(The Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, is on Radio 4 explaining why schools should be allowed to preserve the right to teach their pupils about sex and relationships in accordance with their own religion despite new legislation making sex education compulsory.)
Humphreys: So, Mr Balls, if the government takes this issue seriously enough to make it compulsory, why the exemption?
Balls: John, this is about the need for a policy on sex education.
Humphreys: On compulsory sex education. Isn't that the point?
Balls: Not really John. This is simply about having a policy. This government passionately believes in policies.
Humphreys: Yes, and we've had a lot of them over the years. And this particular one is compulsory in schools.
Humphreys: So why not faith schools?
Balls: Because what really matters is that there is a policy.
Humphreys: No matter what that policy is?
Balls: Well yes, it does matter what it is. And faith schools have a very clear policy. They don't want to teach sex education. But that is still a policy.
Humphreys: Well, of sorts. But one based on religious belief.
Balls: We're well-disposed towards religious beliefs. Remember: Labour owes more to Methodism than Marxism.
Humphreys: This is not just Methodism. This is all religious organisations.
Balls: Yes, but that is a secondary issue. For us, the point of policy is policy. We must set the agenda, create a policy platform, if you like. That is why we're in power. It's what power is all about.
Humphreys: So its all about power now is it? And no doubt you want to stay in power. And that means not ruffling too many feathers.
Balls: No one wants to ruffle too many feathers.
Humphreys: And so what is the object of this power then?
Balls: That should be clear by now, John. Just as the object of policy is policy, so the object of power is power.
Balls: Yes, John. We have been in power thirteen years. I don't need to tell you that. Do I?
Humphreys: So in fact this whole debate isn't really about sex, or sex education at all, is it, Minister?
Balls: I suppose not, John. Not entirely.
Humphreys: It's really just about power. That's all you care about. Staying in power.
Balls: Not all we care about. But you can't do anything without power.
Humphreys: (Ponders) So then, in a roundabout sort of way...? Maybe sex does come in to this debate in the end.
Balls: Sorry John?
Humphreys: Well, they say, do they not, that power is the best aphrodisiac.
Balls: Yes, John. And you know what? We have a policy on that too.
Humphreys: I'm sure you do, Minister.