Writing on the Wall

Back to reading old classics…done with design textbooks…By the way, not the classics in the ‘classic’ sense…Am reading Yes Minister.

One of the most revealing books about politics till date 😉 . Well, politics, as defined by Roget’s Thesaurus: Manipulation, Intrigue, Wire-pulling, Evasion, Rabble-rousing, Graft.

It’s closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power. A powerful satire, extraordinary script, and it is one of my most cherished books and shows till date!

Here are a choicest few from Yes Minister:

If people don’t know what you’re doing, they don’t know what you’re doing wrong.

Minister’s language: ‘We have decided to be more flexible in our application of this principle’ means ‘We are dropping this policy but we don’t want to admit it publicly’.

A career in politics is no preparation for government.

‘The matter is under consideration’ means we have lost the file. ‘The matter is under active consideration’ means we are trying to find the file.

Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement.

Civil Service language: ‘Sometimes one is forced to consider the possibility that affairs are being conducted in a manner which, all things being considered and making all possible allowances is, not to put too fine a point on it, perhaps not entirely straightforward. Translation: ‘You are lying’.

The Prime Minister doesn’t want the truth, he wants something he can tell Parliament.

Any statement in a politician’s memoirs can represent one of six different levels of reality:
a. What happened.
b. What he believed happened.
c. What he would have liked to have happened.
d. What he wants to believe happened.
e. What he wants other people to believe happened.
f. What he wants other people to believe he believed happened.


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