What Do Kids Know About Politics?

Over a particularly juicy red grapefruit I had the good fortune to share with my son for breakfast this morning, it seems that post election, young Nicholas is truly disgruntled. “After all,” he said, “I was promised things that simply have not been delivered.”

I looked up from my newspaper and asked him what was making him quite so cross. I mean, I know breakfast was a fairly modest affair, but there was no need to take it out on the toast he was now bludgeoning with enough butter to induce instant cardiac arrest. “They just haven’t given us what we wanted!”

Intrigued by my juvenile malcontent, but slightly worried I lacked the political nouse to get into a debate before reading the latest copy of The Week, I took another sip of coffee and asked him what, in particular, was he most angered about. Nicholas fixed his enormous baby blues on me, with all the sincerity of a young man feeling wronged and let down. I encouraged him to share his thoughts with me, surprised, but yet proud his interest in current affairs didn’t revolve around the Kardashians.

“Well,” said Nicholas, “We were promised a tree-house but there is no sign of one, and water fights, but they still haven’t happened, and smoothies instead of those milk-shakes at the tuck-shop! I would never have voted for this school council if I thought they couldn’t deliver!”

I wiped the Nutella from his sun-kissed cheeks and attempted to soothe him by suggesting water-fights would never get head-teacher approval and they’d have to raise funds for a tree-house, although smoothies may well be the way to go…

Relieved I didn’t have to get into a difficult political debate, unprepared and before I had fully digested my muesli, the car arrived to take Nicholas to school. (He has two or three drivers who take him to school and back because we live in the sticks.)

“Hurry up” I said, as I located his shoes, behind the sofa, naturally. “Come on darling, you don’t want to delay the man.” I watched Nicholas wriggle on his rucksack and plonk on his baseball-cap, feeling huge relief that this little man of innocence didn’t have to concern himself with anything more worrying than what was on offer at the school tuck-shop. There’s time enough for him to worry about the EU Referendum and what sort of cuts are to be made to public services.

“Actually,” he said thoughtfully, “I really don’t mind making that driver wait a bit.”
“But you really shouldn’t,” I gently admonished. A wry smile flashed across his face. “It’s alright mummy. After all, he voted UKIP.” And with that, he planted a soggy wet kiss on my face and ran out the door.

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