gay family3Those who have been concerned that Labour lacks a big, compelling idea before the General Election, and fear that it looks confused and weak, need fret no longer.

On Tuesday, Tristram Hunt, the boyish-looking and self-consciously handsome Shadow Education Secretary, unveiled his master plan. If Labour wins the election, children as young as five will have sex education classes.

The proposal is utterly preposterous. It is also mad. And dangerous. It is amazing that Mr Hunt, who is supposed to be intelligent and reputed to be moderate, could ever bring himself to promote such a policy.

Even in our increasingly sexualised society, most children aged five are not interested in sex. They have other things to think about. Why thrust what must seem strange, irrelevant and possibly worrying notions into their young minds?

The main reason, it seems, is to stop them being homophobes. I am being serious. Launching his plan at a school in East London, Mr Hunt said: ‘The presence of homophobic language and other forms of homophobic bullying in our classrooms, playgrounds and dinner halls is deeply troubling, and it is very real.’

Well, yes. Bullying of any sort is obviously undesirable. But does Mr Hunt really think the cure is to indoctrinate five and six-year-olds? Yes, I’m afraid he does. ‘The use of homophobic language and other forms of homophobic bullying,’ he declared, ‘is damaging the life chances of so many young people. It has a daily effect that limits learning, and causes people long-term damage.’

What on earth is he talking about? The lunacy quotient soared even higher when he asserted that the persistence of homophobia in schools was part of the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s 1988 Section 28 legislation, which barred local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality, and was repealed in 2003 by Labour under Tony Blair.

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