Yes Minister est une série télévisée satirique britannique. Elle a été diffusée par la BBC (radio et télévision) entre 1980 et 1984. Cette série adopte un point de vue implicitement libéral et moquant les lourdeurs de l’administration et de l’État.
Ici on découvre la politique menée depuis plus de 500 ans par la Grande Bretagne vis-à-vis le continent :
Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby explains to minister Jim Hacker why the UK has such a tumultuous relationship with the EU.
the Foreign Office – le Ministère des affaires étrangères
the Civil Service – la fonction publique
the Common Market (EEC) – le marché commun (CEE)
divide and rule – diviser pour régner
current policy – politique actuelle
to make a pig’s breakfast of something – mettre le désordre, gacher, semer la pagaille
terribly pleased – très content
it’s just like old times – c’est comme au bon vieux temps
committed to – engagé à
to stir up arguments – attiser des disputes
appalling cynicism – cynisme épouvantable
Minister: Does the foreign office realise what damage this will do to the European idea?
Appleby: Well I ‘m sure they do, that’s why they support it.
Minister: What? Surely the Foreign Office is pro-Europe, isn’t it?
Appleby: Yes and no. If you’ll forgive the expression. The Foreign Office is pro-Europe because it is really anti-Europe. The Civil Service was united in its desire to make sure that the Common Market didn’t work. That’s why we went into it.
Minister: What are you talking about?
Appleby: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?
Minister: That’s all ancient history surely?
Appleby: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing. Set the Germans against the French, the French againt the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The foreign office is terribly pleased, it’s just like old times.
Minister: Surely your committed to the European ideal?
Appleby: Really Minister.
Minister: If not, why are we pressing for an increase in the membership?
Appleby: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations in fact. The more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up. The more futile and impotent it becomes.
Minister: What appalling cynicism.
Appleby : Yes, we call it diplomacy, minister.