Children's thirst for knowledge is positively unquenchable, especially when it is knowledge of no particular educational benefit.
Knowledge like when snacktime is. Or exactly what the snack consists of. Or whether we're going swimming, and why not, because it said in the brochure we were definitely going swimming! Or whether they can use the green paint as well as the blue paint. Or why I have red shoes, and whether I deliberately bought a red rucksack to match them. The questions simply never end, and they are lucky I have the proverbial patience of a proverbial saint in answering or ignoring them, depending on my mood.
Sadly, they are never as insistent about knowing the difference between 'some' and 'any', or when exactly we use the Present Perfect over the Past Simple, which is dreadfully unfortunate, as those are the only answers that are forthcoming. (If you want to know, 'some' is used in positive sentences and when making offers, 'any' in negative sentences and questions; Present Perfect is used for actions that started in the past but are still relevant in the present, whereas Past Simple is only used for actions that are completed). I fear I may have lost half of my readership with that interlude - I promise not to lecture on grammar any more.
Anyway, as I am bombarded with irrelevant questions, I generally do my best to avoid answering them. Are we going to play football today? Maybe. Can I throw this out the window? I'd prefer if you didn't. What's in the box? You'll see in a minute. Can I have another snack? It depends.
One kid actually ticked me off today for being so secretive and unwilling to answer, and it was then that I realised that all authority figures are the same, from directors of small English camps in Berlin, to Prime Ministers and Presidents the world over. We're in a position where divulging more information than strictly necessary can come back and bite you very firmly in the arse - what if I promise swimming tomorrow, and some unforeseen event beyond my control cancels it? I have a bunch of disappointed kids who are guaranteed not to be happy with whatever alternative I come up with. But if I avoid answering the question and then suddenly announce that we're all going swimming, they are all overjoyed and think I am the best camp director ever. I come out of it smelling of roses, they come out smelling of chlorine and stale urine, and everyone is happy.
Messers Cameron, Cowan, Obama, et al, while having slightly better paid and (arguably) marginally more stressful positions than I, are no different. They're going to determinedly dodge any questions they don't want to answer, and triumphantly bring out the good news when a popularity boost is needed. Their tax cuts are my mid-afternoon muesli bars, and the unavailability of swimming on my camp is pretty much exactly the same as their rising unemployment.
And to think that I was foolish enough to believe that English camp was an escape from reality - actually, it's a perfect microcosm of real life. Rampage for PM!