THE DIARY is embarrassed to be caught indulging in what might be construed as Europhobic bureaucrat-bashing. We've never believed those stories about Brussels banning bent bananas. But sometimes they don't half ask for it.
An ad for an information officer with the European Commission office in Wales describes the job as demanding - applicants should be computer-literate, politically-aware, speak French and Welsh etc. The pay is about Pounds 18,000.
There's only one drawback for most people who might qualify - it is not open to graduates.
A puzzled Diary rang the EC in London. An exasperated official explained:
"EC rules laid down by Brussels don't allow the employment of graduates as local agents. It's a major frustration - these are highly-skilled posts and it's a devil's job getting a non-graduate. We'll get a large number of graduates applying but we'll have to throw their CVs in the bin."
We turned to Brussels for guidance; a budget department spokeswoman confirmed it is, indeed, Euro-policy: "We have different career grades. Grade A is policy administration - only people with university degrees can apply. Grade B is administrative assistant, and is for people with secondary education.
"If we open all our jobs to people that have university degrees, it's not certain we give equal opportunities to people that have less education. "
The Diary predicts a new trend in CV tweaking - instead of spicing them up with extra qualifications, our jobless media studies graduates should start rubbing out real ones.
What's the story?
CRUCIAL as the Green Paper may be to the future of teaching profession, it obviously isn't gripping everyone in the same way.
Despite near blanket media coverage at the weekend, one television reporter called the National Union of Teachers on Tuesday saying: "There's a story coming out on Thursday you may not know aboutI" We cannot reveal the station's name but it is thought to include a number not unadjacent to five.
When 'no' is 'yes'
CAMPAIGNERS for the abolition of grammar schools could be forgiven for suspecting a plot as the Government bowls yet another googlie in their direction.
The Say No to Selection lobby has just discovered parents won't actually say No to selection when they vote to scrap grammars. What they'll be asked to do instead is say Yes to ending selection - because of the way the question is put on the ballot paper.
Or "Are you in favour of all the schools listed introducing admissions arrangements which admit children of all abilities?" to give the precise wording.
So, as if the ballot regulations, voting restrictions and timescales weren't obstacle enough, ministers have at a stroke turned pros into antis and made a No campaign into a Yes campaign.
Margaret Tulloch, leading the campaign at CASE, the Campaign for State Education, is already on the phone daily to DFEE officials as she wades through the morass of guidelines.
"We're thinking of changing our name to Say No to Selection and Say Yes to Your Local School Admitting All Ability Children," she says.
"But we haven't had time to work out the acronym."