Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended plans to introduce a policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that is hoped to enable Liberal Democrats to serve in government while keeping their political persuasion private. Under the new arrangement it will be assumed that every member of the government is now a Conservative, even though many of them may have so-called ‘liberal tendencies’.
‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is necessary to maintain the morale of the Coalition forces,’ explained Mr Clegg, ‘in order for Lib Dems to stay in Cabinet we really need to get into the closet. Don’t ask me how many pledges I have broken and I won’t tell.’
The policy follows a spate of humiliations in which members of the government were publicly ‘outed’ for their views. ‘Yes, some of us do bat for the other side,’ confided one anonymous Lib Dem, ‘some of us even care about the students and what happens to the poor, but being open about that sort of thing will only cause problems for everyone.’
‘Of course we will find a way around these restrictions,’ said BBC political editor Nick Robinson, ‘in the future, whenever I refer to a Lib Dem, I’ll just turn to camera and give a little wink and maybe a little hand gesture. I’m sure the audience will get the idea.’