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Yes Minister: Sir Humphrey explains Foreign Policy

This quote is from episode 1×05 from Yes, Minister, “The Writing on the Wall”. The minister Jim Hacker (to the correct) is naive and pro-Europe, whilst his (far more capable) underling, senior civil service mastermind, his private secretary Sir Humphrey (to the left) explains how the British Foreign Policy has usually been about producing certain the European notion fails. This episode was originally aired 1981, but it is actually extremely present, too. The discussion erupts over the idea of introducing mandatory ID cards to Britain, which is still a hot subject in 2009.

posted by in Comedies and have Comments (25)

25 Responses to “Yes Minister: Sir Humphrey explains Foreign Policy”

  1. WhtRabbit76 says:

    @gamewizard I agree one gets the feeling with Sir Arnold that one is dealing with a true professional operator.

  2. thatsniperisaspy says:

    @AlanWattParrot I was about to make a snarky comment regarding your intelligence, but then I read your channel and laughed.

    Good show sir.

  3. lettucegod says:

    @gamewizard The reason you feel Humphrey is an amateur (and he is supposed to be in comparison) I think is due to the lack of flooding from Sir Arnold Robinson, by that I mean he always seems manipulative by way of implied humour and circumstance, which to be honest would be lessened should he had appeared more.

  4. vibinjk says:

    @oldstuff Yes, the most intelligent show ever written!

  5. Professor6871 says:

    I’ve entire seriess of these brillant stuff. ‘The Thick of It is not as half as good as this.

  6. jmbrosendo says:

    As aplicable today as it was back then, haha. Best intelligent comedy ever made.

  7. snipermagoo says:

    Wisdom dictates that I don’t read the comments.

    They will be dumb.

  8. AlanWattParrot says:

    @gw Answer to yr 1st question: Lisbon Treaty & those treaties illegal under Common Law that preceded it. As to the rest of yr comm, retaining the £ is jut a sop to the general public who live in a world consisting entirely of shiny reflective surfaces -who CONTROLS our currency? As Mayer Amschel Rothschild is oft-quoted as saying: give me control over a nation’s currency & i care not who makes it laws

    I’m totally opposed to our surrendering our national sovereignty to the EUSSR, the FCO aren’t

  9. gamewizard says:


    And they ended up destroying the land of a third religion when they did it. Pakistan and Punjab used to be the same country run by the Sikhs. Lahore was their capitol.

  10. gamewizard says:


    Just because you live in close geographic proximity does not mean you are all the same people. The EU is a farce, throwing people who don’t normally get along together and telling them that they have to. Look at how Yugoslavia turned out. The EU is Yugoslavia on a much larger scale and when it comes crashing down a lot more people will be hurt.

  11. gamewizard says:


    How do you know it isn’t true? Why do you think the UK kept the Pound and wanted nothing to do with the Euro? It’s a damn good thing they did, too, or they’d have to help bail out the countries that cooked their books along with France and Germany.

  12. reallyfullofmyself says:

    @gamewizard ..true politician…the only way to be one! That’s why the character is so brilliant, he’s JUST the way politicians are? (leaves us with the question, WHY do people vote????)

  13. cityviagranville says:

    @PJL1973 Yeah – and Bernard should have picked up on it and corrected him!

  14. piercegardner says:

    Register and meet real people

  15. ebyard says:

    I love Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. I watched the entire series in 2 days last week. It’s amazing just how pertinent the material is today – the economy, health, education, defence, peerages…………

    It could well have been written and screened yesterday, save for the decor and haircuts!

  16. dorisig says:

    Interesting UK idea about the Europian Union

  17. dunedain101 says:


    Lol, no. This TV Show is a genuine satire. Not anti EU at all.

    Quite the contrary actually, It shows what are England’s true intention toward the EU and how they acted like rats all their history.. 5 Britfags, with a very narrow and romantic view of the Uk’s history, are butthurt that’s all.

  18. gamewizard says:

    5 people are pro Europe.

  19. cent0grassi says:

    @PJL1973 well spotted. But, i don’t think it is an inadvertent mistake on the part of the script writers. They must have have put it in there for the more discerning viewers like yourself to spot it. That’s what makes Messrs Lynn and Jay so great.

  20. cent0grassi says:

    @gamewizard i agree.. Sir Arnold looks almost regal next to Humphrey. Especially, the one time he says, ‘how gratifying’, I try to use that in conversations.

  21. AlanWattParrot says:

    if only his shpeel were true!

  22. dallasjock999 says:

    well said….this is the best sitcom I have ever seen, and I have seen alot of sitcom….

  23. PJL1973 says:

    Just realsied that Humphrey mixes his metaphors here, it should either be a dog’s breakfast or pig’s ear of it.

  24. SIngli6 says:

    Superbly acted and written with mordant sagacity, Yes, Minister/Prime Minister is the greatest sitcom of all time… sans none!

  25. SIngli6 says:


    Robinson would have to be blasted Machiavelli!

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