Bernard Woolley: Isn't it a bad idea to be associated with actors? I mean, their job is pretending to be what they're not and if you're seen with them, well, people might realise.....
Jim Hacker: Go on, Bernard.
Bernard Woolley: Well, I......I mean not realise, might suspect.....might think that your were....not that you were pretending, I mean entertaining....What was it you wanted to speak to Bill about?
Bernard Woolley: I know, what about the death of a Cabinet colleague?
Jim Hacker: Is one imminent?
Bernard Woolley: No, but that would justify your absence without damaging your image.
Bill Pritchard: We can hardly hope for that to fall on the right day. Well, not by accident.
Bernard Woolley: May I just clarify this? You think the National Theatre thinks that you are bluffing and the National Theatre thinks that you think that they are bluffing, whereas your bluff is to make the National Theatre think that you are bluffing when you are not bluffing, or if you are bluffing, your bluff is to make them think you are not bluffing. And their bluff must be that they're bluffing, because if they're not bluffing they're not bluffing.
Jim Hacker: So they insult me and then expect me to give them more money?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, I must say it's a rather undignified posture. But it is what artists always do: crawling towards the government on their knees, shaking their fists.
Jim Hacker: Beating me over the head with their begging bowls.
Bernard Woolley: Oh, I am sorry to be pedantic, Prime Minister, but they can't beat you over the head if they're on their knees. Unless of course they've got very long arms.
Jim Hacker: Well, of course we do what we can. There are many calls on the public purse: inner cities, schools, hospitals, kidney machines...
Actress one: ...tanks...
Actress two: ...rockets...
Actress three: ...H-bombs...
Jim Hacker: Well, we can't really defend ourselves against the Russians with a performance of Henry V.