When Nicky Morgan was appointed as education secretary, I posted on the MT twitter feed about the fact that she voted against the introduction of same-sex marriage, asking whether this had any relevance to her new position. This upset several music teachers, who told me in no uncertain terms that this was an inappropriate use of the magazine’s Twitter account. I disagreed, and remain confident that this part of her voting record remains newsworthy for several reasons, but at the same time, I do remember hoping that she would get on and say something about music.It didn’t take long. Speaking last month at the launch of a campaign to increase the take-up of STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, she said, in no uncertain terms, that these had replaced ‘the arts and humanities’ as the subjects that allowed you to ‘keep your options open and unlock doors’. Of the many responses this garnered, that from organist and conductor Jon Payne – a letter shared on Facebook via a DropBox link – seemed to sum up the feelings of the arts community across the country, and it quickly went viral. It appeared on my personal facebook feed more than a dozen times, having been shared by musos, non-musos and a number of teachers of STEM subjects too, indicating that Morgan’s decision to play to her crowd may have backfired. We invited Payne to give some context to his now-famous response, and his fascinating story can be found on page 14.