Terry Jones: Suits you, sir - but can we suggest something warmer?

The Sketch

Related Topics

Lord Hutton has finally published his long-awaited report into the Emperor's New Clothes. Speculation in the media that the Emperor has been walking around stark naked for the past few months has finally been put to rest. Lord Hutton concludes that not only has there been no duplicity whatsoever on the part of the manufacturers of the clothes, but that there has been no hint of gullibility on the part of the Emperor or any of his ministers, officers of state or indeed anyone associated with the Emperor.

Indeed Lord Hutton goes on to stress that it is perfectly obvious for all to see that the Emperor's New Clothes are of excellent workmanship, that they have been cut to fit the Emperor perfectly and that they are made of the very finest materials - including top quality satin with rare silk linings and intricate lace cuffs. The colours, he says, are remarkable

- as is obvious to anyone who looks at the clothes - and the overall effect of the garments is a credit to the Emperor.

Lord Hutton confirms manufacturers' claims that the clothes are indeed only invisible to those "who are unfit for office or else just plain stupid". Everyone else, says Lord Hutton, can see the clothes with their own eyes and can appreciate what fine clothes they are.

The Emperor has expressed his relief and his appreciation for Lord Hutton's painstaking investigation. In a public statement he challenged all those who have accused him of walking the corridors of power in the nude to come forward and apologise...

Singled out for particular criticism in the report is a small child who claimed that he could see the Emperor as naked as the day that he was born. Lord Hutton states that the child had no factual evidence for making this statement, and that the claim amounted to a "very grave" attack upon the credibility and dignity of the Emperor and, indeed, upon all his ministers of state and advisers.

The law lord goes on to condemn the child's parents, teachers and relatives for failing to make a proper investigation into the child's statement before it was made. "In any society," Lord Hutton writes, "it is vital that children do not make false accusations of fact impugning the credibility of others, especially the Emperor. Where any child is intending to make a statement that might make the Emperor or any members of his staff the subject of ridicule, the parents and teachers of that child should ensure that a system is in place whereby they can give careful consideration to the wording of the child's statement and whether it is right in all the circumstances for the child to make the statement."

In future no small children should be allowed to make unsubstantiated statements of fact detrimental to the Emperor that are not based on solid research and verified by a parliamentary sub-committee and by at least two law lords nominated by the Emperor.

Reaction to Lord Hutton's report has been divided. The Emperor's staff are said to be ecstatic, and the Emperor himself has stated that "the lie that I was walking around without any clothes on has now been proved to be the real lie". Outside the Emperor's immediate circle, however, some fear that the long-term effect of Lord Hutton's work may be to bring into disrepute the whole system of public inquiries and to reduce to a laughing stock the idea of getting an elderly law lord to turn a serious and important matter of public debate into an all-out attack on the Emperor's critics.

It may be that the Hutton report will mark a watershed in the people's belief in the way their country is run. There are those who say that it is one thing to see the Emperor himself walking about in his new clothes despite the fact that his teeth are chattering and his fingers are turning blue, but it is quite another to silence anyone who suggests that he should put on something warmer.

Perhaps we are about to enter into a new age in which no one is permitted to give voice to what they see with their own eyes for fear of bursting the bubble of deception that currently encompasses most of those who now govern us.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Multi Skilled Engineer - Electrical / Mechanical / Maintenance

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A multi-skilled engineer with a...

Recruitment Genius: Electronic Service Engineer - Television & HI-FI

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Engineers for field & bench ser...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer - Award Winning Agency

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global provider of call ce...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Punks show off the Doctor Marten boots as they gather in Blackpool for the annual Rebellion Punk Rock Festival  

Recalling my act of punk rebellion at school shows how different attitudes are today

Rosie Millard
A hormone released when someone is under stress or pressure has been found in breast milk  

Shaming women for being unable to breastfeed is wrong, and it needs to stop

Siobhan Freegard
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada