Yes, Minister : Quotes

Sir Humphrey: Politicians like to panic, they need activity. It is their substitute for achievement

From: The Economy Drive


Sir Humphrey: Ladysmith House is top secret.
Hacker: How can a seven storey building in Walthamstow be top secret?
Sir Humphrey: Where there's a will, there's a way!

From: The Economy Drive


Sir Humphrey: The public doesn't know anything about wasting government money. We are the experts.

From: The Economy Drive


Sir Humphrey: If there had been investigations, which there haven't, or not necessarily, or I'm not at to say whether there have, there would have been a project team which, had it existed, on which I cannot comment, 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.

From: Big Brother


Sir Humphrey: It must be hard for a political adviser to understand this, but I'm merely a civil servant. I simply do as I am instructed by my master.
Hacker: What happens when a minister is a woman, what'll you call her?
Sir Humphrey: Yes that is rather interesting. We sought an answer to that point when I was Principal Private Secretary and Dr. Edith Summerskill, as she then was, was appointed minister in 1947. I didn't quite like to refer to her as my mistress.
Jim Hacker: What was the answer?
Sir Humphrey: Oh, we're still waiting for it.

From: Big Brother


Hacker: So when this next comes up at Question Time, you want me to tell Parliament that it's their fault that the Civil Service is too big?
Sir Humphrey: But it is the truth, Minister.
Hacker: I don't want the truth. I want something I can tell Parliament!

From: The Writing On The Wall


Hacker: Where will I go?
Sir Humphrey: Well, there is a rumour, Minister.
Hacker: Rumour? What rumour?
Sir Humphrey: A Minister with general responsibility for Industrial Harmony.
Hacker: Industrial Harmony?! You know what that means, don't you? That means strikes. From now on every strike in Great Britain will be my fault!

From: The Writing On The Wall


Hacker: When you give your evidence to the Think Tank, are you going to support my view that the civil service is overmanned and feather-bedded, or not? Yes or no? Straight answer!
Sir Humphrey: Well Minister, if you ask me for a straight answer, then I shall say that, as far as we can see, looking at it by and large, taking one thing with another in terms of the average of departments, then in the final analysis it is probably true to say, that at the end of the day, in general terms, you would probably find that, not to put too fine a point on it, there probably wasn't very much in it one way or the other as far as one can see, at this stage.

From: The Writing On The Wall


Hacker: Humphrey, do you see it as part of your job to help ministers make fools of themselves?
Sir Humphrey: Well, I never met one that needed any help.

From: The Right To Know


Lucy: It's because the badgers haven't got votes, isn't it?
Hacker: Eh?
Lucy: If the badgers had votes you wouldn't be exterminating them. No - you'ld be up there at Hayward's Spinney shaking paws and kissing cubs, and ingratiating yourself like you always do.
Annie Hacker: Lucy, that's not a very nice thing to say!
Lucy Hacker: It's true, isn't it?
Annie Hacker: Yes. But daddy is in politics. He has to be ingratiating.

From: The Right To Know


Ecological activist: There is nothing special about man, Mr. Hacker. We're not above nature. We're all part of it. Men are animals too, you know.
Hacker: I know that - I've just come from the House of Commons!

From: The Right To Know


Sir Humphrey: Make sure he (the Minister) spends more time where he can't get under our feet and can't do any damage.
Bernard: But where?
Sir Humphrey: Well, the House of Commons for instance.

From: The Right To Know


Sir Desmond: So it all boils down to the Industrial Co-partnership Committee. Still, I find that quite acceptable.
Sir Humphrey: Well, it is within the gift of my Minister, and you would only put in appearances once or twice a month.
Sir Desmond: Are there lots of papers?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, but it wouldn't be awfully necessary to read them.
Sir Desmond: Then I wouldn't have anything to say at the monthly meetings.
Sir Humphrey:Splendid, I can see your just the chap I'm looking for.

From: Jobs For The Boys


Sir Humphrey: It takes two to quango, Minister.

From: Jobs For The Boys


Sir Humphrey: 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!

From: Jobs For The Boys


Bernard Woolley: In the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God.
Hacker: What does GCMG stand for?
Bernard: God Calls Me God.

From: Doing The Honours


Hacker: When did a civil servant last refuse an honour?
Bernard:Well I think there was somebody in the Treasury that refused a knighthood.
Hacker: When?
Bernard: I think it was 1496.
Hacker: Why?
Bernard: He had already got one.

From: Doing The Honours

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