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YPM 1.5 - A Real Partnership
First airtime BBC: 6 February 1986
Length: 30 minutes

Cast Crew

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Jim discussing the financial crisis Plot: Suddenly, Jim Hacker is faced with a financial crisis. And this just at the time when MPs are looking for a pay rise. Because the Treasury's warning about the state of the economy came at the last minute, Jim has a very stormy Cabinet meeting.
After that meeting, he complains to Sir Humphrey about the Treasury document that arrived the night before the Cabinet meeting, giving him no time to soften the blow. Sir Humphrey explains that this is Treasury policy: one should not give the Cabinet too much time to think about it. Jim Hacker instructs Sir Humphrey to make sure all Cabinet documents are circulated 48 hours before the meeting.
Sir Humphrey discusses the PM's concerns in a meeting with Sir Frank. There is also a problem: the Civil Service is just expecting their pay rise. They decide that this Humphrey happy with the proposed pay rise proposal has to be put to the Cabinet before the pay restraints are announced. Sir Frank suggests that they jointly put forward this proposal. But Sir Humphrey refuses because Sir Frank is responsible for pay and rations of the Civil Service. As the proposal has to be reviewed by an independent committee, Sir Humphrey proposes Professor Welsh as head of this committee. Professor Welsh is looking for a quango, so he will know what is expected of him.
Jim Hacker is very angry when he sees the Civil Service pay claim on the Cabinet's agenda. Sir Humphrey explains that serious problems in recruitment will arise of a pay rise does not come through.
The next day Sir Frank shows the pay rise proposal to Sir Humphrey. They agree it looks pretty good: a 43 percent pay rise for the highest ranks in the Civil Service. This fact however is buried within multiple appendices and a general comparison with the salaries of directors in typical industrial companies (meaning BP and IBM).
Arnold cutting down the pay rise The PM's Chief Political Adviser Dorothy Wainwright has looked at the proposal. She phones Jim about this and gives him several questions he should ask Sir Humphrey. Bernard overhears this conversation and warns Sir Humphrey that the proposal is in jeopardy. When Sir Humphrey goes to see Jim Hacker, he immediately drops his support for Sir Frank's proposal. He advises the PM to set up a meeting to ask these questions to Sir Frank.
Sir Humphrey goes out to lunch with Sir Arnold and asks for advise to secure the Civil Service pay rise. Sir Arnold suggests that he should increase the London and graduate allowances since these don't count as pay rises. Furthermore, the Outstanding Merit Awards (every civil servant gets it) should be increased and the number of civil servants decreased by creating independent trusts. This way the same pay rise will look to be only 6% a year. Sir Humphrey is very happy with this advise.
Dorothy and Jim questioning Sir Frank Gordon Then they have the meeting where Sir Frank has to explain the Civil Service pay claim. Jim Hacker (well, more accurate Dorothy) asks about the job security, service element, honours, index-linked pension, etc. Every time Sir Frank asks for support of Sir Humphrey, the latter refers it back to Sir Frank. After the entire proposal has been discredited, Sir Humphrey has a private word with Jim. There he puts forward his more reasonable looking proposal of only a 6% rise a year. Jim Hacker is pleased with this proposal, although he still sees problems getting it through Parliament as MPs are denied their pay rise. Sir Humphrey however has a solution: every Civil Service pay rise will automatically raise MPs salaries as well. Jim Hacker agrees with this excellent proposal.
Rating (0-10): 7

Top 5 Quotes

  1. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Now look, I realise that you have to have loyalty to your colleagues, but you also have a broader loyalty to Cabinet and its policies."
    Sir Humphrey: "I agree."
    Jim Hacker: "You agree??"
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes."
    Jim Hacker: "You agree ... with me??"
    Sir Humphrey: "I agree with you."
    Jim Hacker: "Who do you agree with?"
    Sir Humphrey: "With you."
    Jim Hacker: "Not with Sir Frank?"
    Sir Humphrey: "No."
    Jim Hacker: "You're not arguing with me?"
    Sir Humphrey: "No... Perhaps I haven't made myself quite clear. I agree with you."
  2. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: "Prime Minister, as Cabinet Secretary I am, of course, most eager to reduce public spending, but a Head of the Civil Service, I am responsible for the very real dangers which will arise administratively if a pay rise does not come through very soon. It's so difficult for me, you see, as I am wearing two hats."
    Jim Hacker: "Yes, isn't that rather awkward for you?"
    Sir Humphrey: "Not if one is in two minds."
    Bernard Woolley: "Or has two faces."
    Jim Hacker: "Perhaps I should relieve you of one of them?"
    Sir Humphrey: "Oh no, no, no. I am perfectly happy with both of them."
    Jim Hacker: "Faces?"
    Sir Humphrey: "Hats!"
  3. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "If there were a conflict of interests, which side will the Civil Service really be on?"
    Bernard Woolley: "The winning side, Prime Minister."
  4. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "You are the Cabinet Secretary. You must insist that we get papers circulated earlier."
    Sir Humphrey: "Alas, there are grave problems about circulating papers before they are written."
  5. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "And what about Sir Frank [foreseeing the financial crisis]? He is head of the Treasury."
    Bernard Woolley: "Well, I am afraid he is in even a greater disadvantage in understanding economics. He is an economist."

YPM 1.6 - A Victory for Democracy
First airtime BBC: 13 February 1986
Length: 30 minutes

Cast Crew

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Uuuhhhhmmmm.... Plot: Jim Hacker had a worrying talk with the American Ambassador. The Ambassador was talking about East Yemen and also murmured something about St. George's Island (democratic island in the Indian Ocean, part of the Commonwealth). Jim asks Bernard what is going on, but he is doesn't know either. Bernard suggests to ask the Foreign Secretary about it.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office has a meeting with Sir Humphrey. He expresses concern about the Prime Minister beginning to mistrust the advice of the Foreign Office. It could lead to Britain having two foreign policies: one by the Foreign Office and one by the Cabinet. He informs Sir Humphrey of what is about to happen at St. George's Island. On that island, a group of Marxist guerrilla's is planning a coupe and they They are not doing a coupe on their own will be military backed for this by East Yemen. Support for this also comes from the Soviet-Union and Libya. The Foreign Office has agreed with the parties that Britain will not intervene in return for the assurance that they will be able to keep a large construction contract.
The Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office also informs Sir Humphrey that Britain will support an Arab vote against Israel in the UN. He guesses that the Prime Minister wants Britain to abstain to please the Americans. He asks Sir Humphrey to make the Prime Minister understand that his role as Prime Minister is purely ceremonial with regards to foreign policy.
The Foreign Secretary has the requested meeting with Jim Hacker. However, he doesn't seem to know anything about St. George Island either. Jim asks the Foreign Secretary to find out more about it. Furthermore, he instructs the Foreign Secretary to abstain in the UN vote against Israel. The Foreign Secretary however feels the Foreign Office won't wear it.
Where is St. George's island? When Jim meets up with Sir Humphrey, he asks about his thoughts on St. George's Island and the UN vote against Israel. Sir Humphrey points that Britain should vote in the UN along with the Arabs to protect British interests (oil). Regarding St. George's Island he suggests Jim should ask the Foreign Office.
After the meeting, Jim wants to learn where St. George's Island lies. He and Bernard look it up at the globe in the Private Office. Here another Private Secretary called Luke listens in to their conversation. Bernard quickly guides Jim out of the Private Office and warns him that Luke is a security risk regarding foreign affairs. Although he works for Jim Hacker as his link to the Foreign Office, he is also the Foreign Office's man inside Number Ten. He is a plant!
Bernard goes to see Sir Humphrey and the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office. He informs them that the PM is completely in the dark what is going on. Both of Jim imitating Luke them think this is wonderful. They explain to Bernard that politicians should not intervene in the delicate business of diplomacy. Since politicians don't have the expertise, foreign affairs should be left to the Foreign Office. If politicians where let to dictate foreign policy, they would support the good guys and thus would hurt British interests.
Next morning, when Luke delivers the Foreign Office telegrams to the PM, Jim Hacker sees that East Yemen is moving his troops. Luke says East Yemen is probably preparing another raid on West Yemen, and there is nothing to worry about. When Jim Hacker reads that Britain voted against Israel in the UN he is outraged. Luke tells him that the British UN Ambassador did consider the PM's wish to abstain, but in light of developments overnight decided to vote against Israel. Jim Hacker now demands to meet the Israeli Ambassador. After some discussion Luke sets up this meeting.
You'll be sent to a very important embassy.... Tel Aviv That night the Israeli Ambassador comes to see Jim at his home. The Ambassador fully informs Jim about the plan regarding St. George's Island, East Yemen support, and the Foreign Office promise not to intervene. He advises Jim to send in an airborne battalion on a goodwill mission to St. George's Island. This should scare off East Yemen. Surely, the British Prime Minister will not take advice from the Israeli Ambassador, so Jim Hacker arranges this immediately.
The next morning, Sir Humphrey is not very pleased about this move and wants to know what made Jim decide to do this. Jim tells him that a warning from Luke sparked it off. In one paragraph in the 128 pages long "Northern Indian Ocean Situation Report", Luke hinted that there might be trouble at St. George's Island. Jim gives Luke full credit and as a 'reward' Luke will become Ambassador at a very important Embassy: Tel Aviv. So he can explain why Britain is always voting against Israel in the UN.
Rating (0-10): 10

Top 5 Quotes

  1. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Do tell me why the Foreign Office is worried [about sending an airborne battalion to St. George's Island]? I am fascinated."
    Sir Humphrey: "Well, it is a very sensitive part of the world. Unstable."
    Jim Hacker: "They are always telling me how stable it is."
    Sir Humphrey: "Hum...well, yes, yes...indeed it is. But it is an unstable sort of stability."
  2. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "We should always fight for the weak against the strong."
    Sir Humphrey: "Well, why don't we send troops to Afghanistan to fight the Russians?"
    Jim Hacker: "The Russians are too strong."
  3. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Oh, this is nice. The Americans are delighted by our little visit to St. George's Island. That's good, isn't it?"
    Sir Humphrey: "Excellent..."
    Jim Hacker: "They say they have got a whole airborne division ready if we want reinforcements."
    Sir Humphrey: "Reinforcements of what?"
    Jim Hacker: "Reinforcements of goodwill, Humphrey!"
  4. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Apparently, the White House thinks that the Foreign Office is full of pinkoes and traitors."
    Bernard Woolley: "No, it's not. Well, not full."
  5. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Who knows Foreign Office secrets, apart from the Foreign Office?"
    Bernard Woolley: "That's easy. Only the Kremlin."

YPM 1.7 - The Bishop’s Gambit
First airtime BBC: 20 February 1986
Length: 30 minutes

Cast Crew

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There is nothing you can do Plot: Jim, Humphrey and Bernard are watching the news on television. In it is an item on a British nurse that was arrested in Qumran for possession of a bottle of whisky. She risks being imprisoned for ten years plus forty lashes. Jim wants the Foreign Office to intervene on behalf of the nurse, but Sir Humphrey explains that this will only harm the British relationship with Qumran. Then Bernard reminds Jim that he has to decide who will become the new bishop at Bury St. Edmunds. Although he will be able to choose from two names, it will be a conjuring trick: the Church will make sure Jim will pick the right name.
Sir Humphrey rushes off to a dinner engagement at Baillie College. The Master tells him that when he retires four years from now, he would like Sir Humphrey to become the new Master of Baillie College. Sir Humphrey is honoured. But there is a problem: the Dean of Baillie is opposing this. The Master is wondering whether they can get rid off the Dean. He would be interested in becoming The Dean won't be missed a bishop, for instance at Bury St. Edmunds. Sir Humphrey however feels this is not possible as the Church has already decided on a candidate. But he recommends that they sent the Dean to Qumran to see whether he can intervene on behalf of the nurse. If he succeeds it will help for a future appointment, if he doesn't succeed it won't be held against him, and if he doesn't return he won't be missed.
Next morning, Peter - the chairman of the Crown Appointments Commission - has a meeting with Jim about the bishopric of Bury St. Edmunds. The Commission has put up two names for Jim to choose from. The first name is Canon Mike Stanford. He is a modernist, has the appropriate background and education, and has a very suitable wife. The second name is Dr. Paul Harvey. He is suspected of disestablishmentarianism. Jim doesn't understand, but Peter explains that this is the view that Church and State should be separated. Jim asks why his name is on the list He is suspected of disestablishmentarianism then. Peter replies that he isn't actually a disestablishmentarianist, but he seems to be leaning that way.
After Peter has left, Sir Humphrey explains that a modernist is the Church code for non-believer. Jim Hacker is staggered. Why would the Church want to appoint a non-believer? Sir Humphrey explains that the Church of England is much more a social organisation than a religious one. So bishops have to be right sort of people for social events, while their religious beliefs are irrelevant. When Bernard reads out Canon Mike Stanford's CV. It turns out he is a left wing radical. He will be able to attack the government in the House, as the bishopric of Bury St. Edmunds also has a seat in the House of Lords. Jim is not happy with having to choose between someone that wants God out of the Church of England, and another one that wants the Queen out. Sir Humphrey suggests he could turn down both candidates, but this is highly unusual so not recommended.
Why not reject both candidates on religious grounds? At home, his wife Annie helps him to decide. She suggests to turn down Canon Mike Stanford because of his questionable religious beliefs. Thus the Commission will have to come up with two new names. Bernard also comes by and informs Jim that the Dean of Baillie will go to Qumran to negotiate on behalf of the nurse. The Foreign Office wants Jim to prevent this, but Jim supports it.
And the Dean of Baillie is successful in releasing the nurse from Qumran. The Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office is aghast by this success. Sir Humphrey fears that the press will now focus on the fact that the Dean succeeded where the Foreign Office failed. He suggests to the Permanent Secretary that they tell the press it was Jim Hacker's idea to sent the Dean to Qumran. And after that they leak that the Foreign Office suggested this idea to the PM. So everyone gets the credit, and no chance Jim Hacker will ever deny it wasn't his idea.
Bernard shocked at his own words After the Permanent Secretary has left, Sir Humphrey talks to the Master of Baillie College on the phone. He informs the Master it might be possible for the Dean to become bishop of Bury St. Edmunds after all.
Next Peter drops in about the bishopric of Bury St. Edmunds. The Commission has come up with only one possible candidate: Stephen Soames. Sir Humphrey however tells him that the PM wants to be able to choose between two candidates. He suggests to add the Dean of Baillie College. He ensures Peter there is no chance the Dean will be chosen by the PM.
Jim Hacker is thrilled by all the press coverage that is giving him credit for the Dean's rescue mission. Then he and Sir Humphrey look at the recommendations list for the bishopric of Bury St. Edmunds. Jim favours Stephen Soames. Sir Humphrey points out that Stephen Soames is very religious and will likely attack the government on issues like abortion, contraception, easy divorce, etc. Sir Humphrey also tells Jim he has learned the Dean is planning to tell the press the idea of going to Qumran didn't come from the PM. Jim now grasps that the best choice as bishop is the Dean of Baillie College.
Rating (0-10): 7

Top 5 Quotes

  1. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: "The Church is looking for a candidate to maintain the balance."
    Master of Baillie College: "What balance?"
    Sir Humphrey: "Between those that believe in God and those that don't."
  2. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: "Bishops tend to have long lives. Apparently the Lord isn't all that keen on them to join him."
  3. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: "The PM never thinks it is silly to appoint people who are vain and incompetent. Look at the Cabinet."
  4. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: The Queen is inseparable from the Church of England."
    Jim Hacker: "And what about God?"
    Sir Humphrey: I think he is what is called an optional extra."
  5. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "The Foreign Office will never get the Cabinet to agree to this policy."
    Sir Humphrey: "The Foreign Office never expect the Cabinet to agree with any of their policies. That is why they never fully explain them."

YPM 1.8 - One of Us
First airtime BBC: 27 February 1986
Length: 30 minutes

Cast Crew

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I can't believe one of us is one of them Plot: Jim Hacker comes home for the evening and finds his wife Annie watching the news. He is eager to learn whether his Question Time in the House was on the news. However, it wasn't. Instead, there is a news item of a dog called Benjy that has gotten lost on the army's artillery shell testing area on Salisbury Plain.
The next day, the head of MI5 comes over to see Jim. He brings the shocking news that the former head of MI5 Sir John Halstead has been a Russian spy during most of his career. MI5 found a full confession in Halstead's files, which he left to the government after his death. The most shocking fact however is that in the 1970's there was a security inquiry into John Halstead that cleared him completely. But that inquiry missed some obvious question. So obvious, that one could wonder whether the ones who held the inquiry weren't also spies. And the main civil servant that performed that inquiry was .... Humphrey Appleby. The head of MI5 advises Jim to hold a security inquiry into Sir Humphrey.
Why didn't you hold a proper inquiry? Next, Jim finds out from the papers that his popularity among the voters has dropped considerably. He is very worried about this. Then in a private meeting with Sir Humphrey he asks him about the security inquiry into Sir John Halstead. Sir Humphrey stakes his reputation on Halstead not spying for Russia. He couldn't have been since Sir John Halstead was "one of us" (a civil servant). And the security inquiry was set up for that; aimed at finding no evidence. This merely allowed the PM to state that there had been an inquiry and no evidence was found. If they had wanted to hold a real inquiry they would have called in the Special Branch. Then Jim reveals that Sir John Halstead was actually a Russian spy. Sir Humphrey is shocked by this and soon realizes the suspicions Jim has about him. And even if he is cleared of spying, then there is also the question of incompetence. Jim decides to ask the former Cabinet Secretary Sir Arnold Robinson what to do. He instructs Sir Humphrey not to talk to Sir Arnold before he does.
The Cabinet could make you Head of the War Graves Commission Sir Humphrey immediately has a meeting with Sir Arnold. Sir Arnold is not so much worried about what happens to Sir Humphrey personally, but what harm it might do to the Civil Service. If Cabinet were allowed to sack a senior civil servant based upon incompetence, this could create a dangerous precedent. He advises Sir Humphrey to make himself invaluable for the PM by increasing the PM's popularity. The way to do this is to give the PM a prominent role in a current news story.
Next day Sir Humphrey has a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. He asks the Permanent Secretary to prepare a rescue operation for the dog Benjy on Salisbury Plain. Sir Humphrey will persuade the PM to give the go ahead and the PM will receive the full credit (including the large bill).
Jim Hacker discusses the position of Sir Humphrey with Sir Arnold. Sir Arnold shows the PM a document that exonerates Sir Humphrey. Then there remains the question of incompetence. Sir Arnold advises Jim that You have been cleared of spying shouldn't sack Sir Humphrey because this just opens up a can of worms. After Sir Arnold has left, Jim brings Sir Humphrey the good news that he has been cleared of spying. When the question of incompetence comes up, Humphrey changes the subject by advising Jim how to increase his popularity; a rescue operation of Benjy. Jim agrees with this operation.
It works: next day the papers are praising Jim's decision to rescue Benjy. When Jim and Sir Humphrey discuss the Cabinet agenda, Sir Humphrey advises to refer the item on defence cuts back to the Cabinet Committee. Jim however wants the Cabinet to make a decision. Then Sir Humphrey produces the true costing of the rescue of Benjy: £310,000. He remarks that if Jim doesn't postpone defence cuts, the Ministry of Defence will probably leak the costs of rescue to the press. Jim says he will not be blackmailed, but he decides to refer defence cuts back to the Cabinet Committee.
Rating (0-10): 6

Top 5 Quotes

  1. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "I'm happy to tell you that you've been cleared of spying."
    Sir Humphrey: "How?"
    Jim Hacker: "Something Sir John Halstead wrote."
    Sir Humphrey: "Oh, that is very gratifying."
    Jim Hacker: "Yes indeed, I knew you would be pleased."
    Sir Humphrey: "May one see the document?"
    Jim Hacker: "One certainly may. Better still, one can have it read to one: 
    May 28 - Another session with that prize goof Appleby. Fooled him completely.
    "
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes I see, well thank you, Prime Minister."
    Jim Hacker: "No, no, no, goes on Humphrey, clears you even more. 
    Never asked any of the difficult questions. Didn't seem to have read the MI5 file...
    "
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes that is quite clear, thank you very much."
    Jim Hacker: "...So much wool in his head, it is child's play to pull it over his eyes. Isn't that wonderful! You must be a very happy man."
  2. RealAudio Sir Humphrey: "Arnold, are you suggesting that I should have the Prime Minister crawling all over Salisbury Plain, with a mine detector in one hand and a packet of Winalot in the other?"
    Sir Arnold: "It would probably do Britain less harm than anything else he is likely to be doing."
  3. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "Yes Humphrey, there is something I want to talk to you about. Something very secret. Uhm......."
    Sir Humphrey: "Would it be easier if I wasn't here?"
  4. RealAudio Jim Hacker: "You sure you watched the whole of the news?"
    Annie Hacker: "Yes."
    Jim Hacker: "Wasn't it on, the bit about me?"
    Annie Hacker: "No, unless I missed it of course."
    Jim Hacker: "But you said you watched the whole of the news."
    Annie Hacker: "Yes, but you know how it is when one watches TV: one sort of mentally tunes out the boring bits."
  5. RealAudio Sir Arnold: "But once they have accepted the principle that senior civil servants could be removed for incompetence, that would be the thin end of the wedge. We could loose dozens of our chaps, hundreds perhaps."
    Sir Humphrey: "Thousands..."

 

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