Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yes Minister

The BBC programme Yes Minister (Yes Prime Minister) is described here

It is my favourite television programme, and like many others who are fans, I can happily watch or listen to episodes time and again and still appreciate their structure and genius. They are both extremely well-written and funny and, as John Considine has pointed out in a paper , an invaluable tool for explaining constructs in public economics.  For those not familiar, below are some examples that are relevant to things we have discussed here and things happening currently more generally. There are dozens other examples.

In this clip, Sir Humphrey explains why sports subsidies should not take precedence over arts subsidies.

Here, he stonewalls a public inquiry into wasteful spending.

Here, Humphrey and the Minister try to allay fears of a dioxin contamination occurring in a new plant.

In this one , Sir Desmond (city financier) explains how "the chaps" think about financial regulation, including some fairly innocent things such as the case of one of the chaps who authorised himself an unsecured loan from his own company to make an investment that went wrong ("horse falling at the first and all that").

1 comment:

Martin Ryan said...

Those who enjoy "Yes Minister" are probably familiar with "The New Statesman".

"The New Statesman was an award-winning British sitcom of the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the Conservative government of the time. It was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor, Rik Mayall...

During an argument with a constituent, B'Stard declared that he believed he was helping British industry by driving a Bentley and having his suits handmade by British craftsmen. B'Stard's arrogance even extended to stating that there was nothing wrong with the education system that couldn't be put right with £2,500 a term, and that NHS waiting lists could be abolished by shutting down the health service, thereby eradicating poor people and eliminating poverty..."