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Friday, August 7, 2020

The Bureaucrat in Yes Minister

There is nothing that a bureaucrat cares for more than his reputation for being a man of superlative intellect and the repository of every bit of critical information—the attributes of information and intellect, he thinks, makes everyone around him seem like a bumbling idiot, thus making it obvious that in any situation he, and only he, knows what needs to be done. This trait of a bureaucrat was depicted with perfection in the British sitcom Yes Minister, by the character called Humphrey Appleby (played by Nigel Hawthorne), who is the minister’s Principal Secretary.

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