The Prime Minister finds himself in a bit of a pickle when he flatly denies in the House that the government has bugged MP's telephones. It turns out the government was and Sir Humphrey was aware of ...
The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms - or so he thinks.
Following a series of circumstances involving the Eurosausage, the Home Secretary drink driving and the Chancellor's dalliances with a shady lady from Argentina, Minister for Administrative Affairs Jim Hacker finds himself elevated to Number 10 Downing Street without being quite sure how he got there. But life as Prime Minister is no easier than being a Minister; Hacker still finds his every move challenged by the Civil Service as represented by his new Cabinet Secretary, the ever-wily and manipulative Sir Humphrey Appleby, who is as equally determined that nothing should change as Hacker is that changes should be made. Wandering nervously between them is Bernard Wooley, Hacker's private secretary, who continues juggling his responsibilities to his political master with his loyalties to his Civil Service colleagues... Written by
In my years as a student of political science at the university of Leiden, one of the professors used to rave about these series whenever the subject of British politics was on the agenda. And even though that professor wasn't the most humorous of chaps, his quotes and tales from the series always guaranteed a good laugh.
I recently got hold of the entire series, and even though I do view them with a somewhat scholarly mind (old habits, and such), laughing out loud is my usual response. So cleverly written, such an exquisite cast of characters, such a mild way of portraying profound cynicism ("A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist", dixit Sir Humphrey Appleby).
I will probably still look at it in ten, twenty, thirty years time (if I live to see the day) ... knowing that there will always be a Sir Humphrey Appleby, a Bernard Woolley and a Right Honorable James Hacker around somewhere preventing the series from becoming outdated.
I don't know if that's something to look forward to, but if it guarantees the same laughs, I'm all for it!
29 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?