The world of politics was rocked today by claims by the Children's' Commissioner that children should be in charge of everything.
'It makes perfect sense,' says the former Director of Learning and Culture at Gateshead Council. 'Children are essentially just as good as adults, and anyone that says that they are in some way subordinate to them is an enemy of children, and we don't want to be enemies of children do we? Do we?'
Asked what implications this might have in practical terms, she elaborated.
'Well, for a start, I'd bring the under twelves into the Crown Court- throw out all those dusty old men with their frightfully ageist views, and get some innocent, honest common sense into the courts. Of course, they'd have to have some time in the afternoon for naps...but there's no change there, eh?!'
'After that, we could get to work on the real problems- adults in politics; we could have all the MPs replaced with regional Youth Mayors, who would listen to the people who really matter- the children- before making unbiased, careful decisions that would represent everyone, not just a handful of geriatric pedagogues. Next we could have children panels selecting CEOs of national companies, and designing bridges and ships and space rockets and that. How hard can it be?'
But it doesn't end there. 'Eventually I plan to apply to the European Court of Human Rights to force every lecturer in every University to resign, to be replaced by a five-year old called Darren, who's got some really, really interesting things to say about Call of Duty: Black Ops. Once we've done that, we can move on to those other bastions of discrimination- research laboratories. Have you seen CERN? Not a toddler in sight. How on Earth do they expect children to be effectively represented in particle physics? It's disgusting. Just because they can't count past twenty yet, doesn't mean they have nothing to add to the debate about the existence of the Higgs- Boson.'
Ms A's latest announcement comes after her recent comments in the press that children should be part of the selection and recruitment process of new teachers, including grading lessons and forming part of the interview panels. Teachers were last night said to be 'unsurprised' by the news:
'These figures are a damn disgrace!'
'To be frank, it's just another day, another shitty dollar for us,' said Mr Mendicant, a year 8 Science teacher. 'Everyone and his donkey has a crack at how they think we should teach- in that respect, the teaching profession is not unlike a Rubik's Cube left alone in a room full of bored neurotics. Nobody can keep their hands off it, and everyone thinks they know how to solve it. It was only a matter of time before someone thought that kids could tell us how to do it better than we can. After all, what do we know? We've only got degrees, years of life experience and a professional qualification. Of course an overconfident ten year-old can tell us how to do it, or what kind of skill set would be required to do the job well. Of course they can.'
Asked if this attitude was simply cynicism, and that children could offer a unique perspective as to what makes a good teacher and a good lesson, Mr Mendicant rolled his eyes so far back they practically detached from the optic nerve. 'Yes, that's an excellent point. Except for two things: 1. We were all children too, so actually we already possess their perspective, only we've added life experience to their incessant, egoistic demands; 2. What they like might not actually be relevant to what makes a good teacher, like being strict and making them work hard.'
'So actually, that's not really a good point after all. Now you'll have to excuse me, but I have my annual pay review in a few minutes with my year 9 class, and I'm hoping I played them enough Doctor Who and violent pornographic cartoons to qualify for a point on the salary scale. Wish me luck.'
Your new Minister for Education.
The outspoken public figure has recently defended herself against claims that she is being paid not unadjacent to £138,000 per year for what is essentially a non-job. 'No, no, no, no,' she said. 'That's not true at all. I'm paid three grand short of the Prime Minister to tell people that children should run everything. See? That's a proper job. Well worth what I imagine is approximately three times your salary.'
'Teaching? Now that's a non-job. Anyone can do it. Why, my two year old Springer Spaniel could probably deliver a decent three-part lesson on the Tudors. In fact...that's an idea.'
A Facebook site was created last week, thought to be the work of a rag-tag band of disgruntled teachers, called, 'If children are such f***ing experts, why don't they run the Office of the Children's Commissioner ? Just a thought.' The Office was unavailable for comment, as everyone was watching Charlie and Lola and sewing sequins onto their Stetsons in preparation for an early evening birthday party.
Maggie Atkinson is thirteen and three quarters at heart.