"I remember exactly how I decided to call the Referendum. Giles and Penny were coming up for a kitchen supper, and Sam had a spag bol on the go. I had cued-up a whole box set of the West Wing, fluffed the sofa cushions and had ordered up three bottles of Rioja, which were nicely chambré.
Then the internal phone went, It was Oliver from the private office. I had sneaked away early (as I often used to do) using my usual trick of leaving an old suit coat on the back of my chair - a trick I learned at Eton to make me appear a girly swot when I was really listening to the Smiths on my Walkman behind Wankies. Oliver had discovered I hadn't done my red boxes again. Boring! In fact I had been looking at brochures for houses to rent for the Summer in Rock. I couldn't wait for the annual hols in Cornwall - miles better than all this politics and government and stuff!
Oliver said I had to make a decision on the EEC thing. Well, if there's one thing I learned from Mrs T it was never to get serious about anything to do with that Brussels lot. Just leave them be, sign anything they sent and pay the money - that way the hols wouldn't be interrupted by pesky phone calls from blokes with funny foreign accents! So I told Oliver to bring the file up and I'd break off my evening to give it full consideration.
It was HUGE. I couldn't read all that! I had a rule that if anything took more than three minutes to read I'd just pretend I'd read it. Well, this was no different. I turned straight to the signature and decision sheet. There were two options, one of which had to be crossed out. I reached into my pocket and called out to the kitchen
'Sam! Heads or tails?'
'Tails' she said - brave girl!
'Right then! Referendum it is!'
I gave the file back to Oliver in the morning looking a bit haggard, as though I'd been up all night reading. In fact we watched an entire series of the West Wing and drank all three bottles of wine and Giles and Penny didn't leave until 1am!"