William Hague has backed plans to prevent intelligence being discussed in open conversation, particularly when it makes MPs look stupid.
"As Secretary of Two Big, Important Things, I am ideally placed to reassure the public that I'm quite bright, really", explained Hague to a crowd of journalists. "This new rule means you can't ask me how I got this bucket stuck on my foot, or why I spent the first twenty minutes of this meeting in the broom cupboard."
Hague defended the idea that discussions about intelligence should take place behind closed doors, although he did admit that shouting through the keyhole had made his throat sore. "I'm sure you can see now why it isn't sensible to bring everything out in the open, especially that ironing board, I’m never going to be able to fold that back up", declared Hague. "I find a lot of your objections hard to understand, particularly since I tried listening really closely to my clip-on microphone, to see if it’s working. Can someone help me dig my tie back out of my ear?"
The policy of being kept in the dark and not looking directly at the brightness of ministers has raised a number of ethical questions. "If the public don't know how thick an MP is, at what point does Question Time become bullying?", asked George Clarke, a journalist who never over-sharpens his pencil before meeting a politician, just in case. "If we want answers but don’t want to face difficult questions about how we obtained them, the European human rights act stops us doing our job.”
Clarke thinks the issue of intelligence is so important, he’s prepared to go to great lengths to get answers. “When it’s in the national interest, I think the public expects us to get answers, I decided to trick Hague into coming on holiday with me”, confided Clarke. “I paid Hague’s carer to shrink his sweater more than usual, and as soon as he’d got it stuck on his head, I bundled him on to a flight to Uzbekistan.”
Clarke kept Hague in a darkened room and forced him to join in with singing ‘London’s Burning’, over and over again. “Hague said he didn’t mind being locked in a room with another man, but complained that singing ‘in the round’ was too much for him. I have to agree, he didn't seem to be able to get his head round it at all. In many ways it was an extraordinary rendition.”