On Friday I visited a school at South Kirkby. The school is called Stockingate Mill Junior School.
I spoke to perhaps 60 or 70 children aged between seven and 11. The school is going to set up a school Parliament and the children will be able to stand for election as MPs, ministers and even the Prime Minister.
The best part of the visit was when the children asked me questions. I can honestly say that they were very tough questions indeed, and also showed great intelligence.
For example one of the children said would it be okay if you were an MP to start speaking in parliament by saying “hey up” as we do here in Yorkshire. To my astonishment one of the other children said that it would not be right, because when speaking in parliament it would be best to use “formal language” rather than “informal language”.
This of course is correct and it was fascinating to see that young children understood the difference in styles of speaking which should be used in difference situations. Equally interesting was when I asked a second question as to whether this means that we should not speak with a Yorkshire accent in Parliament the pupils were equally clear that you can speak formal English but in a Yorkshire accent.
What a fascinating discussion, in a great school and to meet intelligent youngsters with all their lives in front of them.
I guess that it is OK for me to say “hey up” amongst friends and colleagues in casual conversation but not when addressing the House of Commons.
What do you think?