Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Five Standard Excuses

Being unfamiliar with the program(me) Yes, Minister, I had not seen the Five Standard Excuses used by the civil service:
1 The Anthony Blunt excuse There is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for everything, but security prevents its disclosure

2 The Comprehensive Schools excuse It's only gone wrong because of heavy cuts in staff and budget which have stretched supervisory resources beyond the limit

3 The Concorde excuse It was a worthwhile experiment now abandoned, but not before it provided much valuable data and considerable employment

4 The Munich Agreement excuse It occurred before important facts were known, and cannot happen again (The important facts in question were that Hitler wanted to conquer Europe. This was actually known; but not to the Foreign Office, of course)

5 The Charge of the Light Brigade excuse It was an unfortunate lapse by an individual which has now been dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures
"According to Sir Humphrey, these excuses have covered everything so far. Even wars. Small wars, anyway."

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