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The minister for Administrative Affairs Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) is
devastated, because the press attacks him for not downsizing his
department - even though that was what he has promised before the
election. & to have a good press, Hacker makes every effort to
economize his department after all, however, his permanent secretary
Humphrey (Nigel Hawthorne), always doing his best to maintain the status
quo, blocks his efforts every step along the way ... until Hacker has to
realize the only place he can save is in his very own office - so before
long, he has his driver sacked, his staff seriously downsized, & his
company car is gone as well.
& thanks to his way too small staff, he clumsily causes a
nationwide drivers strike, & suddenly finds himsel going to a banquet
in the French embassy in his own shabby old car (which cares to break down
on the way too), & somehow it all culminates in a photo that goes
through all the papers, showing Hacker, lieing drunkenly in the gutter
looking for his keys ...
The next day his economizing plans don#t look all that good anymore,
& Humphrey gets his will after all, but saves the department's face in
a press release that informs about sacking 800 employees (who, truth to
bne told, were not even employed yet) & has an outline on downsizing
the department's tealadies.
I have to admit, my synopsis might make this episode dull, with a bit
of slapstick at best, while actually it features some brilliant dialogue
("It says here 'More people serve in the inland revenue than in the
Royal Navy'" - "Is that true ?" - "Yes.";
"The Gouvernment doesn't stop just because the whole country is
destroyed !") one has come to expect from the series, paired of
course with the usual great acting.