These clips are not always innocently funny, unfortunately.
Back in 2011, Mark Hemingway put up a transcript of that bit*:
Bernard Woolley: What if the Prime Minister insists we help them?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Then we follow the four-stage strategy.
Bernard Woolley: What’s that?
Sir Richard Wharton: Standard Foreign Office response in a time of crisis.
Sir Richard Wharton: In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there’s nothing we *can* do.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it’s too late now.
I’ll be honest: the sentiments reflected in that clip bothers me more than a little. I’m too much of a sentimentalist for my own good.
PS: Nobody needs to defend their position on Syrian intervention.
*In reference to our Libyan adventure, which of course ended very badly. Just like our upcoming Syrian adventure – and no matter what course we take, looks like.
2 thoughts on “Time to put up the Yes, Minister’s Four-Stage Strategy clip again.”
Maybe David Cameron should have been given that advise.
But…but, wasn’t that the strategy Obama used during the unpleasantness in Benghazi?
All kidding aside, we have no business over there. If we do anything, it should be to turn their country into a glass topped parking lot. IYKWIM
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