Albia's ruling Krep Party has always been eager to tell the country how keen it is on openness. With it's Freedom of Information Act it swept aside vast swathes of excessive, old-fashioned and fusty rules about what the Albian people could and could not see, thus allowing them at last to discover what type of biscuit was served at Cabinet meetings in 1942 and the number of urinal cakes in the parliamentary lavatories.
Indeed, so committed to openness is the government that it insists that Albian citizens should disclose just about everything about themselves - presently via CCTV, DNA databases and assorted pieces of local council snooping and soon via everything from identity cards to the total disclosure of email and mobile phone call records.
When it comes to more serious matters - such as politician's expenses(1) - however, the government is somewhat less eager to unzip and let everything hang out. This explains why so few were surprised when Justice Minister(2) Vort Blinki stood up in parliament yesterday to announce that he would not be permitting the disclosure of the Cabinet's minutes in relation to the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Mr Blinki has justified his decision on the grounds that the disclosure of the papers would do "irreparable damage" to cabinet government. It is a claim with which I cannot disagree: after all, the revelation that the cabinet is a bunch of easily-led time-servers willing to go along with a patently illegal invasion on the say-so of a failed rock guitarist with a Messiah complex, just because the aforementioned would-be saviour wanted to keep in with his Texan best buddy, would hardly enhance the already low esteem in which Albia's political leaders are held.
(1) see Overshadowed.
(2) an unfortunate title, given the circumstances.