After revelations that any charities working with the Department of Work and Pensions had to undertake not to talk about Universal Credit, the government has explained that the gagging orders were necessary because it was getting uncomfortable with all the praise.
Esther McVey, the minister in charge of the DWP, told journalists that she asked officials to create the orders insisting on silence because she feared that all the positive stories would distract from other serious news.
She explained, “We do not like to resort to confidentiality agreements but the constant barrage of admiration and support for Universal Credit was just getting embarrassing.
“We would set up meetings but half the time got wasted by all these caseworkers telling us what a great policy it was and how kind we were to all the poor people.
“So naturally we had no choice but to make them sign clauses that forbade them from making any public statement about our policies, or even myself.
“And because we don’t like sycophants, any breach of this clause would result in the charity in question being ineligible for public funds.”
Simon Williams, a newly homeless man and one of the first people to get switched to the new system, fully agreed that Esther McVey was a lovely person and all she did was fantastic.
“I for one love the new system. And I’m sure Esther really cares about me because she nodded in my direction when she visited the shelter. She’s great and so is the government.
“Right, can I get a food bank referral now?”