Chapters: 2/? Fandom: The Thick of It (TV), Yes Minister, Rating: Mature Characters: Malcolm Tucker x Jamie MacDonald, Jim Hacker, Humphrey Appleby, Bernard Woolley,
Just a quick window to a cock-up-full day in the ministry that now has two cock-up machines - the Ministry for Administrative Affairs and the Department for Social Affairs and Citizenshit, sorry Citizenship.
The latest from Jonathan Lynn (@mrjonathanlynn). url: http://jonathanlynn.com, writer/director/actor, Yes Minister Yes Prime Minister, Clue, Nuns On The Run, My Cousin Vinny, The Whole Nine Yards, + books
The acclaimed political thriller that first introduced the unforgettable Francis Urquhart MP and launched Michael Dobbs’ No 1 bestselling career – now reissued in a new cover.
Michael Dobbs’ entertaining tale of skulduggery and intrigue within the Palace of Westminster has been a huge hit with the public. Its scheming hero, Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses fair means and foul to become Prime Minister, is one of the best-known characters of the last decade – the politician we all love to hate.
Acclaimed for its authenticity and insights into a secret world – the result of many years working behind the scenes for the Conservative Party – it became a highly popular, award-winning BBC TV series, with Francis Urquhart memorably portrayed by Ian Richardson, and was followed by two further sequels, ‘To Play the King’ and ‘The Final Cut’, which also became top-rating TV series.
When the Yes Minister series was being aired on television, I was too young to appreciate the subtle nature of its humour, and I admit that I found it dreadfully boring. Now, many years later, reading this book made me realise just what I had missed. (I still have not seen the television series)
Biting sarcasm, sparkling wit, and completely believable scenarios make this book worth its weight in gold. Humphrey is annoying in the way one would imagine a civil servant to be, Bernard is relentlessly pedantic, and poor old Jim Hacker is completely lost, though he does manage to wrangle a few victories from the civil service. Together, the three of them attempt to govern the entire country, or at least prevent it from descending into anarchy. The consequences are hilarious, as the following quotes reveal (as I remember them , probably the exact wording would be different)
-“The Prime Minister is trying to govern the country, Bernard. He must be stopped”.
-“Democracy gives a lot of people the power to stop things from happening, but almost no one knows how to make anything happen”
-“But Prime Minister, you can’t grasp the nettle if you take the bull by both horns. I mean, you would’nt have a hand free”
-“In Qumran, women get stoned when they commit adultery. Unlike in Britain, where they commit adultery when they get stoned”
-“Bishops in England live unusually long lives.Probably due to the fact that God is not too keen to have them around either”
In short, this series, in my opinion, represents the pinnacle of British humour, and is a must watch for anyone who has enjoyed British gems like P.G. Wodehouse, or swears by Monty Python, or fondly recalls Fawlty Towers(less)
The fortnightly BritishsatiricalmagazinePrivate Eye has long had a reputation for using euphemistic and irreverent substitute names and titles for persons, groups and organisations and has coined a number of expressions to describe sex, drugs, alcohol and other aspects of human activity. Over the years these names and expressions have become in-jokes, used frequently in the magazine without explanation. Some have passed into general usage and can be found in other media and everyday conversation.
“Tired and emotional” was a phrase used to describe 1960s Labour party cabinet minister and Deputy Leader George Brown, who was a drunkard. It first appeared in Private Eye in a parody memo supposedly informing civil servants how to describe Brown’s conduct and state of mind. Due to the near-impossibility of proving intoxication without forensic evidence, journalists came to use the phrase as a way of describing drunkenness without inviting libel charges. In 1957 a trio of Labour politicians, Aneurin Bevan, Morgan Phillips and Richard Crossman, successfully sued The Spectator over just such an allegation, which Crossman admitted in his diary was true of one of the three. The phrase was allegedly first used by a BBC press officer in November 1963, as a description of Brown’s condition on a programme commemorating John F. Kennedy; the magazine subsequently borrowed the phrase. However, doubt must be cast on this claim because the programme on which Brown appeared was not broadcast by the BBC but by Associated-Rediffusion.
We have firmly established that the NSA’s oversight is a joke. The House Intelligence Committee routinely hid documents from their fellow Congress members. The Senate side is headed by one of the most shameless champions of the surveillance…
Britain’s intelligence services had a system of oversight no better than that seen in the TV comedy Yes, Prime Minister, an MP said on Tuesday during a meeting of a Commons committee.
Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat, said the sitcom depicting ineffectual government was an appropriate comparison after it emerged that the intelligence services commissioner appearing before MPs worked only part-time, and operated with only one other staff member.
“YES, the United States is from Mars and we are from Venus. Get over it.” Thus did the Polish foreign minister, Radek Sikorski (pictured), dismiss questions about why Europe was more cautious than America in its response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its “illegal” referendum on secession.
Fandom: The Thick of It (TV) / Yes Prime Minister, Characters: Malcolm Tucker, Humphrey Appleby Additional Tags: Crossover Summary: The Cabinet Secretary wants a word with the PM’s Director of Communications. Rated Mature for the inevitable language.