Chancellor George Osborne announced today that in the face of cuts to almost every public service, the spending budget for the Lip Service is to increase annually in real terms throughout the current parliament.
‘We have continually reassured the people of this country of our belief in society, fairness, trust, compassion and financial integrity, and by safeguarding the Lip Service budget we hope to be able to do so for years to come,’ he said. ‘While being seen to do something is more important than doing it, paying lip service achieves the same ends even more cheaply.’
Following the government’s lead in providing superficial coverage of sensitive issues, the BBC has launched BBC Lip, which it says will do the job of the World Service at a fraction of the cost. Rumours that veteran misogynist Stephen Fry has been suspended after off-camera remarks about favouritism to female presenters, referring to the service as BBC Labium, have been denied. In sport, coverage of the Paralympics by hundreds of reporters and camera crews, which the BBC was only providing to look good, will be replaced by purchased highlights introduced by Andy Gray.
News Corporation and the Metropolitan Police have defended their policy of paying lip service since 2007 to the investigation of phone hacking accusations, saying that a full inquiry would waste millions and not be in the public interest, which was best served by providing titillation and punishing bus lane violations.
Mr Murdoch said the case could damage News Corp’s bid for BSkyB and result in a referral back from Lip Service to a proper Competition Commission review, adding that a Sun article on whether collagen injections allowed babes to give better head was all the lip service a regular bloke wanted to know about.
When challenged during Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron pointed to Labour’s own past record, particularly Tony Blair’s lip service to cabinet government and presenting Parliament with the full facts before going to war. ‘Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?’ said Ed Miliband, paying lip service to leading an effective Opposition.