The Thick of It s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

Thank you.
Morning, morning, morning, morning.
Morning, Cliff.
Let me take that.
- Up all night with these bloody things.
- Yep.
At a time like this, for God's sake.
(Cliff) .
going to have a pizza.
(Terri) Can I have the digest? Thank you.
putting them off.
- Would you mind taking them? - Oh.
Why? - Erm, Malcolm's there.
- Malcolm? Where? - In there? Why? - In your office.
It's just a social call.
- A social call? Jesus Christ.
- Yeah.
Ermhave you got him coffee? - Has Malcolm Tucker got coffee? - I thought you were organising Oh, for Christ's Get him Get coffee, get, erm - Get danish pastries, croissants - Danish pastries, croissants.
- No, no, fruit.
Get lots of fruit.
- Can you get fruit? - Pile of fruit and lots of coffee, now.
- Fruit (Malcolm) No, he's useless.
He's absolutely useless.
He is, he's as useless as a marzipan dildo.
All right.
Got to go.
Minister's just walked in.
- Don't interrupt your call cos of me.
- You're a Minister of the Crown, you don't need to listen to all of my fucking chutney.
- I'm sure it's more interesting than chutney.
- No, no, it's just my cock-up, as usual.
I thought that Graham Dixon was doing a briefing but it was Graham Hughes.
Too many Grahams.
We ought to kill some of them.
(Malcolm) Exactly.
So So.
God, I'm sorry about the fuck-up about the coffee.
How am I supposed to run a bloody department ifI can't get the Prime Minister's enforcer a cup of fucking coffee? That's OK.
Listen, the thing is, you're doing a bloody good job here, Cliff.
Cos with all this shit in the paper about whether I'm going or not Have you seen? Terri, can you bring the Mail in, please? Have you seen the Mail? - (Malcolm) ''Lawton dangles by a thread''? - Yeah.
''Dangles by a thread''.
- (Cliff) It's all right, we've got - ''Lawton dangles by a thread''.
- We've got it, it's OK.
- Do keep it.
Just leave it there.
Thank you very much, Terri.
- (Malcolm) There's a lot, isn't there? - It started in the Telegraph Diary but just more and more and more and more.
Seriously, the PM likes you personally.
I like you personally.
And we have absolutely no desire to get rid of you.
I just want you to know that.
None of this negative stuff is coming from us.
Oh, Mal, mate, that's - that makes me feel a lot more secure.
- Does it? - Well, it's difficult.
- What? What's difficult? - Just endless headlines day after day.
- On and on.
- Chipping away at confidence.
- Absolutely.
You see, the thing is that we are starting to look weak.
Everybody's saying, ''When's he gonna go? When's he gonna go?'' - Right.
- And you don't want us to look weak, do you? No, no.
So there you are.
That's why you've got to go.
- No.
- Yes.
- No.
- (Knock on door) - (Secretary) Coffee? - Fuck off.
- Tea? - You fuck off, darling.
Malcolm, look, erm if you do this, it's the bollocks of the jungle out there, you know? They're like wolves.
Pissed wolves.
I've made the announcement.
I've told the lobby you're going, Cliff.
- You've told the lobby I'm going? - Yeah.
Sorry, Cliff.
- Minister.
- Yeah.
Get used to Cliff.
I've booked you in for the usual soapy tit wank farewell at Number Ten in 20 minutes.
I've also drafted you a letter of resignation.
You can say you're jumping before you're pushed although we're gonna be briefing that you were pushed, sorry.
Erm Look, tell you what, you don't need to do all this.
What about Tom? Everybody knows he's fucking up Transport.
We can't sack Tom, we can't lose anyone at Transport, they're important.
And Social Affairs isn't? OK, the Department of Social Affairs is very important but it's not Transport.
Transport's cars, buses, trucks I know what transport fucking entails! (Cliff) Look, look (Cliff sighs) Look, I'll look at it.
- Personal reasons.
- I thought that would give you adequate scope.
What, like, ermshooting up in the Cabinet Office or something? Stuffing a cat up my arse and having a wank? What do you mean, scope? This could be a great deal worse.
You have had a good innings, you have been here for 18 months.
And you know, I have written some very nice things about you in the PM's reply to your resignation.
Some very nice fucking things indeed.
I had a lump in my throat.
And you know why? Because no one who matters thinks any less of you over this, so far.
OK? Right.
One more thing.
The Daily Mail.
David Topham has got it into his head that we are going to sack you because of press pressure.
- I wonder why.
- Look you're in no position to dish out fucking sarcasm.
That's over.
You no longer have purchase in the sarcasm world.
Get on the phone.
Tell him you're jumping before you're pushed, although we were going to push you, but not because of press pressure but because of your deeply held fucking personal issues, whatever they were.
- You want me to write my own obituary.
- Get on the fucking phone.
Do it now.
Thank you.
- Good morning.
- (Terri) Have you seen the Times? - No.
- Jo Cherman's been a bit of a bitch.
- She always is.
- Yeah.
- Everything in this package is small - We go down and say it, the local yokels will take the photos, 20 minutes is enough.
- (Hugh) Hugh's here now.
- Morning, Hugh.
- Good morning.
Come on.
- (Chatter) - Terri - Shush, I've got something important to say.
- (Chatting) - Olly.
I've got something for us.
I've got us a very, very tasty little morsel because this morning I had a chat with my good friend the Prime Minister of Great Britain - (All) Ooh.
- Yes.
And, erm Remember the, ermerm (Sighs) Olly, your benefit unit fraud Anti-Benefit Fraud Executive.
Erm, Scrounger Squad.
- (Olly) Snooper Squad.
- The one with the spending implications? The Prime Minister's view, is ''fuck the spending implications, I like it.
'' - Good.
- So this is us.
We're on the map.
It's a chance for me, Glenn, to get on Richard &Judy and plant that flag right on their fucking sofa.
So the Prime Minister's authorised you to announce it, has he? That's very much what he signalled.
Very clearly.
He said he's right behind us on this and it's very much what we should be doing.
This is great.
So we can do it this afternoon at the school.
- We can clear the press conference - Excuse me.
(Glenn) We'll double bubble it, leak it to the Standard for the early editions and trail it on The World At One, yes? We need someone at the Standard we can give this to.
What about Angela Heaney? She's at the Standard now, isn't she? Olly? Ermyes, she is.
Do you not think that maybe she's a bit junior, I think.
Bit too much like your ex who broke your heart and dumped you with a text message.
It was a fucking email, not a text message.
We give it to her, she'll write what we want.
- She's easy.
- She is easy.
I can see that you've all got big, stiff hard-ons for this - (Hugh) Sorry? - I'm not saying that's not nice.
- But - (Hugh) Terri.
there is no way we're gonna clear it by this afternoon.
- (Olly) Why not? - So cool it, and I'll ring Paul at the Treasury.
- (All) No, no, no! - No calls to the Treasury.
If you call the Treasury, to get near the announcement he's going to have to dress up as catering with a big tray of drinks and a pot of sliced lemons.
I'm not doing that.
- I'm just going by procedure.
- (Hugh) Terri.
I love doing things the right way, that ethical stuff.
I love it, we all do.
But it's difficult when you're the first to put your gun down because people jump on your head as if it's a ripe watermelon.
We don't want that.
The Prime Minister said he wants to do it.
He's above the Treasury in the hierarchy.
- I can write it down on a chart.
- (Terri) Whatever.
- (Glenn) Thank you.
- I'll get to it, Minister.
You're just doing your job.
(Whispers) Not very well.
Will you get Angela on the phone for Olly? - You can deal with this Olly, yes? - Erm - Will it be my usual driver? - (Olly) .
- Yes, Hugh.
- I don't fucking like him.
He's I don't know.
I think he despises me.
We'll have to use him today, you know how the pool system works.
So we go down to the schoolermhave to - He's sort of contemptuous.
- The driver? - I feel like he looks down on me.
- No, Hugh, he likes you, I'm sure.
(Hourly pips on radio) - The World At One.
This is Nick Clarke - Well, you can fuck off for a start.
- The Social Affairs Secretary Hugh Abbot - Evening.
- First story up.
- Top of the bill.
a uniformed, so-called Snooper Force.
The announcement suggests the DSA has pushed the Treasury into releasing more funds, - so we'll ask, is the Treasury losing its - Yes, and not before time! .
Social Affairs spokesman Mark Davis Nathenson If you can get him out of the bath! But first, the estimates of fatalities from yesterday's train disaster in Bangalore - have risen overnight - Well, that's marvellous.
- (Mobile) - Ooh.
Oh, Tucker.
What the fuck was that? Was this Snooper Force thing from you? Malcolm, I talked to the PM, this is completely kosher as far as he's concerned.
He gave the go-ahead and he said, you know, bounce the Treasury.
We have got 17 different issues we are fighting with the Treasury about.
I can hear that you are, as usual, upset I'll tell you why I'm upset.
I'm upset because these fucking morons at the Treasury, these people, they are so paranoid.
If you don't tell them about this stuff, cc them on email, they think you've started a palace coup.
- Mal Malcolm - You don't seem to understand that I'm going to have to mop up a fucking hurricane of piss from all these neurotics.
What did the Prime Minister actually say to you? He actually said, ''This is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing.
'' What did he actually say? He said, ''This is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing.
'' Should be doing.
Should does not mean yes.
Now, there's only thing to do here and it's what I'm going to tell you to do.
- Kill it.
- I can't kill it.
I'm on my way to make the announcement.
There's gonna be television cameras there and everything.
Fuck the cameras.
Think of something else to say.
Just don't mention theNew Avengers or the Snooper Force, whatever the fuck you call it.
- Scam Busters.
? - Get rid of it.
I don't want to hear about it again.
(Glenn) Hugh, talk to me.
Hugh, what's going on? What's the matter? We're going to have to do a number of things almost immediately.
- What? What's the problem? - Fuck.
- What? Hugh, what? - Stop saying what.
- Right.
- I was sucked in! - Is this Tucker jumping on this? - I think he was right.
- He's always fucking right.
- No, he's not always right.
Should - does it mean yes? - Yes, we should do this.
- Hugh.
- When Tucker was talking to me should didn't mean yes.
I mean, it really didn't.
It I justI felt like a fool.
- This is nice.
- Yeah, this is very nice.
This is just work, isn't it? I mean, we're not - Yeah, no, absolutely.
Nothing like that.
- It's just, you know, deadline.
Yeah, sure, erm Something like, erm Social Affairs Minister Hugh Abbot will today announce a tough new crackdown on benefit fraudsters.
- Yeah, I can do the punctuation, Olly.
- Sorry, yeah, I see.
I did have it written down a bit better, on I've got it on a thing on a piece ofpaper.
- That's fantastic, Olly.
Can I just have that? - Sure, yeah.
Easier all round.
- It's should all be there.
- Certainly is.
I've done it in capitals and everything Erm, I think I'll say senior government sources.
Thank you very much.
- It sounds better.
- Oh, yeah, of course.
Olly, come on! (Glenn) Over here! Olly! (Hugh) Over here! Sorry.
(Glenn) Right.
- What's that you've got? - Olives.
- Olives? He's brought his own olives.
- Want one? Glenn? (Glenn) So the line is - call every news desk - that the Snooper Force story is that it was let out by, quote, a disgruntled civil servant, unquote.
OK? - OK, great.
- And, Terri.
? - You can drop that tone, all right? - What tone? The ''I knew better all along'' tone.
It isn't fucking appreciated right now.
The thing is, the story isn't a story.
(Chuckles) What do you mean? The Snooper Force, it's not happening.
None of that's actually happening.
- I can't do this.
- You've got to do this.
I mean, yeah, I You know, reading, talking, I get car sick.
I've got to stop, we've got to stop.
Jesus Christ.
Do you think you could pull in at the next lay-by? As far as the department and the Government are concerned, there is no Snooper Force.
What's going on? Has the Treasury gone ballistic? - No, no - Why this flip-flop? No, there's no flip-flop.
Nothing like that! No, erm, this isn't achange in policy in anyin any respect.
- No.
- What's going on, Olly.
? Bec No, well, the truth is that I - acted beyond my brief.
- What are you talking about.
? I dunno, I just kind ofwanted to play the big man in front of you.
- You just made something up? - No! Listen, Angela, I am really so sorry.
If it's any help, the line that we're giving to everybody else is that there's a disgruntled civil servant, - they leaked the story.
- Have you got a name.
? Do I have a name for the disgruntled civil servant? - (Mouthing) - Derek.
Derek? Terri.
No, we're just going to pick a name.
We're gonna pick a name.
I'm so sorry.
- I'm so sorry.
- Olly, this is ridiculous.
- It is not fucking - Did you plan all this.
? The last thing I want to do today is be stuck in a fucking lay-by by a Wacky Warehouse, begging my ex-girlfriend.
All right.
So what the hell am I going to say is the reason for me summoning all the nation's major news organisations to a school in Wiltshire? (Olly) You want something sexy, eye-catching and that is free and universally popular and instantly applicable, no one could possibly object to it.
- Yes.
- Well, you should have said before, Glenn, because I've got a file about that fucking thick of that back in the office.
- Those policies are ten a penny! - Olly! - Our entire manifesto is made up of - It doesn't help when you get cynical.
Think of this as an opportunity.
I can't just come up with Das Kapital in a cab, Glenn.
- Olly.
- Here, shave.
(Buzzing) (Glenn) What we need is something that the public want that's incredibly popular and is free.
- Return of capital punishment.
- (Buzzing stops) That's a joke, right? You are joking, yes? Obviously.
Come on, Olly, come up with something.
(Olly) National spare room database.
What about zoos? My kids went to a zoo the other day and they said it was fucking disgusting.
You know, the state of it.
That's shit, isn't it? Nobut there is an idea there, because in the middle of the city you've got wild animals.
Pet ASBOs? Remember that? ASBOs for pets.
That sounds potentially ludicrous, but then pet passports, that was a goer.
(Glenn) What if everybody had to carry a plastic bag by law? You know identification cards are coming in You've fucking cracked.
Are you mad? What if the announcement is there's no big announcement.
- (Hugh) For goodness - No, wait.
We say the Department of Social Affairs has been doing amazing work, bread-and-butter work, belt-and-braces work, the kind of work you aren't interested in cos it's not shiny, shiny, media-friendly.
- You sickos are so obsessed with the media - Sickos.
that every time we try andjust carry on with our day you don't show up, so we have to call a big thing like this.
- On target, under budget - Coalface politics.
- Yes, I like that.
- Not wasting resources.
- Good, let's do that.
- Let's go for that.
We trick them.
Tinselly thing and they come along and we say ''Ah, that's what we've been doing, we've been doing our fucking jobs!'' They never print that stuff, do they? You've come two hours out ofLondon to cover this You mugs! You mugs! But you've got a bigger story here than you have chasing tinsel.
Which is you live in a country which is properly Not many countries can say that.
And we've probably got ten million we can throw at it.
That's good, because it sounds like a lot, doesn't it? I've got a thing here that says springy concrete.
I think that's about the playground - Springy concrete? - (Hugh) Good afternoon - Should I say, ''Hello, boys and girls''? - Yes, very nice.
Like a fucking panto dame.
He's gonna look ridiculous on the six o'clock news saying, ''Hello, boys and girls.
'' - He's talking to the audience in front of him.
- Real money for real families.
- Real families or people? - (Glenn) Families.
- (Olly) People.
Real people.
- You see? Don't Families.
Families sounds exclusive, it sounds back to basics, John Major.
- People sounds communist.
- It doesn't sound communist.
- I'll say families.
- Say families of people.
- Mr Abbot.
- (Glenn) Great.
You're on.
Here we go.
(Hugh) Thank you.
- (Glenn) It's what you do best, mate.
- Yep.
(Hugh) This is lovely.
Very nice indeed.
Well, that was a fucking disaster.
- Well, that - Shut up.
Thank you.
(Terri) Ah.
Well done.
There's nothing in the Standard, big fat nothing.
- Nothing? - You got away with it.
He's created a press conference so boring that none of the press will touch it.
- (Hugh laughs) - Genius.
Fucking well done, mate.
You turned it around.
(Indistinct chatter) Well, you really pulled it round, mate.
I took the flak, you supplied the flak jacket.
Yeah, and the bullets bounced off.
- This is what it's all about, Glenn.
- Yeah.
All those years at the coalface, hanging in there, taking all the shit, all the bullshit.
When you are Senior Cabinet Minister, then we'll show them.
Yeah, and Snooper Force? Bollocks, we'll get rid of that.
For fuck's sake, yeah.
Fiddling while Rome burns.
Fucking right.
We'll kick some arse.
We'll kick some butt! Kick some butt! That's what we're in it for, mate, tell them all the shit that we do.
It's a means to an end, mate.
Fuck me, Malcolm.
How do you do that? Can I have a word with you? (Sighing heavily) I'm hacked off, mate.
But w-w-we killed it.
It-it's killed.
But once you start the fire And we didn't start the fire.
It was always burning since the world's been turning, et cetera, et cetera.
Malcolm, you're not making any sense.
Prime Minister, obviously, he's on the plane in Stockholm and somebody hits him with The World At One.
He thinks it's the Treasury trying to stiff him one so he, er he stuck with the story.
- He liked it? - Yeah, he's backing the Snooper Force.
Oh, right.
You We shouldn't really then have I mean, you shouldn't really have told us to, er Should you? (Chuckles) Don't should me, Hugh, cos I'll should you right back, right through that window.
None of this should be happening, should it? Should it? Should it? Is that should in thesense of yes, or? It's should in the sense of you should do as you're fucking told.
What, erm What are we gonna do now? You're gonna completely reverse your position.
Look, no, hang on a second.
Hang Malcolm.
It's not actually that, erm - That's gonna be quite hard, really.
- Yes, well, the announcement that you didn't make today, you did.
No, no, I didn't.
And there were television cameras there while I was not doing it.
Fuck them.
I'm not quite sure how What level of reality I'm supposed to be operating on.
Look, this is what they run with.
I tell them that you said it, they believe that you said it.
They don't really believe you said it, - they know you never said it.
- Right.
But it's in their interests to say you said it because if they don't, they're not gonna get what you say tomorrow or the next day when I decide to tell them what it is you're saying.
I-I am following this, I just I had a friend who used to indulge in extramarital affairs, OK? He would go off and have some dalliance and every Monday he'd come back and he'd meet his wife.
And he told me that all he did was inside his head turn a little switch.
- The affair never happened.
OK? - Right.
There's not a What is the problem with this? The problem with it First of all, I didn't get much dalliance.
Get it into your head, rewind today in your head.
OK, stop explaining it to me.
I have to fucking explain it to you, man, you haven't been here long enough.
(Glenn) I don't think he'd be really up for that.
- Tucker's in the building - (Olly) When did he come in? Where are all the people? Where are my people? They've gone home, Secretary of State, it's 5:40.
Well, ermlisten.
The situation is, erm, it's pretty terrible, but things have changed.
OK? The line is now, I did announce the Snooper Force this afternoon at the school.
OK? That's what happened.
All right? So now you have to tell the media in case theymissed it.
OK? Great.
- (Glenn) What we've got to - I said this was gonna happen.
- It's happened.
It's nobody's fault.
- I said it.
Glenn, I - What we have to do - Excuse me.
It's not my fault, it's yours.
- I didn't say that - You said it was nobody's fault - but it's your fault and your fault.
- It's not my fault.
- If you walk away from this I'll pin it on you - (Hugh) Everything OK? (Glenn) .
you cunt.
(Terri) We're fucked.
(Glenn) This is the real world, Terri.
(Terri) We are fucked.
- How's it going? - Good.
I think they might need a little bit ofcoordination.
- (All talking) - Has anyone spoken to Nicky Campbell? I've got one missed call here - Nicky Campbell.
It's become so complicated and it's actually terrifically simple.
There was always gonna be a Snooper Force policy.
It's too good to have been invented by a disgruntled civil servant.
I'm really glad you came in, Angela.
- Well, I could lose my job, Olly.
- Yeah I went all hot and heavy to the news desk with three directly contradictory stories in one day.
- I know.
- They gave me flip-flops.
You know? Someone actually went out and bought flip-flops to give me.
You've gotta give them credit for that, that is quite funny.
Yeah, and they pasted onto them a fucking porn picture of a girl sucking a big cock and they wrote ''Angela Heaney swallows anything''.
That is less funny.
Obviously that's quite offensive.
Can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't do a big story - on the, you know, the day of spin? - What sort of story? Inside story ofa government department out of control with diagrams and a flow chart with your face and name on it and Glenn's and Hugh's and big arrows showing who spoke to who and how you all fucked it up.
I think I could write that one up myself.
I think I could do the punctuation on that one.
- OK, I was patronis - Hey.
Hi, Angela.
I like the hair, nice little corkscrews.
How's it going? Yeah, er, fine.
We were just, er, talking about why Angela shouldn't do a big story on the big insidery piece kind of day of spin sort of spread in the - paper.
- I don't know.
Maybe you should.
Good idea.
Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute.
I know why she shouldn't, because if she did that she'd be dead to me, to this department, to the Government.
And she'd never get another story, or a fucking whiff of a story, so long as she kept her sorry hack bitch face lingering around Westminster because I would call every editor I know, which, obviously, that's all of them, and tell them to gouge her name out of their address books so she'd never even get a job on hospital radio, where the sad sack belongs.
That's what I'd tell her.
- But maybe you should do it.
See you later.
- Yeah.
Hehe's actually He can be really nice.
It's been a very long day.
I didn't say we weren't doing it, which is as good as saying we were.
- Thanks, bye-bye.
- The World Tonight.
Hello, Hugh Abbot here.
Yes, no.
Always a pleasure to speak to The World Tonight.
Go live on air now? Yes, of course, I'd be delighted to.
Robin, my pleasure, nice to be with you.
Before I answer that, may I just say how delighted I am, as indeed we all are, at the excitement and enthusiasm that the benefit fraud inspection unit has created.
I announced at a press conference this new benefit fraud inspection unit which we are hoping to call Sponge Avengers.
- And at that press conference - (Vacuum whirring) .
there seems to have been a bit of a blip because many of the journalists didn't pick up on the announcement.
I think they're so much looking for (On radio) .
scandal or incompetence.
So that statement that the policy was the invention of a disgruntled civil servant was actually the invention of a disgruntled civil servant.
No, there's only one disgruntled civil servant.
One of them's One of them's an invention by the other one, you see.
(Hugh) Anyone listening carefully will think I'm mad.
(Glenn) They won't, it came over loud and clear.
(Glenn) It's gonna put the whole thing to bed anyway.
Kill it.
And Olly's offered Angela a private life piece about you.
- (Hugh) Oh, great.
- A Sunday walk with the family, - that sort of thing.
- She's gonna be checking through my books and snooping in my bathroom cabinet and making snide remarks about how I don't know who Gail Porter is.
- We did dick her about a bit, Hugh.
- Yeah.
We're getting a roasting from what has been dubbed, but I wouldn't call, Flip-Flop Friday.
We need all the help from friends we can get right now.
- (Hugh) I know.
- What do you think? I just I just think that (Window whirring) I want a new driver.
Get me a new driver.
- I don't want to see this guy ever again.
- On what grounds? Smiling.
Inappropriate smiling.
And smirking.
Smiling and smirking.
I don't want to see that smile or smirk ever again.
OK? Thank you.
- OK, thank you.
- (Driver) Which way do you want to go?
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