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The policy wonk whose heart isn't in it

The policy wonk whose heart isn't in it

MONDAY - A call from my old mate HRH The Prince of Wales. He's been in a really good mood since the coalition

took over. He says it's as if "things are returning to normal", by which I think he means he feels nine years old again in a world of paste sandwiches and sticklebacks in jam jars. Giggling in a posh tree house with friends called Basher and Snudge, all shouting "pee po belly bum drawers". Charles has been emboldened by his own consultants' report on education. It found widespread unhappiness among teachers about a curriculum squeezing out traditional lessons in favour of "lifestyle subjects". Now Gove of the Remove's in charge, Charles judges the time right for one of his famous interventions. He's going on a Royal Thinkabout.

TUESDAY - The Gove rings. Could I do him a massive favour and shut the Prince of Wales up? "I don't want him blundering in with his potty ideas." I sympathise. Other professions have felt the curse of Royal benevolence. He championed organic farming and found a cure for modern architecture; now farmers are regarded as rural fascists and architects as haughty cry-babies. "You know Charles wants the new wave of academies to be By Royal Appointment? Just try to keep him away, he'll ruin everything..." Really? I mean, it's one thing for a Year 11 collage on the theme of global warming to be part of an end-of-term show, quite another for it to be part of a Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

WEDNESDAY - To Highgrove House, for a preliminary brainstorm with Charles and the usual bunch of simpering sycophants. One of them summarises the Royal position, i.e. Lifestyle Education with its PSHE and its vulgar lack of respect for institutions such as the monarchy is poisoning young minds. In history, for example, the emphasis should be on kings and queens and how important they are for continuity. Blah blah blah, unless something is done our culture will lose its connections to traditional British pastimes. These are never listed, but I guess they include kilt-wearing, fox-hunting and adultery. "What sort of subjects WOULD one like to see, Sire?" wheedles one suck-up. Charles pauses for thought. "I would like them to be sort of free-rangey. Though polite and obedient."

THURSDAY - Lunch with The Gove, to report on the Charles problem. I recommend he keeps me on as special thwarting adviser. He agrees, and we do a sheepish fistbump.

FRIDAY - Lunch with Charles. I tell him how hostile The Gove is to his ideas and that he needs someone to liaise. I suggest he provides me with a retainer. Charles makes a schoolboy joke, in one of his irritating Goon voices.

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