SORTED: This is it then. My last day ever at the Futures Delivery Taskforce. I'm actually in technical limbo. The think tank was shut yesterday, but they've given me until close of business today to sign off outstanding bits of admin. This includes final filing. I'm basically sorting things into A, B and C, it's easier. A is for Apple Box Full Of Personal Effects To Take Home, B is for Binliner Full Of Unfinished Initiatives They'll Never Know About and C is for Carrier Bag Full Of Stolen Ideas That Might Help My Freelance Career.
HOMEWORK: So far all I've got lined up is a few days of "research" for Scary Paula, the Tories' chief intelligence wonk. As far as I can gather this involves staying at home, ringing up former colleagues at the Department to catch up on gossip, passing the gossip on to Scary Paula so she can distort it into anti-Department propaganda, then unmuteing afternoon repeats of Dragons' Den. It's not exactly a life plan. Unless you include Murder, She Wrote at 3.30pm.
UNTHINKABLE: Clearing my desk for the final time. I come across a number of my ideas that never saw the light of day. There was my proposed campaign to encourage girls to aim for top marks at school. The (admittedly cumbersome) slogan was "Get an A, be a high achiever. Then you can go from DIV to DIVA!" There was my suggestion for "thinking hats" to be distributed in the classroom to encourage intellectual growth. The key to this was issuing each child with a hat one size too small, so they thought their brain was growing. And of course my plan to merge "volatile substances" and "resistant materials" in the annual National Indicators survey, so that a fall in numbers of those taking woodwork would compensate for the rise in numbers of those taking drugs. Ah well, perhaps one day.
GOING, GOING: Depressing afternoon, saying farewell to Departmental colleagues. Of course I pretend that I'm about to become some key private sector intelligence provider. Pretend, in fact, to the point where I'm actually showing off about it and half-believing it myself. Then it occurs to me: all consultancy is essentially bullshit; what would it take to do this? I simply have to "refashion reality" and SAY I'm an influential opinion-former. The go-to guy for everyone who's anyone in education. OK, to ME it's a fantasy world. But to them, if they believe it, it's just who I am. Plus if I stay anonymous they can say literally anything to me in confidence ...
GONE: Goodbye, I say to everyone. It's been great. I have to go now. Maybe see you around sometime, yeah? Inchworm.