Typing 101: John Ivison does Yes Minister!

In Yes Minister parlance, the commitment to deficits went beyond a “brave” decision (losing the Liberals’ votes), it was a “courageous” one (potentially losing them the election).
–John Ivison, National Post, Oct. 17, 2015.

In the old Yes Minister sitcom, a “brave” decision was one that could lose the government of the day votes, while a “courageous” move could lose the election.
–May 5, 2015.

That sounds like it’s taken from an episode of Yes, Minister – “We dare not allow politicians to establish the principle that senior civil servants can be removed for incompetence.”
–Sept. 30, 2014.

We’re in Yes Minister territory – akin to suggesting a civil service strike would bring government to a standstill, were it not for the fact that it already is.
–Feb. 7, 2014.

But, to quote the old Yes Minister line, a career in politics is no preparation for government.
–Nov. 28, 2013.

In the end, we will likely be whitewashed with what was known in the TV show Yes Minister as the “Charge of the Light Brigade excuse” – “an unfortunate lapse by an individual that has now been dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures.”
–April 11, 2013.

Very brave, as Sir Humphrey might have put it on Yes, Minister.
–Nov. 20, 2012.

They are only the government in exile. The civil service are the opposition in residence,” said Jim Hacker, in the fictional, yet eerily authentic, Yes Minister.
–Oct. 16, 2012.

The public service must always have the best man for the job, regardless of sex, Sir Humphrey Appleby, the fictional Yes Minister bureaucrat, once quipped.
–Sept. 19, 2012.

But Mr. Clement should be commended for trying to engineer a culture shift in the public service — the reform of which was once compared by Yes Minister‘s Sir Humphrey Appleby to “drawing a knife through a bowl of marbles.”
–July 7, 2012.

Ms. Hall Findlay has made what Yes Minister‘s Sir Humphrey Appleby would call a “brave decision” – namely, one that risks losing votes.
–June 22, 2012.

 The whole F-35 saga reads like an episode of Yes, Minister, in which the politicians pirouette to the tune played by the bureaucrats.
— Mar. 20, 2012.

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5 comments on “Typing 101: John Ivison does Yes Minister!
  1. orphancarguy says:

    Don’t really blame Ivison for cribbing. ‘Yes, Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ contained more truths about understanding government than a decade of eye-glazers from Post Media or the like.

  2. daveS says:

    And what about Oui, Minister, or Ja, Minister-Praesident.

    And the writer of Yes, minister (UK version) was Sir Antony Rupert Jay, CBE CVO (born 20 April 1930), though he wrote wrote The Householder’s Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression (1972), he was never directly involved in politics itself. The other author was Jonathan Lynn (born 3 April 1943) who is an English stage and film director, producer, writer and actor.
    Yes, Minister ran between 1980 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes, of which all but one lasted half an hour.
    John Ivison was born in Dumfries, Scotland, he worked as a reporter for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. He moved to Canada in 1996, joining the Financial Post as a journalist, and eventually served as deputy editor.

    So he would have seen Yes, Minister in his Scottish childhood, therefore still has a childlike view of politics from the patterns formed in his youth. This is just the sort of person PostMedia wants to work the word smithy. See also http://www.vipfaq.com/John%20Ivison.html

  3. daveS says:

    What about “The Thick of It” (BBC TV 2005-2012)? Ivison might have heard of it but not seen it, being beyond the Ol’ Country’s tv range.

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