Party Games for Adults Only (1984) Movie Script

Bernard, is it important? I must finish these Defence papers.
This is more urgent, Minister. What is it?
Your Christmas cards can't be postponed any longer.
Eugh. Which is which? They're labelled.
These you sign Jim; these Jim Hacker
these Jim and Annie; these Annie and Jim Hacker;
these Love from Annie and Jim. And those?
those have cyclostyled signatures so you needn't write anything.
Make sure none of them should have been personally signed Jim
or Jim and Annie or Annie and Jim Hacker
or Love from Annie and Jim.
What about those? Constituency cards
Your agent left them.
As you see, they've been divided up. Those you sign Jim;
those Jim Hacker; those Jim and...
Thank you, Bernard! I think I've got the gist.
Is that it? Apart from the ones at Party headquarters.
Party HQ? I didn't do those last year.
You weren't Party Chairman last year.
Oh. Do I have to send this one?
Why not? It's to Maurice in Brussels.
He forced through the plan to standardise the Euro sausage.
Euro sausage?
Next year we'll be waving goodbye to British sausage,
forced to accept some foreign muck
like salami or bratwurst or something.
They can't stop us eating the British sausage!
It'll be called the
emulsified high-fat offal tube!
And you swallowed it?
It's my job to implement EEC regulations.
What they got against our sausage? Don't you ever read the papers?
I glanced at it, but it rather put me off.
Apparently, there's not enough meat in it.
"The average British sausage consists of 32.5% fat, 6.5% rind,
"20% water, 10% rusk
5% seasoning, preservative and colouring
"and only 26% meat,
"which is mostly gristle, head meat, other offcuts
"and mechanically-recovered meat...
"...steamed off the carcasses."
I don't feel particularly... I had one...
I had one for breakfast.
Perhaps the EEC commissioner is right.
He may be, but it'll be extremely unpopular with the voters.
We shall just have to grit our teeth and bite on the bullet.
You can't bite a bullet when gritting your teeth If you do that...
By the way, you were going to advise me
what presents to get for the private office.
That's up to you. Bottles of sherry for the assistant secretaries,
large boxes of mints for the diary secretary
and small boxes of mints for the rest.
What about my Personal Private Secretary? That's me.
Ah, yes, of course You don't have to give me anything.
I know, but I'd like to. Oh, Minister...
Well, anything, really. Such as?
Well, really I would like a surprise.
What sort of surprise should I give you?
A bottle of champagne is the customary surprise.
What time is my meeting with Humphrey? That's been cancelled.
Sir Humphrey had an urgent meeting with the Cabinet Secretary.
The Cabinet Secretary. Always makes me feel rather nervous.
Sir Arnold is the most powerful chap in the country.
controls Cabinet agenda, controls access to everything.
I wonder what he's up to?
By the way, Humphrey... Yes?
I've decided to retire early.
Oh! Have you, Arnold?
In the New Year.
My successor has to be firm with our political masters.
Absolutely. No nonsense with that lot!
But tactful... Exactly.
Suave, charming, emollient... And above all, sound.
Sound? Oh, yes, sound.
So my duty is to convey a recommendation to the Prime Minister
the Permanent Secretaries best meets these stringent criteria.
And, er...
...Have you, er... Er, er, is there, er... Does anyone, er...
You see, in this job, the problem isn't really finding the answers
it's finding the questions.
We need the man who can find the key question.
By the way, Arnold, to change the subject completely,
what will you be doing when you retire? Ah, very good question!
Very good question. There might be jobs you could pick up,
ways you could serve the country, which your successor
could put your way er, persuade you to undertake!
I had been giving it some thought
I'll be chairman of the Banque Occidentale
and there'll be directorships of IBM and BP and so on.
But I was thinking... Yes?
The Chairmanship of the Opera House will be coming up
Chairman of Covent Garden... And the chancellorship of Oxford.
The deputy chairmanship of the Bank of England would be a...
...A challenge? A challenge, exactly.
And head of the Security Commission.
The Anglo-Caribbean Association would give one...
...a chance to be of service.
Especially during the winter months.
I'm sure any successor worth his salt could arrange these.
Do you think so? That's very reassuring, very reassuring.
But there is another thing.
Certain advice one may have given the Prime Minister
could, if it emerged, be misinterpreted.
Er, what sort of advice? All sensible and reasonable,
but advice about using troops during strikes.
A very sensible precaution that they should be armed,
but, taken out of context, machine guns...
Oh, I'm sure that need never come out.
Negotiations about reactivating the Simonstown naval base.
Absolutely sensible strategically
a great help with the Falklands,
but as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth...
And you will be Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
Would I? How gratifying!
And the right successor would keeping those files under wraps.
Anyway, to get back to our original point,
My colleagues and I can placing your name top of the list.
I see.
May I ask how many other names will be on the list?
Oh, I don't think there's anyone else who's up to scratch.
Have another drink.
I'll be the presidency of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
Freedom of Information?! What on earth for?
Well, it's very popular with the Opposition
and it will mean one can ensure that the freedom is not abused.
So, here's to the continuity of sound government.
And freedom of information.
Whenever it's in the national interest. Oh, yes!
Minister, I have some very grave news. Yes, Humphrey?
The relationship, which I might tentatively aver
has been not without a degree of reciprocal utility
and even occasional gratification,
is approaching a point of irreversible bifurcation and, to be brief,
is in the propinquity of its ultimate, regrettable, termination.
I see.
I'm... on my way out. What?
One has to accept what fate has in store, when one passes on
Passes on?! pastures new, perhaps greener...
In the service of one who is greater than any of us.
Humphrey, I'm so sorry! Thank you, Minister.
Does Lady Appleby know? She's suspected it for some time.
When did they tell you? This afternoon.
How long do they give you? Just a few weeks.
It'll give me enough time to sort everything out.
Humphrey, you're so terribly brave!
One is a little anxious. One is always wary of the unknown
but I have faith I'll muddle through.
Minister, what's the matter?
I'm sorry, Humphrey.
It's just we've had our ups and downs, but...
Oh, Minister, don't take on so!
We'll still see one another regularly.
Yes, once a week at least. What?
I haven't told you where I'm going yet. Eh?
I have been appointed Secretary to the Cabinet.
Secretary to the Cabinet? Why, what did you think?
I... I thought... I thought...
Sorry about crying. I'm not myself today, a little tired.
Overwrought. Things have been, you know...
I am so sorry.
Perhaps as Cabinet Secretary designate
I should suggest some lightening of the load...
No, no. Don't misunderstand me. I'm fine, fine! Good, good.
So, you're going to be Cabinet Secretary. Yes.
Cabinet Secretary! Mm-hmm.
Secretary to the Cabinet! YES!
That's a great honour. Congratulations. Thank you.
'Course, that means that you and I... Alas, yes.
How shall I manage? Probably even better without me.
Yes, I probably... No, no, certainly not, no!
You're going to do for the PM what you've always done to me.
For me!
PM's right-hand man.
Advising on issues. Quite so.
And, er, and people, no doubt.
Humphrey... Yes, Minister?
I want you to know I think you've been absolutely wonderful.
Highest admiration for all you've done
Wonderful work. Wonderful work.
Finest tradition of the service. Minister, you're too kind.
I just hope you feel that I... In my...
When things are... Well, it...
If it should come up, er...
I think we've made a jolly good team here, you and I?
I couldn't have wished for a better Minister
Humphrey, you're too kind!
When are you going to tell the staff?
On Friday evening, just before it's promulgated.
I will bid them farewell at the Christmas party
And sad. Sad, yes, sad.
Terribly sad.
Enjoying yourself? Yes, thank you, Minister.
Enjoying yourself? Yes, Minister. Lovely party.
Yes, it's frightfully good fun. Always good to let your hair down.
Right, now I think it's time I said a few words.
This is a very, very special occasion for us all.
Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men.
Sorry, persons!
Good to have this little get-together who've served me, er...
...worked with me... for me... no, with me
here at the Department of Adminis...
...Ministry of Administr... the DAA.
We're a team, like the Cabinet, except we're all on the same side...
Not that the Cabinet... Well, I meant... really, the shadow Cabinet.
Let's keep politics out of this. Season of goodwill.
That's why Parliament doesn't sit over Christmas!
Season of goodwill. Even to one's officials!
Well, what can I say? Humphrey.
(BERNARD) Sir Humphrey Appleby! (ALL) Sir Humphrey Appleby!
Thank you. I'd just like to thank you all for
all the hard work you've done all these years.
Occasion like this engenders a certain emotional ambiguity
What's he ambigulous about? While one is, one should say,
honoured by the cause of departure, saddened by the fact
in particular leave the service of a Minister without parallel
I say, that's jolly decent.
A unique partnership. Absolutely unique.
So I should end by wishing a happy Christmas to you all,
In particular to a Minister in the brief time with us
we've watched grow in standing, stature and sureness of touch.
So, seasonal felicitations to you all,
Do remember the Home Secretary's campaign for the holiday:
Don't drink and drive this Christmas.
I'll drink to that! ...Oh, dear, I'm sorry!
I do wish you'd let me drive, Jim. I'm driving perfectly stably.
True, but we have to get home before dawn!
Good evening, Cinstable. Happy Crispsmas.
May I see your licence, sir? Certainly.
Aren't you Mr Jim Hacker? That's right.
What's trouble? Why you driving so slowly?
I didn't want the kerb to hit me...
I didn't want to hit the kerb.
Look, I've got a silver badge somewhere.
I see. Perhaps Constable Evans can drive you
It's all right, Officer. I'll drive.
OK, Mrs Hacker. If you're in a proper state to drive.
I don't drink, Officer. Well, not when my husband's driving.
Nor do I, hardly.
There we are. Nice little place you have here, Humphrey.
Thank you. You handled your first Cabinet meeting well.
What was it like sitting next to the PM? Do sit down, Minister.
I've asked you to drop in for a coffee because
the Home Office informs me of a traffic incident.
Yes, I see. It's entirely your own affair...
Precisely. But the PM takes a grave view.
He feels Ministers should set an example
You're not ticking me off, are you?
I'm only a servant a humble functionary.
But I need to assure the Home Office it won't occur again.
What silver badges for? It's a special privilege, Minister.
Pass through police cordons and park in prohibited areas
It is not to protect drunks who drive cars.
I will not be lectured by a functionary
I'm a Minister of the Crown. Yes, of course. I do apologise.
I will inform the Crown of the incident if that is your wish.
Now I think of it, you can tell the Home Office I take the point.
Thank you, Minister. Does the Home Secretary himself know?
It hardly matters.
I'm afraid the Home Secretary has not been as lucky as you were,
which is why he wasn't at Cabinet.
He initiated "Don't drink and drive" campaign
and ordered the police to "get tough".
Well, unfortunately...
he, too, was picked up last night for drunken driving
Have you seen the first edition of the Standard?
Where on earth was his security man? He'd given him the slip.
You know how cunning these drunks can be.
Couldn't they have hushed it up? Silver badge job?
His case was rather different. He caused a lorry to overturn
It was full of nuclear waste.
rebounded into a car driven by the editor of a local newspaper.
Oh, no.
Inevitably, it leaked out. The nuclear waste?
No, the story.
The Home Secretary will have to resign. Alas, yes.
What will happen to him? Well...
I gather he was as drunk as a lord
so after a discreet interval, they'll probably make him one!
He's obviously been held up.
You can stamp some cards if you like.
Aren't they to constituents? Yes.
That's political activity. I'm not allowed to help.
If they're to journalists? That'd be OK.
They're to journalists. Fine.
Licking is essential of relationships with the press.
I hear the reshuffle is about to be announced.
It's my best chance of finding out where Jim is.
There was no question of American military involved.
We've j'ust had a newsflash from Number 10 Downing Street.
The Prime Minister is to retire early in the New Year.
He does not want to serve in another Parliament,
giving his successor a good run-up to the next election.
We'll bring you further news as soon as we can.
(ALL) Have you heard? (ALL) Yes!
The emergency Cabinet meeting was to tell us. Why so suddenly?
He said to give his successor a good run-up to the next election
so that can't be the reason.
Why, then? Some extraordinary rumours are going about.
The left say he's a secret CIA agent.
The right say he's a secret KGB agent
Minister, I've heard something quite different,
that there is ? million-worth of diamonds from South Africa
in a Downing Street safe,
but it's only a rumour. Is that true?
So, there ARE all those diamonds in Downing Street!
Are there? You said there were!
I didn't. You did!
I said is the rumour true, you said yes!
True it's a rumour.
You heard it was true! True I heard it!
Sorry to cut in, but do you believe it?
I believe I heard it.
Oh, about the diamonds? No. Is it impossible?
No, but it's never been officially denied.
First rule of politics: Never believe anything until it's officially denied.
Will there be a general election? There's no need.
The majority's big enough. We'll just choose a new leader.
Do you want the job? Me? No chance!
It'll either be Eric or Duncan.
It should have been Ray. He was Deputy Leader.
But as he's had to resign as Home Secretary...
Of course! That's why the PM resigned! (BERNARD) Why?
He's always hated Ray. He just hung on
to make sure his deputy didn't get the leadership!
Like Attlee and Morrison.
So it is to give time for the new leader to be run in?
Now that the Home Secretary's been run in
Eric wants my support for the leadership.
He could be the right man. He's been a fairly successful Chancellor.
I've already indicated that I'm... on his side.
What about Duncan? Yes, Duncan could be the man.
He's done fairly well at the Foreign Office.
I think I'll support Duncan
You're supporting Eric AND Duncan?
It's all very well, but if I support Eric and Duncan gets it, that's it.
If I support Duncan and Eric gets it
that's it. Don't support either!
Whoever gets it, that's it. So who are you supporting?
Or Eric.
Duncan's so divisive. It really would be for the good of the party,
the good of the country... Eric, I don't see how I can.
Your support would be crucial. You're universally popular...
I don't know... Good public image...
Yes... Regarded as sound.
Am I? So, if you put your weight behind me...
You see my problem as chairman of the party.
What would happen if Duncan got it? Disaster! Well...
Tell you what. I wouldn't keep him at the Foreign Office.
I'd look for a new Foreign Secretary.
But as I said, I must appear impartial.
But if there could be ways of hinting at my support for you... a perfectly impartial way...
But Duncan, as chairman of the party...
As such you carry even more weight.
You haven't got any real enemies. Not yet, anyway.
But it's my job to be impartial.
If Eric got into Number 10 it'd be catastrophic. Yes...
Jim, we're on the same side, aren't we?
Yes. Good.
I'm going to win and I never forgive people who let me down.
I can't make my support too public.
It doesn't have to be public, just so long as everybody knows.
Then when I'm in Number 10, and Eric's in Northern Ireland...
we know who'll be the next Chancellor, don't we? Do we?
You mean...?
Unless you fancy Northern Ireland yourself?
How are things at the Campaign for the Freedom of Information?
Sorry, I can't talk about that.
So, will the new PM be our eminent Chancellor
or our distinguished Foreign Secretary?
Well, which do you think it should be?
Difficult. Like asking which lunatic should run the asylum.
Trouble is, they're both interventionists with notions
if they became PM. Have we any allies?
Quite a few, the Chief Whip particularly.
He's worried that who gets the job will
antagonise the other's supporters
and split the party. So we need a compromise candidate.
Hmm. Malleable.
Flexible. Likeable.
No firm opinions. No bright ideas.
Not intellectually committed. No strength of purpose to change anything.
Someone who can be manipulated, professionally guided.
leave the business of government in the hands of the experts.
Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear! It's impossible.
A lot would welcome a less-interventionist leader.
Not the other two candidates! They might be persuaded.
What, to stand aside?
Yes. Have you seen their Ml5 files?
No. Always send for Cabinet Ministers' Ml5 files
if you enjoy a good laugh!
Oh, Bernard. Sir.
Just... Thank you very much.
Do sit down. Thank you.
Happy New Year, by the way. Thank you.
...this is our very last piece of DAA business
Yes, I'm afraid so, Sir Humphrey.
Ah, well.
Bernard, just let me ask you something.
What would you say to your present master... the next Prime Minister?
The Minister? Yes.
Mr Hacker? Yes.
As Prime Minister? Yes.
Are you in a hurry?
Just checking it's not April 1st.
you mean your Minister is not up to Prime Minister?
Oh, no, Sir Arnold, it's not for me to, er...
Well, I mean... Of course, I'm... I'm sure he's, er...
Oh, gosh!
There are many advantages in the appointment.
For Britain. For Britain.
Yes, well, yes... So we trust you
to ensure your Minister does nothing incisive
or divisive over the next few weeks.
Expresses no firm opinion about anything.
is that clear? I think that's what he was planning anyway.
What's it all for, Bernard?
What are we all doing? What does it all mean?
I didn't read theology, Minister.
The waste of it all. Take that EEC reception last night.
Humphrey introduced me to an official
who pays farmers to produce surplus food
and then another official who pays to destroy the surpluses.
Then they pay thousands of bureaucrats to make it all work.
Doesn't the futility of it all depress you?
Not really. I'm a civil servant.
I've been talking to Eric and Duncan.
I think I've promised to support Eric's candidature.
I see. Then I think I promised to support Duncan's.
That sounds very even-handed, Minister.
But I can't keep both promises. Sherry?
Thank you. They were only political promises.
Yes... What do you mean?
I mean, like your manifesto promises, people understand.
But non of them made any categorical promises to me.
Then you have no problem. Have decide who to support.
It's not just picking the winner. My support could tip the balance.
Do I want to be Foreign Secretary or Exchequer?
Neither, do you? Why not?
They're both such terrible jobs!
You're talking about two of the top three Cabinet jobs.
I realise that.
As a civil servant, you don't understand politics. Sorry.
To be a success, you have to be in the limelight.
You have a very high profile as Chancellor of the Exchequer
You see now, don't you? But with respect, Minister...
The Chancellor is Mr Killjoy. Raising taxes on beer and cigarettes
cutting down public spending goes badly with electorate.
Maybe I don't want to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Unless you're sent to the Foreign Office as punishment.
Punishment? It's an even worse job.
No votes in Foreign Affairs? Exactly.
The FCO loves foreigners, but the British people don't.
As far as world politics goes, the Foreign Office is an irrelevance.
We've no real power. We're just an American missile base!
Yes, Minister.
Between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Unless... Of course, there is one other option.
What other option? Do the middle job.
Home Secretary? Responsible for all the muggings, race riots?
No, thank you! No, be the one who takes all the credit.
What do you mean? You mean...?
You don't mean...?
You do mean...?
How's it all looking from the Chief Whip's office?
You know, If Eric gets it
we'll have a party split in three months.
If it's Duncan, it'll take three weeks.
Geoffrey, the PM's asked me to take you into my confidence.
I shouldn't tell you but there are security question marks
over both the current candidates.
What question marks? Alas, I can say no more.
The only person I can disclose this to in the PM's absence,
and as it is a party matter, is the chairman of the party.
Jim Hacker. He's promised to join us.
But do you think the party can find a compromise candidate?
Could be half a dozen. Have you considered the chairman?
Jim Hacker?!
Jim Hacker...
Yes, it is possible, isn't it?
After all, there have been less likely Prime Ministers.
Oh, there must have been!
Yes? Oh, all right. Send him in.
Minister, so good of you to call.
Henry. Morning.
Do sit down. Minister...
...I have a problem and I need your help.
Oh, dear! Can't you run the country on your own?
It is a rather grave matter, I'm afraid. Yes, of course.
About the election. The PM felt we had to call you in.
That bad, eh?
There are certain items of confidential information
In theory might be susceptible of interpretation,
do nevertheless contain a sufficient element of ambiguity,
were they to be presented in a less than generous manner,
might be a source of great embarrassment and even hazard
to impinge upon the deliberations of more sensitivity.
I'm sorry?
About security question marks. Security? What do you mean?
Secrets. I know what security means.
But what do you mean? I'm not allowed to know.
Why not? Security.
Since in the PM's absence you are deputising on party matters,
I can show you the file on the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Technically, I can't show you any of it, but, er...
under the circumstances, I can show you relevant items.
Here's a summary of the reports from the security services.
Special Branch...
There we are.
Interview with his driver.
And the PM's confidential memo.
Strictest secrecy, of course. Of course.
Dirty old...!
You wouldn't have thought he had the time,
a workaholic like Eric.
I've found that people who are highly active in one area
tend to be equally active in all the others.
You wouldn't think he went in for...
I understand the current expression is horizontal jogging
All this was some time ago and it doesn't seem very conclusive.
That's why the PM thought it all right for him to be Chancellor.
But the Yugoslavian one and the two South Africans,
not to mention the shady lady from Argentina...
And it's thought she's just a cover anyway. Cover? What for?
Good heavens!
If all these ladies were just covers
what on earth were his real requirements?
I really can't tell you. Ooh!
So it was thought that Foreign Office might be too delicate.
I can see that! Then, if he were PM...
Head of security services as well. It's unthinkable.
You're saying it's got to be Duncan.
I was coming to that. This is his file.
Special Branch again.
Then we have the Fraud Squad...
Inland Revenue...
Bank of England foreign exchange division...
How much do you want?
All this was technically legal at the time, wasn't it?
Yes but it ruled him out of consideration for the Treasury.
How did they get all this Ml5?
let's just say it's all been gone into quite enough.
Like the shady lady!
Isn't it all astounding? I don't know. I haven't seen it
Don't think me foolish. Oh, Minister, perish the thought
Geoffrey. Why are you here? We dare not allow these scandals.
If they are, it would embarrass the country and the party
if either of them became head of government.
We can't be caught with our trousers down. Like Eric!
I see.
Yes, this is serious.
Very serious. Very serious.
What happens if one them became PM? Something very serious
Very serious. I see.
Serious repercussions... Serious repercussions...
...of the utmost seriousness.
Yes, that is serious.
I would say that it could hardly be more serious.
Well, I think we're all agreed, then, this is serious.
What happens now?
The party needs to agree on another candidate, quick.
The Chief Whip wondered if you had any ideas As Party Chairman
Well, it's rather difficult.
You're looking for a potential Prime Minister.
Someone who's sound. Yes.
Yes. Normal.
Solvent. Yes.
And acceptable to both wings of the party.
And someone who understands how to take advice
Yes. Well...
Gosh! Who can I suggest?
Have you thought of doing the job yourself? Me?!
Why not? Wouldn't you want to be Prime Minister?
I'd love to be, but... It's a very big job
I'm not sure I could. Prime Minister!
Perhaps He feels he's not Prime Ministerial calibre.
There isn't any doubt about that, Humphrey
No, not in my mind. But you seem hesitant.
Modesty forbids. But I have no doubt I can do the job.
Modestly put. There's only one fly in the ointment.
You're a bit of an outsider
Can you organise some public success in the next few days?
A tall order. I'm up to my neck in the Euro sausage!
Won't it be enough to let people know I want the job?
Quite the reverse! Better to let people know you DON'T want it.
Would that be enough? If you tell everybody that, yes.
Leave it to me. Say you have no ambitions in that direction.
Supposing somebody says, "Do you refuse to stand?"
the media try to trap you. It's not my place, but
previously answer was "While one does not seek the office
"one has pledged oneself to the service of one's country,
"and if friends persuade one that was the best way to serve
"one might have to accept the responsibility
whatever one's own private wishes might be."
"...private wishes might be." Yes, I think I've got that.
So, it's a three-way election, then.
it should be an unopposed. Unity sits well with the public.
The party will welcome that. Eric and Duncan won't!
Eric and Duncan must be persuaded to withdraw.
Oh. You mean you'll have a word with them
I can't. I haven't seen the files.
Humphrey, then. No, it's an internal party matter.
It would be most improper. Well, who...
You don't mean...?
I can't! No one else can.
You want me to tell one of my colleagues
he's a swindler and the other he's a pervert!
Say you don't believe they've done anything wrong.
Just let them know you know something.
They'll tell me to mind my own business!
Then you say, as Chairman, it's your duty
to see the information reaches those who need to know.
The Party Executive, major contributors,
elder statesmen, patrons, the Palace, perhaps.
Tell them they have no alternative but to pull out
and support someone who will protect them.
You want me to protect them?
It's nobody else's business as long as security's not involved.
I don't have the stomach. You have no choice. you know.
Nobody else knows. Let's just forget all about it!
That would be very courageous. Courageous? Why?
If later emerged you had the information and suppressed it
You mean you'd leak it? Covering up for your chums...
Greater love hath no man than should lay down his career.
Humphrey, you're threatening me!
No, Minister, I'm helping you.
You see there's one other quality Prime Ministers need.
The killer instinct.
The killer instinct.
Ah, thanks.
Well, here's to Number 10, eh? Thanks... I mean, yes.
What's up, Jim?
...I have a problem. You're not going to support me.
Yes. No. Yes, no?
Some information has come my way.
Oh, yes? Serious information.
Concerning operations. I beg your pardon?
The collapse of Continental and General. just bad luck.
The transfer of funds to directors' nominee companies.
There's nothing wrong with that. Technically, but...
in conjunction with a similar case at Offshore Securities?
Where did you get this? Sorry, if you're running for PM
I shall share what I know with senior party members.
there'd have to be an enquiry by Inland Revenue,Fraud Squad
None of that need matter if it's all above-board.
And I'm sure it is, if you say so, Duncan.
There was nothing improper. Good, then I'm free to talk about it,
bring it all out into the open. Hold on!
Financial matters can be misinterpreted.
How true.
Look, Jim, I'm not sure that I really want Number 10.
Foreign Office is a better job. But I won't support Eric.
Suppose Eric didn't get it?
How about transfer all your support to someone else?
It would have to be somebody who recognised your qualities,
who'd want you to stay at the Foreign Office.
Someone who could be discreet about Continental and General.
Someone you could trust.
An old friend.
Do you mean you?
Me? I have absolutely no ambition in that direction.
You DO mean you!
I see. You do realise this is serious, Eric?
Yes. And you're not going to help me, right? Yes.
You are or you're not? Yes.
Jim! I'm going to help you, but not to become PM.
You said you were. Until I heard about the lady from Argentina.
And others. I see.
As Party Chairman I have my duty.
It'd be a disaster if you became PM and all this came out.
I wouldn't care to have to explain it to Her Majesty.
Would you?
I'll withdraw.
I think that's very sensible.
So we'll say no more about it to anyone.
Thanks, Jim.
So Duncan will get Number 10. Not if I can help it.
Who, then? Cheers.
You don't mean YOU? Me?
Annie and I are hoping to spend more time together.
You DO mean you!
Minister. Humphrey, what's the hurry?
I've arranged a meeting with the European Commissioner.
Maurice? He flew out this morning.
His flight's been delayed. So?
We might persuade him to solve our sausage problem.
Excuse me... Yes?
Oh, yes, ask him to come in, will you? Thank you.
Leave it to me.
Just, er, just give me support when I ask for it.
Ah, Maurice, how nice to see you. Humphrey.
You know each other. Jim, to what do I owe this pleasure?
The Minister asked me to arrange this meeting
to see if you could help us with a problem. Problem.
Of course.
The problem is EEC is becoming unpopular over here.
Isn't that so? Very unpopular.
You want to restore its image? Yes.
No. No.
The Minister feels there would be more votes...
He would be better expressing the views of the British
by joining the attack than leaping to its defence.
Exactly. But your party's committed to support us!
The Minister's point, as I understand it,
is that the commitment is to the concept and the treaty.
Treaty. It's not committed to the institutions,
nor to the practices, nor to individual policies.
The Minister was giving me an example the other day.
About food production. Oh, yes.
One of your officials pays farmers to produce surplus food
while the next office pays people to destroy the surpluses.
That's not true! No?
It's not the next office, not even the same floor!
The Minister has hundreds of similar examples. Hundreds.
The Minister is starting to think that a member of the Cabinet
ought to start telling the British people about them.
But that would be intolerable!
Even the Italians wouldn't stoop that low!
Italians aren't redesignate salami as high-fat offal tubing.
And what are you proposing?
we are committed to harmonisation. We cannot call it sausage.
What do you suggest?
Well, politics is about presentation.
Why don't we call it "the British sausage"?
British sausage? Saucisse Anglaise.
Salsiccia Inglese. Britisherwurst.
Yes, I think we could... recommend that to the Commission.
The Minister's always said the EEC is a splendid institution.
The European correspondents are here now. Good. Let 'em in.
Send them in.
This is about the Euro sausage problem? That's right, Bernard.
That you've solved it. No, Bernard.
Solved problems aren't news. Bad news is good news.
I'm not give them a non-story. I'll give a disaster today
and a triumph tomorrow. I see.
Good morning, gentlemen! (ALL) Morning.
Do sit down. Good of you to come.
This is on a lobby basis, non-attributable.
We've got some trouble coming up with Brussels.
Somebody's going to tell you so I might as well tell you myself.
Brussels is about to make the British sausage illegal
under EEC regulations. Minister...
...not making the sausage illegal, just the name
Thank you, Bernard. I'll deal with that later.
What do you mean, "illegal"? Effectively illegal.
pork sausage will contain 75% pork. The same for beef sausage.
75% lean pork too?
75% lean beef.
make it a luxury food. When's this being promulgated?
Next month, probably. They'll deny it
tell you they're just discussing changing its name.
What is the government going to do? I just don't know.
It's a big problem. I won't pretend we've got an answer.
Well, I must rush. Any more questions?
When can we use this? Tomorrow, as far as I'm concerned.
Bernard will give you a drink in the press office.
You realise the press will print something isn't true?
How frightful!
Today's story about the European ban on the British sausage
has caused a maj'or political storm.
Westminster say the sausage could be another banana skin.
Adds to the government's problems with the succession
The two obvious candidates for the leadership
represent the extreme wings of the party.
Pressure is mounting for them to withdraw
in favour of a compromise candidate.
No other contender seems to have caught the public imagination.
Now sport... Turn it off, Donald.
Is it true about the compromise candidate? I believe so.
Where DO they get their information? I can't imagine, Bernard!
Anyway, I never said compromise. I said moderate.
Incidentally, why are BBC TV
and ITN covering your speech this evening?
I can't imagine, Bernard.
I know fire policy in government is important but...
Someone suggested I was going to raise other issues as well.
Who? I can't imagine, Bernard.
I am a good European. I believe in the European ideal.
Never again shall we repeat the bloodshed of the two world wars.
Europe is here to stay.
we don't have to bow the knee to every directive
from every little bureaucratic Bonaparte in Brussels.
We are a sovereign nation still.
We are British and proud of it!
We made enough concessions to the Commissar for Agriculture.
When I say Commissar, I use the word advisedly.
We've swallowed the wine lake and the butter mountain,
we've watched our French friends beating up British drivers
carrying British lamb to the French.
We have bowed and scraped, doffed our caps,
Turned the other cheek, but I say enough is enough!
The Europeans are now threatening the British sausage.
They want to standardise it
they'll force us to eat salami and bratwurst
and other garlic-ridden greasy foods that are
totally alien to the British way of life.
Do you want salami for breakfast with your egg and bacon?
I don't! I won't!
They've turned our pints into litres and our yards into metres.
We gave up the tanner, the threepenny bit
the two-bob piece and the half crown,
but they cannot and WILL not destroy the British sausage.
Not while I'm here!
In the words of Martin Luther, here I stand. I can do no more.
Strong stuff, Minister. I feel strongly about it.
I sometimes wonder whether you media people
realise how strongly we others feel
about Britain, about our country.
We love it and we're proud of it.
You're at odds with government policy over the EEC?
I'm very happy with government policy, Sir Ludovic.
But it's never been policy to abolish the British sausage.
Sausages are full of top-quality nourishment.
Brussels denies wanting to abolish the British sausage.
They would. They know what they're up against
They know the strength of British opinion.
Your speech got a lot of coverage and a lot of praise.
Was there any significance in the timing? Sorry?
Your party is looking for leader, your name's been mentioned
Oh. Quite a lot, I believe.
But no, I've no ambitions at all in that direction.
So you definitely won't let your name go forward?
Well, Ludo... All I've...
All I wanted to do is serve my country, never sought office.
But if my colleagues persuaded me
the best place to serve it from was 10 Downing Street,
I reluctantly be persuaded to undertake the responsibility
whatever my own private wishes might be.
If you're not in the running, who will you vote for?
Well, it's far too early to say. But I will say this.
This is a time for healing.
A time to stress what we agree about
We should be looking for the good in our opponents
There's good in everyone, you know, Ludo.
Except the French! Except...
Even the French.
A message came from House while you were in committee.
They brought the party meeting forward.
Brought it forward?
They'll decide if they're going to bring up another candidate
The Chief Whip will phone as soon as it's over.
W-W-Will he... W-What will they... What if...
Which phone?
What? Which phone will he ring on?
Oh. Er, this one, probably.
Or this one.
Either, really.
If Duncan and Eric withdraw, which they will,
they might not support me.
That means an election.
You're the favourite candidate for both sides,
so you'll be unopposed. That's what they say.
Oh, well... No point in worrying about it.
Might as well sit down and relax. (PHONE RINGS)
Bernard has an urgent message.
Minister, the Palace have been on the phone.
Will you be free to kiss hands at five o'clock?
In the event of an unopposed recommendation.
Well, I...
I think I might be able to make that.
Supposing... You know if I...
I'd still want a Principal Private Secretary.
Do you think, er... Oh, Minister.
That'll be all right, won't it, Humphrey? Well...
The Prime Minister's word is law.
Yes, he's here.
I'll tell him.
It... It... It... Is...
Is it me?
Yes, Prime Minister!