Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Pollsters should offer Jim Hacker as option for preferred PM

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-08

Hands up those who would rather have Jim Hacker, Sir Humphrey Appleby and Bernard Wooley running things in Number 10 or The Lodge than the teams in current or recent residence of those places?

If standards in the hospitality industry had fallen as far over the same period as political standards, there’d be a huge waiting list to stay with Basil and Sybil.

Still… I don’t think things have got so bad that most people would ditch our current crop of politicians in favor of Francis Urquhart…. but you never know with righties…

Perhaps the best you could say about KRudd was that he combined the courage of Jim Hacker and the clarity of Sir Humphrey to perform Masterly Inaction – a Taoist ideal.  Mandarin studies may have helped KRudd in this, but more study of the proper texts could have been useful – one is supposed to be tranquil with Masterly Inaction, not be so busy your bile ducts explode.

If pollsters really wanted to get the opinion of voters, at least those of a certain age, then Jim Hacker would be a third offering in the "preferred PM" question.

I reckon Jim Hacker would do rather well, especially if we were guaranteed he’d have Humphrey, Bernard, and even Frank Weasel (although Dorothy Wainwright would be bettter) instead of the crop of forked-tongue yellow-bellied spin doctors and high-flying ministers we seem to get lumbered with.

When incompetent, self-serving, but basically likeable and unmalicious buffoons would be a better choice than what political parties have put up over recent years, and are ever likely to put up in the next decade at least, then something is dead wrong with the system.

Of course, there is Jed Bartlett, but getting someone of that standard as a national leader is about as likely as getting Gandalf and Aragorn to help you on a hiking trip.

Besides, Bartlet was pretty much an ideal.  Hacker was written as a joke.

That’s my point.  Hacker was written as a joke, but in these times, a PM like that would appear almost statesmanlike, abnormally honest to the public, and of average competence.

Go on… Look at all the big issues over the last 10 years or so, can you honestly see Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey being so heartless, stupid and/or dishonest?  (WMD – nudge nudge wink wink – say no more).

Perhaps offering Jim Hacker as an alternative in polls would be a suprisingly good test.  Seriously.  Not just for the satirist vox pops on the Chaser, but for real pollsters.


  • US readers who know not of "Yes, Minister", "Yes, Prime Minister" nor "Fawlty Towers" should do themselves a favor and visit a good quality DVD shop. 


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