The Commissioner for Children has asked political parties several times to keep children out of political campaigning. Children have a right to participate in a political process if they have views they wish to express. But they also have a right not to be used by political parties as cute endorses reading from a script handed to them by the party’s publicists.

It is exploitative and unfair. It is also tacky, and the way children are made to publicly worship politicians is not miles away from children cast in religious plays or rituals. It reflects a culture where children are taught that they are meant to admire politicians just for being politicians. Or perhaps more accurately they must admire them and publicly adulate them for being politicians belonging to their parents’ party.

Yesterday Labour wheeled out kids to “ask” clearly scripted questions to the prime minister. I hesitated about using their images and videos here, but I decided in favour of publishing for a few reasons. First, they have been broadcast over TV already so appearing here will not make a smidgen of difference. Second, I can only presume their parents have already consented to their children to appear in the media. Third, because you need to see to understand why this isn’t cute. This is wrong.

Labour is not merely in contempt of the Commissioner for Children and her many appeals for this practice to stop. They are, as we know full well, perfectly happy to perpetuate the idea that politics is the business of maintaining and expanding a cult of hero worship to people who have done little or nothing to deserve admiration. And you got to catch the cult followers when they’re still young and malleable.

Few claims are made in this country with greater pride than belonging to one’s party since one was still in their mother’s womb. Like all bluster, the claim is hyperbolic exaggeration. Though only slightly.