping me and telling me to vote 'No' or 'Yes' as if I'm too stupid to work it out myself.
"The whole point of a referendum is to put the question to the people -- well bloody well let us get on with it and kindly flip off.
"I can read for myself, you know, and not just the official paperwork but also L'Express, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica and most likely I know a lot more about the whole thing than one of those skinheads outside Centra twittering away in utterly ungrammatical Irish."
Unfortunately Kurt Moobs then tries to be funny with his, "Repubblica? That's Italian, right?" Mr Prince nods.
"Well, just when you need to lighten Europe up they get rid of the greatest party animal of them all -- Berlusconi. I liked him."
Uh-oh, Miss Hammond is not amused.
"You might have a point," replies Mr Prince sagely, "the Irish and the Italians are very similar, though they haven't quite attained our level of corruption."
Can't use any of this for class.