Bernard Woolley: You did, Prime Minister. Sir Humphrey Appleby: After all, this is a partnership. The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country. Sir Humphrey: Not the Russians, the British! Things don't happen just because Prime Ministers are very keen on them! Sir Desmond Glazebrook: They've broken the rules. Godfrey - TV Producer: Could we just talk about your appearance, remember? Sir Humphrey Appleby: If you'd kept your mouth shut, we might have thought you were clever. Bernard Woolley: That is why that torpedo landed on Sandwich Golf Course. Anything else? Sir Humphrey: I don't think we need to bring the truth in at this stage. Godfrey - TV Producer: Prime Minister, would you mind not leaning forward like that? Right? Employment Secretary: Prime Minister, why was my request for a further discussion and your reply not minuted? And I'll look ridiculous. Jim Hacker: Shall we keep to the point please, Bernard? Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mind you, I think they'd manage that all right even without us. Bernard Woolley: The Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits. [does a double-take]. That's why I never stood for parliament. Error rating book. James Hacker: I was on the receiving end of some frightful pressure from the American ambassador at that drinkies do last night. Sir Frank Gordon: There were arguments on both sides. How do you know if you don't know? Sir Humphrey Appleby: What's his problem? Jim Hacker: Bernard, I really don't want Humphrey putting his head round the door during this meeting. An atheist clergyman couldn't continue to draw his stipend. I mean, one of my own administration. Jim Hacker: Well, I read him my brief, he read me his brief, then we decided it would quicker if we just swapped briefs and read them for ourselves. So we put in central heating and a caretaker to make it look as if we're preserving the Arts. This is rather good. Bernard Woolley: What if the Prime Minister insists we help them? The whole ship would go off the rails. Bernard, that's precisely what you were there to avoid! Bernard Woolley: Yes, the members of his union. Dorothy Wainwright: We couldn't think of any. Hacker's Reform Bill. General Howard: That's what we tell journalists. “He's a smooth-tongued, cold-eyed, hard-nosed, two-faced creep,' I said, trying to be fair. Sir Humphrey: Ah, Bernard. I did tell you. Watch my lips! Bernard Woolley: Yes. That'll take up about six months; then we'll start round again. What more does he want? Jim Hacker: But me no buts, Bernard. James Hacker: [indicating the smaller file] What on Earth is that, Bernard? Bernard Woolley: No, we can't have alphabetical seating in the Abbey. Can you hear me? Dorothy Wainwright: Not unless they knew you. The rest of the world does not owe us a living. Sir Humphrey Appleby: I mean they will give it the most serious and urgent consideration, and insist on a thorough and rigorous examination of all the proposals, allied to a 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. And, with respect, Prime Minister, I think that the DES will react with some caution to your rather novel proposal. Sir Humphrey: Yes, but they don't know that you probably wouldn't. Sir Humphrey Appleby: Would you oppose the reintroduction of conscription? And people who come in from outside must wait where they cannot see the people from inside coming in to tell you what the people from outside have come to see you about. Sir Humphrey Appleby: Open government, Prime Minister. I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist. Sir Humphrey Appleby: Thank you, Bernard. Sir Ian Whitworth: It would be different if the government were a team, but in fact they are a loose confederation of warring tribes. Bernard, this doesn't say anything. Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, of c... No, of course not! He only talks in clich?s. Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, the only thing is... James Hacker: I mean, why should we listen in to MPs? Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course, after all you've said you can't say no to that. Jim Hacker: You've never answered my questions just because I asked them. Jim Hacker: I'd like a new chair. I want the president of St George's Island to extend an invitation to Britain to send an airborne battalion on a goodwill visit. Bernard Woolley: With pleasure, Prime Minister. Don't know where they got such a daft idea. Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we *can* do. Maybe they did. [discussing Sir Humphrey's upcoming interview with Ludovic Kennedy]. James Hacker: Epistemological? I mean, he's such a fool. For the most part, Appleby opposes changes suggested by the new minister, though they occasionally work together to promote a common goal such as retaining their department. Dorothy Wainwright: Get rid of the Department of Education. And they are totally useless. Sort of between Africa and India.

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