Friday, April 14, 2023

TV Quote of the Day (‘Yes, Prime Minister,’ on Breaking 'The Basic Rule' of Finance Scandals)

[Sir Desmond and Sir Humphrey discuss a financial scandal]

Sir Desmond Glazebrook [played by Richard Vernon]: “They've broken the rules.”

Sir Humphrey Appleby [played by Nigel Hawthorne, pictured]: “What, you mean the insider trading regulations?”

Sir Desmond: “No.”

Sir Humphrey: “Oh. Well, that's one relief.”

Sir Desmond: “I mean of course they've broken those, but they've broken the basic, the basic rule of the City.”

Sir Humphrey: “I didn't know there were any.”

Sir Desmond: “Just the one. If you're incompetent you have to be honest, and if you're crooked you have to be clever. See, if you're honest, then when you make a pig's breakfast of things the chaps rally round and help you out.”

Sir Humphrey: “If you're crooked?”

Sir Desmond: “Well, if you're making good profits for them, chaps don't start asking questions; they're not stupid. Well, not that stupid.”

Sir Humphrey: “So the ideal is a firm which is honest and clever.”

Sir Desmond: “Yes. Let me know if you ever come across one, won't you?”— Yes, Prime Minister, Season 2, Episode 4, “A Conflict of Interest,” original air date Dec. 31, 1987, teleplay by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, directed by Sydney Lotterby

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