U-turn looms as sport cuts backlash stings
Any parent knows there are frustrating moments when you watch a toddler wander into dangerous territory covered in stinging nettles and see the accident ahead before it even happens.
Sometimes you prevent the tears but often you end up shouting a warning and then racing over to deal with the child falling over in the stingers!
I have to say, I've felt like that frustrated parent as I've watched the Government - and particularly Education Secretary Michael Gove - deal with its plans to scrap the school sports partnerships.
They were always going to land in the stingers on this one. And today David Cameron has ordered a rethink on the plans to cut funding after so many public protests from schools and coaches at grass roots level as well as from more than 70 top athletes including Olympians Denise Lewis and Tessa Sanderson.
Mr Cameron's spokesman said today that the PM had asked Gove to look again at the decision.
At Prime Minister's Questions, Cameron said he was looking carefully at the debate that was held yesterday in the Commons involving Gove and that he would make an announcement soon.
We seem to be heading for that U-turn I predicted not so long ago. Why was it so easy to see it coming?
Well, the school sports partnerships have largely been a success and the coordinators, who have gone into schools introducing students to all sorts of new sports, are widely praised.
I did hear the odd word of frustration about the work of one of them in Hampshire the other day but it was rare criticism.
And the Government has now learned that by scrapping them, they will upset voters from all parties up and down the country - not great politics with an Olympics coming up.
Importantly, the opposition has been well-organised, involving big name athletes as well as schools. A day of action is planned for 7 December.
Cameron must have seen the problem with running back and forwards to Zurich to support the World Cup bid at the same time as causing so much frustration to sports people across the country. It ain't good politics.
The criticism wasn't just coming from political opponents like Labour's Andy Burnham and former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell.
It was fascinating to see how respected sports writers like David Walsh in the Sunday Times and Des Kelly in the Daily Mail were given loads of space to wade into the debate at the weekend with well-informed attacks on the Government.
Sports editors don't always like letting politics on to their pages. But they did on this one.
Basically, they had all seen the danger of the stingers.
Let's see now if the Government can come up with a solution.