The Ministry of Justice press office was full of good news the other day, pitching the heart-warming story of Chris Grayling saving the family law service provided by the CAB at the Royal Courts of Justice.

However the press release didn’t have space to explain why the service was in such dire need in the first place. Something to do with cuts in the LSC budget, perhaps?

For some reason, Obiter recalls an episode of the classic 1980s sitcom Yes Minister. In The Economy Drive, minister Jim Hacker finds himself under fire in the press over plans to hire 400 civil servants. Sir Humphrey proposes sending out a press release taking credit for abolishing the new posts.

Hacker protests: ‘But… that’s just phony. It’s dishonest, it’s juggling with figures, it’s pulling the wool over people’s eyes.’

‘A government press release, in fact,’ Sir Humphrey retorts.