Former Prime Minister and Nobel peace laureate Lord Blair of Belmarsh has come to the defence of the embattled Minister of Freedom, David Blunted, who has been accused by his ex-lover of putting body-belts earmarked for export to unauthorised use in their sex games.
Mr Blunted's affair with Salmonella Ryatt, a married sub-editor of the Sycophant's Monthly came to light two months ago when, after their last row, he placed her under a restraining order for anti-social behaviour and had her ID card confiscated, her home commandeered by the local Anti-Terror Volunteers and her children taken into care.
Ms Ryatt responded with allegations that Mr Blunted had abused his position as Minister of Freedom to take possession of a large stock of perpetrator restraint equipment which was destined for Latin America, and that his attentions meant she could no longer remain seated for long periods at a time.
The country erupted into indignation at the possibility that Mr Blunted might have interfered with Britain's exports, and several newspapers speculated that the distraction occasioned by his extracurricular activities could have helped cause the recent downward trend in asylum refusals. "In these troubled times of terrorism and excessive European integration," wrote the Daily Maul and the Daily Expurge, in chorus, "the last thing this country needs is a Minister of Freedom who takes his eye off the ball."
Lord Blair, speaking from the Tebbit prison complex on South Georgia, where a wing has just been named after him, said that Mr Blunted's morals were his own affair.
"What a minister does in the service of the public is not an appropriate matter for moral censure," said Lord Blair. "The secret is to recruit ministers with the appropriate temperament and perspective, so that the business of government can proceed as smoothly as is compatible with spreading democracy and doing good."
He had no hesitation in proclaiming his confidence in "the Prime Minister's ability to choose and in Mr Blunted's ability to weather the storm and stay the course and emerge purified from his ordeal, a still brighter, a yet more radiant beacon of virtue for having passed through this testing ordeal," Lord Blair concluded.