Yes, Prime Minister

Season 2 Episode 7

The National Education Service

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 08, 1988 on BBC Two



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Jim Hacker: Do you think I could? Grasp the nettle? Take the bull by the horns?
      Bernard Woolley: Prime Minister, you can't take the bull by the horns if you're grasping the nettle.
      Jim Hacker: Oh, really, Bernard?
      Bernard Woolley: All I meant was, if you grasp the nettle with one hand, you could take the bull by one horn with the other hand, but not both horns because your hand isn't big enough. And if you did take the bull by one horn, it would be rather dangerous, because (he acts out a bull butting out at someone). Well, it was just a mixed metaphor and since we were discussing education, I, I just... (phone rings) Thank God.

    • (Sir Humphrey has just proven that, despite what the Prime Minister says, he still knows Latin.)
      Sir Humphrey Appleby:Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.
      Jim Hacker: What does that mean?
      Sir Humphrey Appleby: If you'd kept your mouth shut, we might have thought you were clever.
      Jim Hacker: I beg your pardon?!
      Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh, not you, Prime Minister. No, that's the translation.
      Bernard Woolley: No one would ever have thought Sir Humphrey was saying that about you.
      Sir Humphrey Appleby: Go away, Bernard, please.

    • (Discussing ways to reform the education system)
      Jim Hacker: No, the DES would block it.
      Dorothy Wainwright: Fine, get rid of them.
      Jim Hacker: What?
      Dorothy Wainwright: Get rid of the Department of Education.
      Jim Hacker: I don't understand you.
      Dorothy Wainwright: Get rid of it! Abolish it! Remove it! Expunge it! Eliminate it! Eradicate it! Exterminate it! Get rid of it!
      Jim Hacker: Get rid of it?

    • Sir Humphrey: Hello Bernard, I hear the Prime Minister wants to see me?
      Bernard Woolley: Yes, Sir Humphrey.
      Sir Humphrey: What's his problem?
      Bernard Woolley: Education.
      Sir Humphrey: Well, it's a bit late to do anything about that now.

    • Sir Humphrey: You just don't leave important matters in the hand of those clowns [local councils]. And as you've left education to them, one must assume that until now you've attached little importance to it.
      Jim Hacker: I think it is extremely important. It could loose me the next election.
      Sir Humphrey: Ah!! In my naivety, I thought you were concerned about the future of our children.
      Jim Hacker: Yes, that too. For they get the vote at eighteen.

    • Jim Hacker: What are you saying?
      Sir Humphrey: I am saying that education will never get any better as long as its subject to all that tomfoolery in the town halls. I mean, just imagine what would happen if you put defence in the hands of the local authorities.
      Jim Hacker: Defence?
      Sir Humphrey: Yes, give the local councils a hundred million each and ask them to defend themselves. We wouldn't have to worry about the Russians; we would have a civil war in three weeks.

    • Sir Humphrey: And with respect, Prime Minister, I think that the DES will react with some caution to your rather novel proposal.
      Jim Hacker: You mean they'll block it?
      Sir Humphrey: I mean they'll give it the most serious and earnest consideration and insist on a thorough and rigorous examination of all the proposals, allied with detailed feasibility study and budget analysis, before producing a consultative document for consideration by all interested bodies and seeking comments and recommendations to be included in a brief, for a series of working parties who will produce individual studies which will provide the background for a more wide ranging document, considering whether or not the proposal should be taken forward to the next stage.
      Jim Hacker: You mean they'll block it?
      Sir Humphrey: Yeah.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

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