After three centuries of fudging, prevaricating, dodging and generally being economical in their veracity, British Politicians have been dealt a three-line whip to tell the truth.
A cross-party group have studied the impact of lie-telling to an increasingly incredulous public and have decided, after 6 months of deliberations and a report judged to have cost in the region of £8m, that constituents are not as stupid as their elected representatives would like to think.
Top Civil Servant Mike Rowfone has revealed that the new policy is to be gradually rolled out, starting next Wednesday at Prime Minister's Questions.
"We decided to do this on a gradual basis," Mr. Rowfone told us, "as it's probably too much to expect M.P.'s to simply stop what they've been doing for years. There are bound to be hiccups, and some Members are currently undergoing intensive training and, in some cases, anxiety therapy in order to prepare them for what undoubtedly will be the toughest challenge of their careers."
The Spoof has learned that Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to be hooked up to a Polygraph for PMQs, its results being made on the fly. The BBC have wheeled out their famous 'Swingometer' with John Snow assessing the P.M.'s performance.
Mr. Snow told us, "We're hoping for at least a ninety percent count of truth-telling from Mr. Cameron to start with, although I'm pretty sure that there are times when he's so certain he's telling the truth despite everything pointing to the contrary that he's going to have to go through some training himself."
Mike Rowfone told us, "There are also plans to attach small electrodes to M.P.'s in the chamber, finely tuned to detect even the smallest of aberrations. If they are found to have lied, even by a squillionth of a percent they will receive a small electric shock. We would anticipate that, by the end of the year, viewers will see fewer and fewer M.P.'s jumping about and shouting in pain."
Research from the study group reveals that, currently, the majority of time politicians are telling the truth is when they call each other liars.