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Refers to the head of the government: the Queen or King of Great Britain.

 Parliamentary Inquiry

Inquiry by the Houses of Parliament into a specific topic. Mentioned in the YPM episode The Smoke Screen.

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— I wonder if you’d considered the party chairman himself?

Yes Minister: The best British comedy ever

July 17, 2014

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"Your idea of us working together is you telling me what to do and me doing it."

"Your idea of us working together is you telling me what to do and me doing it."

Something’s troubling the Minister - could a reshuffle be on the cards??

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Official Secrets Act

Legislation to protect government information. Sir Humphrey explains to Bernard Woolley that the Official Secrets Act is not there to protect secrets, but to protect officials. Mentioned in the YM episode Jobs for the Boys. Jim Hacker wants to prosecute the Energy’s Department Press Officer, who leaked an embarrassing chapter of Jim’s predecessor’s memoirs, under Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act. In the YPM episode Power to the People Sir Arnold remarks that the Official Secrets Act is there to cover up the daily disasters of politicians.

 Operation Hairshirt

Civil service scheme to discourage ministers to cut in government spending. The operation is intended to let ministers feel the pain of spending cuts by taking away “privileges” such as chauffeur driven cars, large personal staff, etc. It is sold to ministers by statements such as “economy begins at home, minister” and “you must set an example, minister”. After a while ministers get frustrated, certainly if spending turns out to be as high as ever or even higher. Sir Humphrey and Jumbo seem to have done this operation many times before they do it to Jim Hacker in the YM episode The Economy Drive.

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10. Yes Minister

Yes Minister delivers a fascinating portrayal of democracy amongst the British hierarchy, offering an engrossing insight on the frequently questioned morals of politicians within the UK – would an MP choose the option more likely to benefit the country, or his reputation? While the ethics explored in Yes Minster are very much home-grown issues, the bureaucratic red tape displayed within the show is relatable to most countries – all that would be required in most cases is a change in accent and street name.

In the very first episode of the show, the naive and inexperienced James Hacker takes up his new role as The British Minister for Administrative Affairs, an opportunity the politician has been building to his whole life. Full of enthusiasm, Hacker is desperate to instantly make his mark on British politics with a whole host of ideas that could be beneficial to the country. Unfortunately, the minister soon discovers that life in government is not quite as straightforward as simply ‘doing the right thing’.

Hacker spends his days alongside his manipulative Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, whose biggest focus seems to be to convince the minister not to pursue his latest idealism. We also see a lot of Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley, a pedantic character who will usually sit on the fence as Hacker and Appleby debate right from wrong. With its razor-sharp witticisms and carefully constructed script, Yes Minister delivers on a whole host of levels.


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Nanny State

Term introduced by Sir Humphrey in the YPM episode The Smoke Screen. He refers to a government that does not let people freely decide for themselves whether they want to smoke or not.

 National Education Service

Education system as proposed by Dorothy in the YPM episode The National Education Service. It is modeled after the National Health Service (hence the similarity in names) in a sense that it will allow parents to choose which school to send their children to. Jim Hacker embraces the plan originally, but - like a good politician - drops all support for it as soon as he can maintain his position.

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