If you don’t want politics, don’t invite a politician

The oddest thing about the visit by Mr Brown to a Swindon school was the claim by the school’s headteacher that the visit was non-political.

I would like to point out that the Prime Minister’s visit to Isambard this morning was not a political event but was a celebration of our new school, attended by politicians of all parties.

Really? The attendance of politicians from all sides doesn’t stop an event from being ‘a political event’ and on the school’s own website evidence of politicians from other nests is distinctly absent. If Ms Mattey still believes this was not a political event, then she should take a look at the spin about the visit on the red nest’s website.

Labour’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and the Schools Minister, Jim Knight, are visiting Swindon to open a new secondary school and celebrate the transformation underway in schools across the country as a result of Labour’s investment in education.

Clearly, that’s not political in much the same way that water’s not wet. Isambard Community School is a Private Finance Initiative school so there has been no ‘Labour investment’: this school is being paid for, by us, on credit. Admittedly, that’s just a tiny fraction of the £70 bn the current government has run-up.

Mr Brown may only have been at the school for a little over half an hour — he didn’t stay long last time — but hopefully that was long enough for the pupils at the school to recognise when they’re being used for political gain. Perhaps one day their headteacher might recognise this too.