Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
The Thick Of It -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Are you OK? What? I need the truth. Oh, Maggie. This is me. I'd mess around with Scarlett. You can't seriously think What was it you said?

What does the bad guy look like? Black hat, eye patch. No. Just like everyone else. Oh, Christ. Mr Veazey? Mr Veazey? What did the police say? Will you please take some questions? Over here, this way, sir. Did you have an argument? Please, Mr Veazey! Mr Veazey!

Closed Captions by CSI

Thank you. Morning. very strong language. This programme contains

Thank you. Morning, Cliff, let me take that. At a time like this, for God's sake! with these bloody things. Up all night the digest, please? ..Thank you. Going to have a pizza. Have you got Um... Um, Malcolm's there. Would you mind taking them? Oh, why? Why? Malcolm? Where? In there? In there.

It's just a social call. A social call? Jesus Christ! Yeah. Um...have you got him coffee? Did you get him coffee? Oh, for Christ... I thought you were organising it. croissants... No, no, no! croissants and... Danish pastries, Get coffee, get, um, danish pastries, and lots of coffee. Now! OK? get fruit? A pile of fruit Fruit! Get lots of fruit. Can you

He's useless. a marzipan dildo. He's useless! He's as useless as He's absolutely useless! He is! The minister's just walked in. I've got to go. me. You're a minister of the Crown. Don't interrupt your call because of to all of my chutney! You don't need to listen more interesting than chutney. I'm sure it's much, much No, no, no. It's... It's a... and it turns out it's Graham Hughes. Graham Dixon was doing a briefing, my cock-up, as usual. I thought that

kill some of them. Exactly! Too many Grahams around. We ought to So... So... fuck-up about the coffee. Oh, God... God, look, I'm sorry about the enforcer a cup of fucking coffee? if I can't get the Prime Minister's How am I supposed to run a department Listen, the thing is... No, no, that's OK. here, Cliff. you are doing a bloody good job whether I'm going or not... Yeah. With all this shit in the paper about

please? ..Have you seen the Mail? Terri, can you bring the Mail in, thread"? Yeah! Dangles by a thread! Is that "Lawton dangles by a keep it. by a thread? We've got. It's OK. Do It's OK. We've got... Lawton dangles There's a lot of them, isn't there? Thank you, Terri. Yeah. No, just leave it there. but just more and more and more. It started with the Telegraph diary,

the PM likes you personally. Seriously, you. I just want you to know that. absolutely no desire to get rid of I like you personally, and we've is coming from us. None of this negative stuff Oh, no, mate. That... feel a lot more secure. Does it? ..makes a big difference. Makes me Well, it's difficult. headlines, day after day. What's difficult? Just endless

we're starting to look weak. Absolutely. The thing is... It's chipping away at confidence. he gonna go. When's he gonna go?" Everybody's saying, "When's So there you are! to look weak, do you? No, no... Right... And you don't want us That's why you've gotta go. No. KNOCK AT DOOR Yes. No.

Fuck off! Tea? Would you like some coffee? You fuck off, darling. Malcolm, look, um... of the jungle out there, you know? if you do this, it's the bollocks They're like wolves... announcement. I've told the Lobby. pissed wolves. I've made the You've told the Lobby I'm going? Yeah. Sorry, Cliff. "Cliff". Minister... Yeah, get used to

at Number 10 in 20 minutes. the usual soapy-tit-wank farewell I've booked you in for before you're pushed, resignation. It says you're jumping I've drafted a letter of that you were pushed. Sorry. although we're going to be briefing Um... knows he's fucking up Transport. What about Tom, yeah? Everybody Look, you don't need to do all this. they're important! We can't lose anyone at Transport, We can't sack Tom at Transport!

What, and Social Affairs isn't? but it's not Transport. Social Affairs is very important, Oh... OK, the Department of Transport's cars, buses, trucks... fucking entails! I know what Transport Look, look... HUGH SIGHS DEEPLY I'll look at them.

"Personal reasons"? give you adequate scope. Scope? Yeah. I thought that would Cabinet office or something? What? What like, um, shooting up in the this could be a great deal worse. a wank? What do you mean? You know, Stuffing a cat up my arse and having You have been here for 18 months You have had a good innings. the PM's reply to your resignation. some very nice things about you in and, you know, I have written

and you know why? indeed! I had a lump in my throat, Some very nice fucking things SO FAR, OK? any the less of you over this... Because no-one who matters thinks The Daily Mail. Right, one more thing. David Topham has got it into his because of Press pressure. head that we are going to sack you

out fucking sarcasm, that's over. Look, you're in no position to dish I wonder why(!) tell them that you're jumping sarcasm world! Get on the phone, You no longer have purchase in the before you are pushed. We were deeply-held fucking personal issues! going to push you because of your You want me to write my own obituary? Get on the fucking phone!

Do it now! Morning! a bit of a bitch, actually. Times? No. Jo Cherman. She's been Good morning. Have you seen the Well, she always is. Yeah. will take photographs We'll go down, the local yokels Everything in this package is small!

for 20... 20 minutes is enough. and that's fine. They'll snap away Morning, Hugh! He's here now, so don't worry. Good morning. Come on! very important to say. I've got... Terri, shush! I've got something Olly, I've got something for us. I got us a very tasty little morsel, Great Britain... Oh, really? Oh? good friend the Prime Minister of because I had a chat with my very

Yes, and remember the, um... Olly, your benefit unit fraud... Anti-Benefit Fraud Executive - ABFE. ABFE? Um, Scrounger Squad... one with spending implications? Yes. Snooper Squad. Snooper Squad! The 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 And Judy and plant that flag right on their fucking sofa.

So the Prime Minister's authorised you to announce it? Well, that's very much what he signalled, yes, very clearly. He said he's right behind us and it's what we should be doing. This is great. So we can do it this afternoon at the school, can't we? We can clear the press conference and... Excuse me. Yeah, we'll double-bubble it. Yeah? We'll leak it to the Standard, then trail it on The World At One, yes?

We need someone at the Standard... What about Angela Heaney? She's at the Standard now, isn't she? Yeah. Yeah, Olly? Um, yes, she is. Do you not think that maybe she's a bit junior? A bit too much like your ex, who broke your heart then dumped you with a text message? It was a fucking e-mail! It wasn't a text message. She'll write what we want. She's easy.

She's easy. Yeah, she is easy. I can see that you've all got big, stiff hard-ons for this... Sorry? That is nice. I'm not saying that's not nice but... Terri? ..there is no way we'll clear it by this afternoon so... Why not? Cool it. I'll ring Paul at the Treasury. No! No, no! No phone calls to the Treasury! If you call the Treasury, 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. They'll just take it. I'm just going by procedure. Terri, I love doing things the right way, that ethical stuff, I love it, we all do, but it's very difficult when you're the first person to put the gun down, because people tend to jump on your head as if it's a ripe watermelon. We don't want that, do we? OK. The Prime Minister is above the Treasury in the hierarchy.

I can write it down on a chart. Whatever. Thank you. Very good, Minister, I'll get to it. Yeah. You're just doing your job. Yeah. (Not very well.) Will you get Angela on the phone for Olly? ..You can deal with this, Olly, yes? Um... Thanks. The driver. ..Technically. Yeah. Will it be my driver? Yes. I don't fucking like him. Why not? He's... I don't know. I think he despises me. We'll have to use him today, because you know how the pool system works. So we go down to the school, um...

He's sort of contemptuous. The driver? I feel like he looks down on me. No. Hugh he likes you, I'm sure. PIPS ON CAR RADIO 'The World At One, this is Nick Clarke with 30 minutes of news and...' You can fuck off! 'This afternoon the Social Affairs Secretary, Hugh Abbot...' Evening!

First story up. '..Funding for an anti-fraud executive to include a uniformed so-called Snooper Force. 'The announcement suggests the DSA has pushed the Treasury into releasing more funds, 'so is the Treasury losing its central policy?' Not before time! 'We'll talk to Opposition spokesman, Mark Davis Nathenson...' If you can get him out of the bath. 'First, estimates of fatalities from yesterday's train disaster in Bangalore have risen overnight...'

That's marvellous. MOBILE RINGS Oh, Tucker. ..Malcolm. What the fuck was that? Was this whole Snooper Force thing from you? I talked to the PM and this is completely Kosher, as far he's concerned. He gave the go ahead and said, "Bounce the Treasury!" We've got 17 different issues we're 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 over at the Treasury are paranoid! If you don't tell them about stuff like this, or cc them an e-mail, they think you've started a coup! Malcolm... You don't seem to understand that I'm going to have to mop up a fucking hurricane of piss from all of these neurotics. What did the Prime Minister actually say? He said, "This is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing."

What did he actually say? sort of thing we should be doing." "Should be doing..." "Should" does not mean "yes". There's only one thing to do here, 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 TV cameras there and everything.

Well, fuck the TV cameras! Think of something else to say, but don't mention the Snooper Force or whatever the fuck you call it! Scambusters. Get rid of it! I don't want to hear about it again. Bye! Hugh, talk to me. Hugh, what's going on? What's the matter? We're going to have to do a number of things... Like? ..almost immediately. What's the problem? Fuck... Hugh, what? Stop saying what. Right. I shouldn't have been 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. I 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. No, no... Nothing like that. It's just, you know, deadline. Yeah, sure. Something like, Social Affairs Minister Hugh Abbot will today announce a tough new crackdown on benefit fraudsters...

Um... paragraph. Yeah, I can do the punctuation, Olly. Sorry. Actually, I did have it written down a bit better. Oh, that's fantastic Olly. Can I just have that? Sure. That's great. It's all... It should all be there. I've done it in capitals. Cool? I think I'll say SENIOR Government sources.

Thank you very much! It sounds better. Yeah, of course. Olly! Come on! Over here, Olly! Sorry. What's that you've got? Olives. Olives? Do you want one? He's brought his own olives. So the line is, and call every news desk, that the Snooper Force story is that it was let out

by "a disgruntled civil servant". OK? OK, great. Terri... Mmm? You can drop that tone, all right? What tone? The I-knew-better-all-along tone, yeah? It isn't fucking appreciated right now. Bye. The thing is, the story isn't a story...

What do you mean? The Snooper Force. It's not happening. None of that is actually happ... None of that is actually happening. I-I can't do this. You've got to do this. I mean, yeah, you know reading, talking, I get...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 is concerned... As far as the Government is concerned, there is no Snooper Force. What's going on? Has the Treasury gone ballistic? No, no. Is this flip-flop? No, there's no flip-flop. Nothing like that... This isn't a change in policy in any...in any respect. No. What's going on ,Olly? No, well, the truth is that I... acted beyond my brief. What are you talking about?

I dunno. I just kind of wanted to play the big man in front of you. You came out and you just made something up? No, no. I'm really so sorry. If it's any help... The line that we're getting is that there's a disgruntled civil servant. They leaked the story. Got a name? Do I have a name for the disgruntled civil servant? Well, Derek. Derek Terri...

Terri. No, we're gonna pick a name. We're gonna pick a name. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry about this. This is ridiculous! No, it's... Did you plan all of this? The last thing I want to do today is be stuck in a fucking lay-by, 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? So you want something sexy and eye-catching and that is free and universally popular and instantly applicable, no-one can possibly object to it? Yeah. Yes. You should have said something before, Glenn, because I've got a file that fucking thick of that

back in the office! Those sorts of policies are ten a penny! Olly! Our entire manifesto is made up of them. It doesn't help when you get cynical. This as an opportunity. It's not that easy to come up with Das Kapital in the back of the cab, Glenn! Olly. Here. Shave. What we need is something that the public want, is incredibly popular and is free. Return of capital punishment.

That's a joke, right? You are joking, yes, obviously? Come on, Olly. Come up with something. National spare room database? What about zoos? My kids went to a zoo the other day and they said it was fucking disgusting, the state of it. That's shit, isn't it?

No... But there is an idea there, because in the middle of the city you've got wild animals. Pet ASBOs. Remember, ASBOs for pets? That sounds potentially ludicrous, but then pet passports... I mean that was a...that was a goer. What if everybody had to carry a plastic bag. By law. You know the identification cards are coming in... You've fucking cracked! Are you mad? What if the announcement is...

there's no big announcement. Oh... Wait. We say the Department of Social Affairs has been doing amazing work, bread-and-butter work, the kind of work that you people aren't interested in. It's not media-friendly stuff. You're obsessed with how things play in the media, you sickos. Sickos! Every time we try and do it, we just carry on with our day, you don't show up, so we have to call a big...

Why bread and butter? On target, under budget... Coal-face politics. Coal? Absolutely, yes, I like it. Not wasting resources. Let's do that. Let's go for that. We trick them by...a tinselly thing, and they come along and then we say, "Ah..." That's what we've been doing! We've been doing our fucking jobs! Yes, they never print that stuff, do they? And you've come all this way. We've got you two hours out of London to cover this. You mugs! You mugs!

You've got a bigger story here than you have chasing your tinsel. You live in a country which is properly... There's not many countries can say that! And we've probably got ten million we can throw at it. Yes. That's good, that, because it sounds like a lot. Yeah. I've got a thing here that says "springy concrete". I think that's about the playground but I don't... "Springy concrete"? Good afternoon. Should I say, "Hello, boys and girls"? Yes, very nice.

No, it's going out on TV. It'll look ridiculous if he's on the six o'clock news saying, "Hello, boys and girls." ..Real money for real families... He's not patronising them! Real families or real people? Real people! Families! You see...families. Families sounds exclusive. It sounds back to basics. It sounds John Major, so... "People" sounds communist. It doesn't! I'll say families. Thank you. Say "families of people".

Mr Abbot... Great, you're on, here we go. It's what you do best, mate. Yeah. Well, that was a fucking disaster.

Well, that... Shut up. Thank you. Ah! Well done. There's absolutely nothing in the Standard. Big fat nothing. Nothing? You've got away with it. He's created a press conference so boring that none of the Press will even touch it. Fucking well done, mate! You turned it around.

Well, you really pulled it round, mate. I took the flack. You supplied the flack jacket. And the bullets bounced off. This is what it's all about, Glenn. All those years at the coal-face, hanging in, taking all the shit. When you're senior Cabinet minister, then we'll show them. And Snooper Force... What? We'll get rid of that.

Oh, for fuck sake, yeah! Fiddling while Rome burns. Fucking right! We'll kick some arse, kick some butt! That's what we're in it for, mate. Instead of all the shit that we do. Have to do. It's a means to an end! Fuck me, Malcolm! How do you do that? Can I have a word with you? DOOR SLAMS MALCOLM SIGHS DEEPLY I'm hacked off, mate.

But we...we killed it. It's killed. Yeah. But once you start the fire, Malc, and we didn't start the fire. It's always burning since the world's been turning, etc, etc. Sorry, 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...

He stuck with the story. He liked it? Yeah, he's backing the Snooper Force. Oh, right. We shouldn't really then... I mean, you shouldn't really have told us to...

should you? Don't should me, Hugh, cos I'll should you right back. I'll should you right through that window. None of this should be happening, should it? Should it? Should it? Is that "should" in the sense of "yes" or... It's should in the sense that you should do as you're fucking told. Yeah. What... What are we going to do now? You're going to completely reverse your position.

Hang on a second. Malcolm, it's not actually that... That's going to be quite hard, really. Yes, well, the announcement that you didn't make today...you did. No, I didn't, and there were television cameras there while I was not doing it. Fuck them. I'm not sure...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 interest to say that you said it because if they don't say that you said it, they're not going to get what you say tomorrow, when I decide to tell them what it is you're saying. Yeah. I am following this. I just...

I had a friend who used to indulge in extramarital affairs, OK? He'd go off and he'd 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 no... What is the problem with this? The problem with it... First of all, I didn't get much dalliance.

Rewind today in your head. OK, stop explaining it to me! I have to fucking explain it to you! You haven't been here long enough. Where are all the people? Where are my people? Um, they've gone home, Secretary of State. It's five-forty. OK, well, um, listen...

The situation is, um... 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 all the media in case they missed it. OK? Great.

that this would happen! I said at the beginning of today of everyone... It's not my fault! Terri. Now we have to get a list It's happened. It's nobody's fault, I didn't say it was your fault! and your fault. It's not my fault. It is somebody's fault - your fault Everything going OK? I'll make sure it's pinned on you. If you walk away, You cunt! We're fucked! Great(!) We're fucked. This is the real world, Terri.

of co-ordination. I think they might need a little bit How's it going? Good. anyone spoken to Nicky Campbell? Who spoke to Nicky Campbell? Has Nicky Campbell. I've got one missed call here, it's actually terrifically simple. It's become so complicated, and a Snooper Force policy. Definitely. There was always going to be It's too good a policy to be invented by a disgruntled civil servant.

I'm really glad you came in. Angela, you know... Well, I could lose my job, Olly. Yeah. I went 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. Yeah. Yeah, and they pasted onto them... that, though. That is quite funny. You've got to give them credit for

sucking a big cock, a fucking porn picture of a girl "Angela Heaney swallows anything." and they wrote, That's actually quite offensive. That is less funny, obviously. I shouldn't do a big story on the... Can you give me one good reason why Why? What sort of story...? you know...on the day of spin? with diagrams and a flow chart Government department out of control, You know, inside story of a

showing who spoke to who Glenn's, Hugh's, and big arrows with your face and name on it, I could write that one myself, Olly. and how you all fucked it up! I think I'm sorry. I was patronising. I could do the punctuation on it! ..How's it going? Yeah, um, fine. Hi, Angela. Oh, I like the hair! We were just, um, talking about on the big insider-y piece, why Angela shouldn't do a big story

in the paper. kind of day-of-spin sort of spread Maybe you should. Good idea. I don't know. Oh, wait a minute! I know why she shouldn't! 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, her sorry hack bitch face so long as she kept I know - that's all of them - because I would call every editor lingering around Westminster, her name out of their address books and I would tell them to gouge belongs! That's what I'd tell her. hospital radio - where the sad sack so she'd never even get a job on See you later. Yeah. But maybe you should do it!

He's actually... He can be really nice. It's been a very long day. that we were. Bye. The World Tonight. it, which is as good as saying I didn't say that we weren't doing Hello? Hugh Abbot here... to speak to The World Tonight. It's always a pleasure Go live on air now? Yes, of course, I'd be delighted to. Robin, my pleasure. Nice to be with you. may I say how delighted I am, Yes. Before I answer that question, as we all are in the department, at the excitement and enthusiasm that our 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, um, at that press conference there seems to have been a bit of a blip didn't pick up on the announcement. because many of the journalists They're so much looking for... so that statement' 'a bit of scandal or incompetence, ON RADIO:

of a disgruntled civil servant. that the policy was the invention was actually the invention them's...one of them's an invention civil servant, because one of No, there's only one disgruntled by the other one, you see? No, you came over loud and clear. thought I sounded completely mad. Anyone listening carefully would have to bed, anyway. Kill it. It's going to put the whole thing

Life piece about you. Oh, great(!) And Olly's offered Angela a Private go for a walk, spend time with you. A Sunday with you and the family, and snooping in my bathroom cabinet She'll be checking through my books We did dick her about, Hugh. Yeah. I don't know who Gail Porter is! and making snide remarks about how And we're getting a roasting at the moment from what has been dubbed flip-flop Friday,

so we need all the help from friends we can get right now. I know. Look, what do you think? Well, I just think that... I want a new driver. I don't want to see this guy ever again.