Monday, June 08, 2009
Ministry of Truth
Ministry of Truth Press Release
Dom Joly calls for the ultimate test of accountability for MPs – the law that stops
Award-winning television comedian and journalist, Dom Joly, is backing the Bill that
makes it illegal for MPs to deceive the general public.
The ‘Elected Representatives(Prohibition of Deception) Bill’ makes it an offence for
elected politicians “to make or publish a statement which they know to be
misleading, false or deceptive”.
Says Joly: “Surely an honesty law that would result in MPS losing their jobs and
even being prosecuted is the silver bullet the public now crave. In the wake of the
expenses scandal, a lot of hot air has emanated from Westminster about parliamentary
reform, the new politics, etc, etc, why should we believe them now ? This is the
Do we believe MPs really want change?
Dom Joly has teamed up with Spirit Level Film to put this to the test.
The move follows The Ministry of Truth a documentary, Spirit Level made for the BBC
which revealed exactly how to find out if an MP genuinely believes in accountability
and led to the Bill’s original introduction.
Says Ministry of Truth director, Richard Symons: “We filmed Jack Straw, Harriet
Harman and a host of other senior politicians from all parties. Asking them if they
believed in honesty, transparency and accountability. Then we asked them if they’d
support our Bill. The result was incredibly revealing.”
At the time over 30 cross party MPs supported the principle. Unsurprisingly, there’s
now a call to re-introduce the Bill from it’s original proposer Adam Price MP.
Letters have been sent to all 646 MPs asking if they will support the bill.
“As we discovered, it’s the perfect test, the ultimate proof of whether MPs really
want to clean up their act. It gives true accountability back to the electorate on
the basic issue of trust in their honesty. We’re hoping Dom Joly will help us bring
the idea to the wider public.”
While the bill is deadly serious, Joly, who before achieving success with programmes
like Trigger Happy TV and World Shut Your Mouth worked as a researcher in the House
of Commons and European Commission, is hoping to inject some humour into the
On the Ministry of Truth website, which allows supporters to sign up to the
campaign, he puts himself forward as the mysterious Professor, an expert in the
Science of Lies” and unveils a number of tools to help test the truth behind the
words, among them the ‘Kantometer’, a scientific device for detecting Kantiness.
Dom Joly, aka The Professor, uses one of his many deceit-detecting methods on Tory
MP Alan Duncan.
Other methods used by the Professor and revealed on the Ministry of Truth website
Alternative Reality Clarification (politico psycho-babble translator)
Lies: Public Gullibility Index (the method behind the madness)
The website also includes shaming clips (link) of MPs and cabinet ministers who felt
the idea of a law that compelled them to tell the truth was absurd. Richard Symons
has also written an article (attached) explaining the bill and why it is needed.
Note to editors:
Dom Joly, Richard Symons and Adam Price MP are available for interview.
All enquiries to Spirit Level Film
Dom Joly will be appearing on BBC 2’s This Week on Thursday, June 4th, and as a
panelist on BBC 1’s Question Time on June 11th.
Richard Symons also written an article explaining the bill and why it is needed*.
The Ministry of truth is available on DVD www.ministry-of-truth.net