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A total number of 5,986 votes have been casted up till 21 November 2005!

Favourite series

Pie chart of favourite series

The Yes Minister series now leads in popularity, while in the past it was mainly Yes Prime Minister. Of all votes, 52.3% where for Yes Minister, with Yes Prime Minister trailing behind with 44.1%. The other 3.6% of the voters did not submit a preference.

Favourite Main Character

Pie chart of favourite main character

The choice here was either Jim Hacker, Sir Humphrey Appleby or Bernard Woolley. Sir Humphrey takes a decisive lead with 65.2% of the votes. Jim Hacker and Bernard Woolley are pretty close to each other with both between 15-18% of the votes.

Favourite supporting characters

Pie chart of favourite supporting character

Only recently we included Sir Desmond Glazebrook as an answer category in the voting form.  For this reason, the vote on favourite supporting character only reflects the past 3,836 respondents. Sir Desmond Glazebrook is quite popular with 16.6% of the votes (2nd place). Sir Arnold Robinson however remains the most popular supporting character with over 31% of the votes. Position three and four are for the women:  Dorothy Wainwright (11.9%) and Annie Hacker (11.6%). 

Rating of individual episodes

In every voting session rating of different episodes was possible. This rating was between 0 and 10, where a 0 stood for very bad and a 10 for excellent. Based upon the votes, an average rating was calculated, which results you can find below.

Yes Minister Episode

Average rating

Number of
votes included

1.1 Open Government



1.2 The Official Visit 8.1 95
1.3 The Economy Drive



1.4 Big Brother



1.5 The Writing on the Wall



1.6 The Right to Know



1.7 Jobs for the Boys



2.1 The Compassionate Society  8.2 197
2.2 Doing the honours 8.5 171
2.3 The Death List 8.1 144
2.4 The Greasy Pole 7.9 99
2.5 The Devil You Know 8.4 213
2.6 The Quality of Life 8.2 431
2.7 A Question of Loyalty 8.6 190
3.1 Equal Opportunities 8.0 546
3.2 The Challenge 8.3 452
3.3 The Skeleton in the Cupboard 8.7 1,241
3.4 The Moral Dimension 8.7 512
3.5 The Bed of Nails 8.5 895

Favourite Quotes from Episodes

Of each episode the most favourite quote could be indicated. The choice was between the top 5 of quotes listed in the Episodes section of The Y(P)M Files.

1.1 Open Government

The most votes (26.7%) went to the quote which marked the first encounter between Sir Humphrey and Jim Hacker:

Bernard Woolley: "Minister, allow me to present Sir Humphrey Appleby, Permanent Under Secretary of State and head of the DAA."
Jim Hacker: "Hello, Sir Humphrey."
Sir Humphrey: "Hello and welcome."
Bernard Woolley: "I believe you know each other."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes, we did cross swords when the Minister gave me a grilling over the estimates in the Public Accounts Committee."
Jim Hacker: "I wouldn't say that."
Sir Humphrey: "You came up with all of the questions I hoped nobody would ask."
Jim Hacker: "Opposition is about asking awkward questions."
Sir Humphrey: "And government is about not answering them."
Jim Hacker: "Well, you answered all mine anyway."
Sir Humphrey: "I'm glad you thought so, Minister."

1.2 The Official Visit

A pretty narrow victory (31.5% of the votes) for the below foreign affairs option quote:

Jim Hacker: "Humphrey, do you think it is a good idea to issue a statement?" [as a response to the planned speech of the President of Buranda urging the Scots and Irish to fight against English oppression]
Sir Humphrey: "Well, Minister, in practical terms we have the usual six options: One, do nothing. Two, issue a statement deploring the speech. Three, lodge an official protest. Four, cut of aid. Five, break off diplomatic relations. And six, declare war."
Jim Hacker: "Which should be it?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, if we do nothing we implicitly agree with the speech. Two, if we issue a statement we'll just look foolish. Three, if we lodge an official protest it'll be ignored. Four, we can't cut of aid because we don't give them any. Five, if we break off diplomatic relations we can't negotiate the oil rig contracts. And six, if we declare war it might just look as if we're over-reacting."

1.3 The Economy Drive

The quote by Sir Humphrey:

"Politicians like to panic, they need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"

received the most votes (45.0%).

1.4 Big Brother

The voters seem to overwhelming favour this long quote, again by Sir Humphrey:

"If there had been investigations, which there havent, or not necessarily, or Im not at liberty to say whether there have, there would have been a project team which, had it existed, on which I cannot comment, which would now have been disbanded, if it had existed, and the members returned to their original departments, if indeed there had been any such members.".

This quote got an absolute majority of 56.4%.

1.5 The Writing on the Wall

The most favored quote - with 45.4% of the votes - is:

Sir Humphrey: "Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well?"
Jim Hacker: "That's all ancient history, surely."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're on the inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times."

1.6 The Right to Know

With 36.5% the following quote led the pack:

Sir Humphrey: "Minister, I have something to say to you which you may not like to hear."
Jim Hacker: "Why should today be any different?"
Sir Humphrey: "Minister, the traditional allocation of executive responsibilities has always been so determined as to liberate the ministerial incumbent from the administrative minutiae by devolving the managerial functions to those whose experience and qualifications have better formed them for the performance of such humble offices, thereby releasing their political overlords for the more onerous duties and profound deliberations which are the inevitable concomitant of their exalted position."
Jim Hacker: "I wonder what made you think I didn't want to hear that?"

1.7 Jobs for the Boys

The following quote received the highest number of votes (45.8%):

Sir Humphrey: "Bernard, Ministers should never know more than they need to know. Then they can't tell anyone. Like secret agents, they could be captured and tortured."
Bernard: "You mean by terrorists?"
Sir Humphrey: "By the BBC, Bernard."

2.1 The Compassionate Society

With only a narrow margin victory over quote number four, the following quote got 34.8% of the votes:

Sir Humphrey: "Minister, you said you wanted the administration figures reduced, didn't you?"
Jim Hacker: "Yes."
Sir Humphrey: "So we reduced the figures."
Jim Hacker: "But only the figures, not the number of administrators."
Sir Humphrey: "Well of course not."
Jim Hacker: "Well that is not what I meant."
Sir Humphrey: "Well really Minister, one is not a mind-reader, is one? You said reduce the figures, so we reduced the figures."

2.2 Doing the Honours

With a clear lead of 41.3% the following Jim-Bernard quote won:

(Talking about the abbreviations of the honours CMG, KCMG and GCMG)
Bernard Woolley: "Of course in the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God."
Jim Hacker: "What does GCMG stand for?"
Bernard Woolley: "God Calls Me God."

2.3 The Death List

With 40.8% of the votes the following pure governmental quote won:

[Talking about the very successful petition on electronic surveillance]
Bernard Woolley: "Shall I file it?"
Jim Hacker: "File it? Shred it!"
Bernard Woolley: "Shred it??"
Jim Hacker: "Nobody must ever be able to find it again."
Bernard Woolley: "In that case, Minister, I think it is best I file it."

2.4 The Greasy Pole

Pretty balanced results within this voting in this top 5. Quote 5 won by a small lead with 30.4% of the votes. Runner up was quote 3 with 25.7%.

Jim Hacker: "Suppose he [Professor Henderson] produces one of these cautious wait-and-see reports?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well in that case we don't publish it, we use the American report instead."
Jim Hacker: "Oh fine, you mean we suppress it?"
Sir Humphrey: "Certainly not, we just don't publish it."
Jim Hacker: "What's the difference?"
Sir Humphrey: "Oh Minister, all the difference in the world. Suppression is the instrument of totalitarian dictatorship, we don't talk of that sort of thing in a free country. We simply take a democratic decision not to publish it."

2.5 The Devil You Know

The quote on the European community received 43.8% of the votes:

Jim Hacker: "Europe is a community of nations, dedicated towards one goal."
Sir Humphrey: "Oh, ha ha ha."
Jim Hacker: "May we share the joke, Humphrey?"
Sir Humphrey: "Oh Minister, let's look at this objectively. It's a game played for national interests, it always was. Why do you suppose we went into it?"
Jim Hacker: "To strengthen the brotherhood of Free Western nations."
Sir Humphrey: "Oh really. We went in to screw the French by splitting them off from the Germans."
Jim Hacker: "So why did the French go into it then?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, to protect their inefficient farmers from commercial competition."
Jim Hacker: "That certainly doesn't apply to the Germans."
Sir Humphrey: "No no, they went in to cleanse themselves of genocide and apply for readmission to the human race."
Jim Hacker: "I never heard such appalling cynicism. At least the small nations didn't go into it for selfish reasons."
Sir Humphrey: "Oh really? Luxembourg is in it for the perks; the capital of the EEC, all that foreign money pouring in."
Jim Hacker: "Very sensible central location."
Sir Humphrey: "With the administration in Brussels and the Parliament in Strasbourg? Minister, it's like having the House of Commons in Swindon and the Civil Service in Kettering."

2.6 The Quality of Life

Two quotes with Sir Desmond were competing as the top quote, but the below quote won with 29.0% of the votes:

Sir Desmond Glazebrook: "Surely once a Minister has made his decision, that's it, isn't it?"
Sir Humphrey: "What on earth gave you that idea?"
Sir Desmond: "Surely a decision is a decision."
Sir Humphrey: "Only if it is the decision you want. If not it is just a temporary setback."

2.7 A Question of Loyalty

Two winning quotes from this episode, both receiving exactly the same number (31.1%) of the votes.

Betty Oldham: "Look, Sir Humphrey, whatever we ask the Minister, he says is an administrative question for you, and whatever we ask you, you say is a policy question for the Minister. How do you suggest we find out what is going on?"
Sir Humphrey: "Yes, yes, yes, I do see that there is a real dilemma here. In that, while it has been government policy to regard policy as a responsibility of Ministers and administration as a responsibility of Officials, the questions of administrative policy can cause confusion between the policy of administration and the administration of policy, especially when responsibility for the administration of the policy of administration conflicts, or overlaps with, responsibility for the policy of the administration of policy."
Betty Oldham: "Well, that is a load of meaningless drivel. Isn't it??"

Sir Humphrey: "There is the excuse we used for the Munich Agreement: It occurred before certain important facts were known, and couldn't happen again."
Jim Hacker: "What important facts?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, that Hitler wanted to conquer Europe."
Jim Hacker: "I thought that everybody knew that."
Sir Humphrey: "Not the Foreign Office."

3.1 Equal Opportunities

Quote number three, where Hacker shows he understands Humphrey's expressions, was voted the favourite quote with 26.1% of the votes:

Sir Humphrey: "Well, if I might suggest that we be realistic about this."
Jim Hacker: "By realistic you mean drop the whole scheme?"
Sir Humphrey: "Dear me, no. But perhaps a pause to regroup, a lull in which to reassess the situation and discuss alternative strategies, a space of time for mature reflection and deliberation."
Jim Hacker: "Yes, you mean drop the whole scheme."

3.2 The Challenge

Quote number three received the most votes:

Sir Humphrey: "Well, we can always try to persuade them [the BBC] to withdraw programs voluntarily, once they realize that transmission is not in the public interest."
Jim Hacker: "Well, it is not in my interest. And I represent the public, so it is not in the public interest."
Sir Humphrey: "That's a novel argument. We haven't tried that on them before."

3.3 The Skeleton in the Cupboard

The episode that achieves a rating of 9.0 has the following quote as favorite:

Sir Humphrey: "If local authorities don't send us the statistics that we ask for, than government figures will be a nonsense."
Jim Hacker: "Why?"
Sir Humphrey: "They will be incomplete."
Jim Hacker: "But government figures are a nonsense anyway."
Bernard Woolley: "I think Sir Humphrey want to ensure they are a complete nonsense."

3.4 The Moral Dimension

A classic Hacker/Humphrey quote is the winner for this episode:

Jim Hacker: "Will you answer a direct question?"
Sir Humphrey: "I strongly advise you not to ask a direct question."
Jim Hacker: "Why?"
Sir Humphrey: "It might provoke a direct answer."
Jim Hacker: "It never has yet."

3.5 The Bed of Nails

A decisive 44% of all votes went to the Greek Bernard quote:

Jim Hacker: "Sir Mark thinks there maybe votes in it. And if so, I don't intend to look a gift horse in the mouth."
Sir Humphrey: "I put it to you, Minister, that you are looking a Trojan Horse in the mouth."
Jim Hacker: "If we look closely at this gift horse, we'll find it's full of Trojans?"
Bernard Woolley: "If you had looked a Trojan Horse in the mouth, Minister, you would have found Greeks inside. Well the point is that it was the Greeks that gave the Trojan Horse to the Trojans, so technically it wasn't a Trojan Horse at all, it was a Greek Horse. Hence the tag Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes which you recall is usually, and somewhat inaccurately translated as Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Or doubtless you would have recalled had you not attended the LSE. [...] No well, the point is, Minister, that just as the Trojan Horse was in fact Greek, what you describe as a Greek tag is in fact Latin. It's obvious really, the Greeks would never suggest bewaring of themselves if one used such a participle, bewaring that is, and it is clearly Latin, not because Timeo ends in 'o', because the Greek first person also ends in 'o'. Though actually, there is a Greek word called Timao meaning I honour. But the 'os' ending is a nominative singular termination of the second declension in Greek, and an accusative plural in Latin of course, though actually Danaos is not only the Greek for Greek but also the Latin for Greek, it is very interesting really."


Rating of the Files and Valued Services

The YPM Files were rated 8.5 on a scale from 0-10 (thanks all!). The most valued services of the YPM Files are the Top 5 of Quotes and the Episodes listing. In the below table you can find the percentage of voters (out of 3,646 responses) that indicates which services offered they appreciated.

Service Percentage
1. Episode listings 81%
2. Top 5 of Quotes 79%
3. Quotes in RealAudio 67%
4. Introduction page 66%
5. Database 66%
6. Video links 62%
7. Vote page 62%
8. Pictures 62%
9. FAQ 57%
10. Screensaver/software 56%
11. Voting results 55%
12. Links page 54%
13. Search engine 50%

Voter's Demographics

Most voters were males and the main age group represented was between 16-30 years old. Most voters lived in Europe and in North America, although there is a sizable portion coming from Australia. The below figures show the gender, age distribution and geographical locations.

Pie chart of voter's GenderBar chart of voter's AgesPie chart of voter's Geographical Location


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