History Series / YesMinister

14th Jul '16 10:23:42 PM gemmabeta2
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* KickedUpstairs: Frequently referenced, and may have popularised the phrase. Specifically, Hacker lives in perpetual terror of being sent to the House of Lords, since it has no meaningful political influence whatsoever and, for all the pomp and circumstance and titles, is basically a place where failing political careers go to die.

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* KickedUpstairs: Frequently referenced, and may have popularised the phrase. Specifically, Hacker lives in perpetual terror of being sent to the House of Lords, since it has no meaningful political influence whatsoever and, for all the pomp and circumstance and titles, is basically a place where failing political careers go to die. And later, Hacker was honestly tempted about taking an job with the European Union, apparently, there is a point where the quality of the gravy train makes being kicked upstairs worth it.
14th Jul '16 10:18:15 PM gemmabeta2
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Added DiffLines:

** Later, as prime minister, Hacker actually managed to solve an international crisis by sending a battalion of paratroopers on a "Good Will Mission" to make some soviet-backed rebels stand down.
5th Jul '16 4:15:11 AM DoctorNemesis
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* AdHominem: Used in "Man Overboard", where Sir Humphrey decides to derail the Employment Secretary's military relocation proposal by attacking the Employment Secretary's character (by framing him as disloyal to the Prime Minister and plotting a leadership challenge) rather than attacking his proposal. He lampshades it by announcing that he's "decided to play the man instead of the ball". It ends up backfiring, however; Humphrey puts so much energy into discrediting the Employment Secretary that he doesn't address the plan at all, which means that once the Employment Secretary's gone, there's nothing to stop Hacker safely implementing the plan.

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* AdHominem: Used in "Man Overboard", where Sir Humphrey decides to derail the Employment Secretary's military relocation proposal by attacking the Employment Secretary's character (by framing him as disloyal to the Prime Minister and plotting a leadership challenge) rather than attacking his proposal. He lampshades it by announcing that he's "decided to play the man instead of the ball". It ends up backfiring, however; Humphrey puts so much energy into discrediting the Employment Secretary that he doesn't remember to address the plan at all, which means that once the Employment Secretary's gone, there's nothing to stop Hacker safely implementing the plan.



* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** Humphrey's gambit in "Man Overboard" to get rid of the Employment Secretary in order to foil his plan to move half of the [[BritsWithBattleships armed forces]] OopNorth backfires spectacularly in the very last minute of the episode when [[spoiler:Hacker decides that now that the Employment Secretary is gone, he can implement the plan anyway and take the credit for it himself. It's only then that Humphrey realises that he spent so much time engineering the Employment Secretary's downfall that he never bothered to discredit the actual plan, leaving him with no counter argument -- and as Hacker unwittingly points out, he's actually strengthened several of the arguments ''for'' it without realizing]].
** In "The Key", Humphrey takes great delight in dressing down a policeman for letting him through security without checking his pass, despite the man's protests that everyone knows who Humphrey is. Humphrey issues new orders that NO ONE gets through without a pass. No One. (This is part of his broader scheme to limit access to the Prime Minister). This comes back to bite him towards the end of the episode when [[spoiler:he is locked out of No. 10, desperately tries to get back in, and is refused entry by the same policeman, who takes great delight in making sure the new rules are rigorously applied, despite Humphrey's protests.]]



* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** Humphrey's gambit in "Man Overboard" to get rid of the Employment Secretary in order to foil his plan to move half of the [[BritsWithBattleships armed forces]] OopNorth backfires spectacularly in the very last minute of the episode when [[spoiler:Hacker decides that now that the Employment Secretary is gone, he can implement the plan anyway and take the credit for it himself. It's only then that Humphrey realises that he spent so much time engineering the Employment Secretary's downfall that he never bothered to discredit the actual plan, leaving him with no counter argument -- and as Hacker unwittingly points out, he's actually unwittingly strengthened several of the arguments ''for'' it]].
** In "The Key", Humphrey takes great delight in dressing down a policeman for letting him through security without checking his pass, despite the man's protests that everyone knows who Humphrey is. Humphrey issues new orders that NO ONE gets through without a pass. No One. (This is part of his broader scheme to limit access to the Prime Minister). This comes back to bite him towards the end of the episode when [[spoiler:he is locked out of No. 10, desperately tries to get back in, and is refused entry by the same policeman, who takes great delight in making sure the new rules are rigorously applied, despite Humphrey's protests.]]
21st May '16 5:24:38 AM DoctorNemesis
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** In one episode, Hacker and Humphrey are having one of their debates when Hacker brings up some facts to prove his point. Humphrey superciliously notes that his facts are statistical, which can be altered or doctored. When the debate gets a bit more heated, Humphrey begins to point out that statistics exist to prove ''his'' point, only to catch himself and present them as 'facts'. Hacker immediately jumps on the hypocrisy of claiming that his facts are merely statistics while Humphrey's statistics are facts.

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** In one episode, Hacker and Humphrey are having one of their debates when Hacker brings up some facts to prove his point. Humphrey superciliously notes that his facts are statistical, which can be altered or doctored. When the debate gets a bit more heated, Humphrey begins to point out that statistics exist to prove ''his'' point, only to catch himself and present them as 'facts'. Hacker immediately jumps on the hypocrisy of claiming Humphrey trying to claim that his Hacker's facts are merely statistics while Humphrey's his own statistics are facts.
16th May '16 11:08:29 PM erforce
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'''''Yes, Minister''''' (1980-1988) is a [[BritCom British]] SitCom about Jim Hacker (Creator/PaulEddington), an inexperienced cabinet minister ([[NoPartyGiven party never specified]]), and his permanent secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Creator/NigelHawthorne), who really runs the department. The original three seasons were followed by ''Yes, Prime Minister'', in which Jim Hacker became PM.

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'''''Yes, Minister''''' ''Yes, Minister'' (1980-1988) is a [[BritCom British]] SitCom about Jim Hacker (Creator/PaulEddington), an inexperienced cabinet minister ([[NoPartyGiven party never specified]]), and his permanent secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Creator/NigelHawthorne), who really runs the department. The original three seasons were followed by ''Yes, Prime Minister'', in which Jim Hacker became PM.



* TruthInTelevision: Many politicians have admitted that it is, effectively, their version of ThisIsSpinalTap. The writers also frequently got into trouble for featuring "entirely hypothetical" situations that bore a remarkable similarity to real life events. The aforementioned sneaking drinks into Qumran was one such example. It wasn't until (relatively) recently that the writers openly admitted (and named) their mole. On a somewhat scarier note, they also admitted that they never used a lot of the stories they were fed as they were simply too unbelievable, proving once again that RealityIsUnrealistic.

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* TruthInTelevision: Many politicians have admitted that it is, effectively, their version of ThisIsSpinalTap.''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap''. The writers also frequently got into trouble for featuring "entirely hypothetical" situations that bore a remarkable similarity to real life events. The aforementioned sneaking drinks into Qumran was one such example. It wasn't until (relatively) recently that the writers openly admitted (and named) their mole. On a somewhat scarier note, they also admitted that they never used a lot of the stories they were fed as they were simply too unbelievable, proving once again that RealityIsUnrealistic.
14th May '16 4:32:19 PM nombretomado
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* FunWithAcronyms: On the subject of KnightFever. (This is TruthInTelevision, believe it or not.)

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* FunWithAcronyms: On the subject of KnightFever.UsefulNotes/KnightFever. (This is TruthInTelevision, believe it or not.)
28th Apr '16 2:37:06 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* HypocriticalHumor: The Chief Whip.

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* HypocriticalHumor: HypocriticalHumor:
**
The Chief Whip.



*HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** Humphrey's gambit in "Man Overboard" to get rid of the Employment Secretary in order to foil his plan to move half of the [[BritsWithBattleships armed forces]] OopNorth backfires spectacularly in the very last minute of the episode when [[spoiler:Hacker decides that now that the Employment Secretary is gone, he can implement the plan anyway and take the credit for it himself. It's only then that Humphrey realises that he spent so much time engineering the Employment Secretary's downfall that he never bothered to discredit the actual plan, leaving him with no counter argument -- and as Hacker unwittingly points out, he's actually unwittingly strengthened several of the arguments ''for'' it]].
** In "The Key", Humphrey takes great delight in dressing down a policeman for letting him through security without checking his pass, despite the man's protests that everyone knows who Humphrey is. Humphrey issues new orders that NO ONE gets through without a pass. No One. (This is part of his broader scheme to limit access to the Prime Minister). This comes back to bite him towards the end of the episode when [[spoiler:he is locked out of No. 10, desperately tries to get back in, and is refused entry by the same policeman, who takes great delight in making sure the new rules are rigorously applied, despite Humphrey's protests.]]



* StatusQuoIsGod: Usually downplayed in that while Hacker never really achieves much and the things that he does achieve are so inconsequential that you can understand why they're never mentioned again, this all has a specific cause -- namely Sir Humphrey and the Civil Service's constant stymieing of Hacker's attempts to push reforms through.

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* StatusQuoIsGod: Usually StatusQuoIsGod:
** It's usually
downplayed in that while Hacker never really achieves much and the things that he does achieve are so inconsequential that you can understand why they're never mentioned again, this all has a specific cause -- namely Sir Humphrey and the Civil Service's constant stymieing of Hacker's attempts to push reforms through.



*** TruthInTelevision. John Major's excellent management of the economy (politely excusing Black Wednesday) was pretty much completely forgotten in the 1997 election, and New Labour's introduction of the minimum wage didn't prevent them from being killed in the 2010 election.



* XanatosBackfire:
** Humphrey's gambit in "Man Overboard" to get rid of the Employment Secretary in order to foil his plan to move half of the [[BritsWithBattleships armed forces]] OopNorth backfires spectacularly in the very last minute of the episode when [[spoiler:Hacker decides that now that the Employment Secretary is gone, he can implement the plan anyway and take the credit for it himself. It's only then that Humphrey realises that he spent so much time engineering the Employment Secretary's downfall that he never bothered to discredit the actual plan, leaving him with no counter argument -- and as Hacker unwittingly points out, he's actually unwittingly strengthened several of the arguments ''for'' it]].
** In "The Key", Humphrey takes great delight in dressing down a policeman for letting him through security without checking his pass, despite the man's protests that everyone knows who Humphrey is. Humphrey issues new orders that NO ONE gets through without a pass. No One. (This is of course part of his broader scheme to limit access to the Prime Minister). This comes back to bite him towards the end of the episode when [[spoiler:he is locked out of No. 10, desperately tries to get back in, and is refused entry by the same policeman, who takes great delight in making sure the new rules are rigorously applied, despite Humphrey's protests.]]

to:

* XanatosBackfire:
** Humphrey's gambit in "Man Overboard" to get rid of the Employment Secretary in order to foil his plan to move half of the [[BritsWithBattleships armed forces]] OopNorth backfires spectacularly in the very last minute of the episode when [[spoiler:Hacker decides that now that the Employment Secretary is gone, he can implement the plan anyway and take the credit for it himself. It's only then that Humphrey realises that he spent so much time engineering the Employment Secretary's downfall that he never bothered to discredit the actual plan, leaving him with no counter argument -- and as Hacker unwittingly points out, he's actually unwittingly strengthened several of the arguments ''for'' it]].
** In "The Key", Humphrey takes great delight in dressing down a policeman for letting him through security without checking his pass, despite the man's protests that everyone knows who Humphrey is. Humphrey issues new orders that NO ONE gets through without a pass. No One. (This is of course part of his broader scheme to limit access to the Prime Minister). This comes back to bite him towards the end of the episode when [[spoiler:he is locked out of No. 10, desperately tries to get back in, and is refused entry by the same policeman, who takes great delight in making sure the new rules are rigorously applied, despite Humphrey's protests.]]
HoistByHisOwnPetard:

28th Apr '16 2:31:24 PM ChaoticNovelist
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Almost every episode focuses on Hacker determinedly attempting, for political and occasionally idealistic reasons, to rock the bureaucratic boat by introducing some popular (and occasionally necessary) change, with Sir Humphrey just as determined to make sure that nothing comes of it. Hovering between them is Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds), Hacker's still idealistic and ingenuous Private Secretary, torn between his loyalty to Hacker (his political master) and his loyalty to Sir Humphrey (his civil service superior).

The political {{satire}} dealt with both specific issues and general principles of governance intelligently, with a painfully precise balance of cynicism and good humour; the series made a star of Nigel Hawthorne, and rightly so. As with all good comedy, much of it is relevant today, with issues brought up such as a National Integrated Database, Trade Unions, Britain's relationship with Europe, Bribery, replacing Polaris with Trident, and a recurring theme of cutting government waste and slimming the civil service.

Famous for its [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness long-winded dialogue and word-play]]. For example:

-> '''Sir Humphrey:''' I wonder if I might crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation which has, over the years, become more or less established practice in government service as we approach the terminal period of the year -- calendar, of course, not financial -- in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, Week Fifty-One -- and submit to you, with all appropriate deference, for your consideration at a convenient juncture, a sincere and sanguine expectation -- indeed confidence -- indeed one might go so far as to say hope -- that the aforementioned period may be, at the end of the day, when all relevant factors have been taken into consideration, susceptible to being deemed to be such as to merit a final verdict of having been by no means unsatisfactory in its overall outcome and, in the final analysis, to give grounds for being judged, on mature reflection, to have been conducive to generating a degree of gratification which will be seen in retrospect to have been significantly higher than the general average.
-> ''...''
-> '''Jim Hacker:''' Are you trying to say "Happy Christmas," Humphrey?
-> '''Sir Humphrey:''' Yes, Minister.

(These are all the more remarkable if you know that Hawthorne memorised these speeches. He ended up on anti-anxiety medication as a consequence. The writers were horrified to discover he could still recite these speeches later -- "My God, we're filling this poor man's head with rubbish!")

Margaret Thatcher, the real-life PM at the time the series was first shown, was a huge fan and "wrote" [[SelfInsertFic once a sketch featuring herself, Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey]] (in fact Sir Bernard Ingham wrote it). It can be read [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thatcher_script.jpg here]]. The series has in fact been criticized as being [[http://reviewsindepth.com/2010/03/yes-prime-minister-the-most-cunning-political-propaganda-ever-conceived/ powerful propaganda for the Thatcher administration]], as it was written by one of her advisors, despite the show portraying civil servants ''and'' politicians as corrupt, the politicians caring only about votes, in spite of the left-leaning sympathies of the show's co-creator, Jonathan Lynn.

to:

Almost every episode focuses The episodes focus on Hacker determinedly attempting, for political and occasionally idealistic reasons, to rock the bureaucratic boat by introducing some popular (and occasionally necessary) change, with Sir Humphrey just as determined to make sure that nothing comes of it. Hovering between them is Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds), Hacker's still idealistic and ingenuous Private Secretary, torn between his loyalty to Hacker (his political master) and his loyalty to Sir Humphrey (his civil service superior).

The political {{satire}} dealt with both specific issues and general principles of governance intelligently, with a painfully precise balance of cynicism and good humour; the series made a star of Nigel Hawthorne, and rightly so. As with all good comedy, much of it is relevant today, with issues governance. It brought up issues such as a National Integrated Database, Trade Unions, Britain's relationship with Europe, Bribery, replacing Polaris with Trident, and a recurring theme of cutting government waste and slimming the civil service.

Famous for its [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness long-winded dialogue and word-play]]. For example:

-> '''Sir Humphrey:''' I wonder if I might crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation which has, over the years, become more or less established practice in government service as we approach the terminal period of the year -- calendar, of course, not financial -- in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, Week Fifty-One -- and submit to you, with all appropriate deference, for your consideration at a convenient juncture, a sincere and sanguine expectation -- indeed confidence -- indeed one might go so far as to say hope -- that the aforementioned period may be, at the end of the day, when all relevant factors have been taken into consideration, susceptible to being deemed to be such as to merit a final verdict of having been by no means unsatisfactory in its overall outcome and, in the final analysis, to give grounds for being judged, on mature reflection, to have been conducive to generating a degree of gratification which will be seen in retrospect to have been significantly higher than the general average.
-> ''...''
-> '''Jim Hacker:''' Are you trying to say "Happy Christmas," Humphrey?
-> '''Sir Humphrey:''' Yes, Minister.

(These are all the more remarkable if you know that Hawthorne memorised these speeches. He ended up on anti-anxiety medication as a consequence. The writers were horrified to discover he could still recite these speeches later -- "My God, we're filling this poor man's head with rubbish!")

Margaret Thatcher, the real-life PM at the time the series was first shown, was a huge fan and "wrote" [[SelfInsertFic once a sketch featuring herself, Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey]] (in fact Sir Bernard Ingham wrote it). It can be read [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thatcher_script.jpg here]]. The series has in fact been criticized as being [[http://reviewsindepth.com/2010/03/yes-prime-minister-the-most-cunning-political-propaganda-ever-conceived/ powerful propaganda for the Thatcher administration]], as it was written by one of her advisors, despite the show portraying civil servants ''and'' politicians as corrupt, the politicians caring only about votes, in spite of the left-leaning sympathies of the show's co-creator, Jonathan Lynn.\n



In 2010, an updated stage version of ''Yes, Prime Minister'' proved to be highly successful (with the actor playing Sir Humphrey getting applauded after pulling off two particularly long Humphreyisms). The play was still running in the West End as of mid-2012, and a new TV version was ordered by the British cable network Gold, airing for six episodes in 2013.

Any modern commentary on the civil service will almost certainly reference the series; a recent BBC look at Cabinet Secretaries through history was entitled "The Real Sir Humphrey", and interviews with the living office holders show they are intimately aware of the series' finest moments, and "[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17723935 Yes Ministerism]]" is even used to describe when civil servants are said to be controlling matters, and even in 2012 creating a "[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9739000/9739765.stm mock interview in the name of Sir Humphrey Appleby as a doyen of Whitehall]]" (voiced by Michael Simkins from the stage version).

to:

In 2010, an updated stage version of ''Yes, Prime Minister'' proved to be highly successful (with the actor playing Sir Humphrey getting applauded after pulling off two particularly long Humphreyisms). The play was still running in the West End as of mid-2012, and a new TV version was ordered by the British cable network Gold, airing for six episodes in 2013.

Any modern commentary on the civil service will almost certainly reference the series; a recent BBC look at Cabinet Secretaries through history was entitled "The Real Sir Humphrey", and interviews with the living office holders show they are intimately aware of the series' finest moments, and "[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17723935 Yes Ministerism]]" is even used to describe when civil servants are said to be controlling matters, and even in 2012 creating a "[[http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9739000/9739765.stm mock interview in the name of Sir Humphrey Appleby as a doyen of Whitehall]]" (voiced by Michael Simkins from the stage version).
16th Mar '16 5:52:19 AM john_e
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** In "Doing the Honours", after Hacker's plan to ensure Civil Service cooperation with his plans by threatening to withhold his departmental recommendations for the current Honours list starts to spread, Sir Arnold calls Sir Humphrey in for a chat. During their conversation, Sir Arnold genially informs Humphrey that "I'm not reprimanding you, I don't have all the facts" but mildly expresses concern that, should Humphrey fail to get the plan scorched, people might start to wonder whether Humphrey was "sound". Humphrey leaves the meeting looking like someone's worked him over with a two-by-four. Later lampshaded by Bernard and Hacker when they gossip about it; Hacker describes the conversation as "a real punch-up".

to:

** In "Doing the Honours", after Hacker's plan to ensure Civil Service cooperation with his plans by threatening to withhold his departmental recommendations for the current Honours list starts to spread, Sir Arnold calls Sir Humphrey in for a chat. During their conversation, Sir Arnold genially informs Humphrey that "I'm not reprimanding you, I don't have all the facts" but mildly expresses concern that, should Humphrey fail to get the plan scorched, scotched, people might start to wonder whether Humphrey was "sound". Humphrey leaves the meeting looking like someone's worked him over with a two-by-four. Later lampshaded by Bernard and Hacker when they gossip about it; Hacker describes the conversation as "a real punch-up".
23rd Nov '15 7:05:16 PM IlGreven
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Added DiffLines:

* WolfInSheepsClothing: Sir Humphrey's plan to get Hacker to doubt his initial appointment to the Bank of England in "A Conflict of Interest" (a man who he believes would expose their cover up of a serious banking scandal) is to express full and unwavering support of the appointment. "After all, it is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back."
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.YesMinister