I don’t want to sound pompous, but the European idea is our best hope of avoiding narrow national self-interest.
That doesn’t sound pompous, Minister. Merely inaccurate.

Yes Minister (1980-1982) sitcom TV comedy series

Series title Yes Minister

Series creators Antony JayJonathan Lynn

Rating image   9.2 / 10  

Description

Jim Hacker becomes the Minister of Administrative Affairs and starts his struggle with bureaucracy within ministry and Civil Service.

Leading actors

Paul EddingtonPaul Eddington as Jim Hacker

Nigel Hawthorne Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey Appleby

Derek Fowlds Derek Fowlds as Bernard Woolley

Diana Hoddinott Diana Hoddinott as Annie Hacker

John Nettleton John Nettleton as Sir Arnold Robinson

Read More

The Complete Yes Minister BBC Radio Collection Audio Cassettes: 4 cassettes featuring 16 original BBC Radio 4 episodes. Running time 7 hours 15 minutes.

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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)

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We got to Oxford in little over an hour. The M40 is a very good road. So is the M4, come to think of it … I pointed out that the M11 has only just been completed. “Don’t Cambridge colleges give you a good dinner?” “Of course”, said Bernard, “but it’s years and years since the Department of Transport had a Permanent Secretary from Cambridge.”

We got to Oxford in little over an hour. The M40 is a very good road. So is the M4, come to think of it … I pointed out that the M11 has only just been completed. “Don’t Cambridge colleges give you a good dinner?”
“Of course”, said Bernard, “but it’s years and years since the Department of Transport had a Permanent Secretary from Cambridge.”

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