Bernard and Sir Humphrey

Bernard and Sir Humphrey

At midday today we said farewell to a longstanding colleague, Joao, who is heading off into well-deserved retirement. Shortly after I became a director, Joao started to call me ‘Sir Humphrey’ and before long I was calling him ‘Bernard’, and these names stuck. In my little speech, I took a risk in reading out some choice quotes from ‘Yes, Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ – a risk, because members, including our President, were present in the room and, well, Sir Humphrey doesn’t want them to start getting ideas, does he? And now Sir Humphrey is lsoing his Bernard and I know I’ll miss him. To cheer me up, here’s one of my favourites:

Sir Desmond Glazebrook: ‘Surely once a Minister has made his decision, that’s it, isn’t it?’

Sir Humphrey: ‘What on earth gave you that idea?’

Sir Desmond: ‘Surely a decision is a decision.’

Sir Humphrey: ‘Only if it’s the decision you want. If not it is just a temporary setback.’