Yes, Minister

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Yes Minister is a show from the 80s which follows a British Cabinet Minister in the Department of Administrative Affairs, Jim Hacker. The majority of the show consists of Jim’s attempts to do something, and his Permanent Secretary’s rather more successful attempts to stop him. It gives you a pretty good idea of who really holds the power in Whitehall, and it doesn’t appear to be politicians (at least back then, for a modern day perspective you’d be better off watching The Thick Of It and its film spin-off, In The Loop).

Watching Sir Humphrey is a lesson in how to use a hundred words where one would do:

My favourite episode is The Compassionate Society, in which Jim discovers the best run hospital in the country has no medical staff or patients.

Mrs Rodgers: It’s one of the best run hospitals in the country. It’s up for the Florence Nightingale award.
Jim: And what pray is that.
Mrs Rodgers: It’s won by the most hygienic hospital in the area.

Now go and watch the show.

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