David Laws probably thought it was a good idea to run a story about school in the week that most children in the UK return to school. And in many ways, in terms of publicity, it was good way of getting lots of publicity for a Lib Dem news story. The shame of it was that it was a seriously flawed proposition the Lib Dems were trying to make and I found it really embarrassing.
"The Liberal Democrats claimed that the 250,000 drop in meals served in secondary schools meant that the school meal service was in meltdown", said the BBC, yet when I heard the story in full I was shocked at the lone the Lib Dems were taking on this story.
Yes, it is bad that nationally nearly 400,000 less school meals are being served. Yes, it is right to suggest that this means more children are having packed lunches which may not be as healthy as school meals. But, for David Laws to suggest that the introduction of healthier school meals so quickly was wrong, and that dealing with the problem of childhood obesity, unhealthy diets in schools and the effect this also has on learning should have been delayed or dealt with more slowly is absolute madness.
It may have been Jamie Oliver that brought this issue to the Labour government's attention, but they have made the biggest strides in years towards trying to sort out the mess of a system that the school meals service was in many parts of the country. We ought to be proud of the fact that children in schools are eating healthier. To suggest that because the parents of 400,000 children are not prepared to make sure their children eat healthy school meals, we should have denied the other millions of the opportunity to eat much more healthily is a dreadful line for the Liberal Democrats to take.
If we followed the policy of failing to support any policy that is opposed by any minority then we are opening a can of worms and pandering to the wrong people. As I said, I felt embarrassed by our partys' stand on this issue today.