Friday, November 4, 2022

TV Quote of the Day (‘Yes, Prime Minister,’ As a Financial Crisis Convulses the British Cabinet)

[James Hacker asks Sir Humphrey Appleby about a financial crisis.]

Hacker [played by Paul Eddington]: “Why the sudden crisis? The Treasury must've seen it coming.”

Sir Humphrey [played by Nigel Hawthorne]: “Prime Minister, I'm not the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. You must ask Sir Frank.”

Hacker: “What would Sir Frank say?”

Sir Humphrey: “It is not for a humble mortal such as I to speculate on the complex and elevated deliberations of the mighty. But in general, I think Sir Frank believes that if the Treasury knows something has to be done, the Cabinet shouldn't have too much time to think about it.”

Hacker: “But that's an outrageous view!”

Sir Humphrey: “Yes, indeed. It's known as Treasury policy.”

Hacker: “Suppose the Cabinet has questions?”

Sir Humphrey: “Well, I think Sir Frank's view is that on the rare occasions when the Treasury understands the questions, the Cabinet doesn't understand the answers.”— Yes, Prime Minister, Season 1, Episode 5, “A Real Partnership,” original air date Feb 6, 1986, screenplay by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, directed by Sydney Lotterby

Surely at this point, the above dialogue makes for uncomfortable listening for the Conservative Party grandees in charge—sort of—at Downing Street these last few years—particularly now that the Bank of England, setting its biggest rate hike in 33 years, warns that the UK could experience its longest recession in 100 years.

And we Yanks think we have it bad..

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