Writing genius Antony Jay has died.
His name is probably not familiar, but his work included Yes Minister and its sequel Yes Prime Minister..
He penned the 1980s BBC television series, starring Paul Eddington and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, with Jonathan Lynn.
Sir Antony’s career began in the BBC’s current affairs department where he was a founding member of the Tonight team.
He later scripted the documentaries Royal Family and Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen, after which he was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for personal services to the Royal Family.
Yes Minister, which ran for three series between 1980 and 1984, followed the travails of MP James Hacker, minister for administrative affairs, and his battles against unflappable Whitehall civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby.
The subsequent Yes, Prime Minister, broadcast for two seasons between 1986 and 1988, portrayed Hacker’s life after he entered 10 Downing Street. Then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was known to be a great fan of the series. . .
I don’t think they’re making
documentaries comedy like this now and both politics and entertainment is the poorer for it.
Paul Eddington would have been 83 today.
It’s Derek Fowlds’ birthday which is a good excuse to show this classic for Yes Minister where he plays Bernard Woolley:
On September 2:
1666 The Great fire of London started.
1752 Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar.
1937 Derek Fowlds, the English actor who played Bernard Woolley in Yes Minister, was born.
1945 Vietnam declared its independence.
1960 Peter Snell won a gold medal in the 800 metres and Murray Halberg won the gold in the 5000m race at the Rome Olympics.
A Yes-Minister approach to funding means Dunedin women are not getting treatment for post-natal depression.
Women with postnatal depression in Dunedin are missing out on support because a $140,000 service which should have gone ahead last September has not received Otago District Health Board funding, Plunket says.
Plunket Society operations manager for Otago-Southland Barb Long says lack of the service, which will proceed only in a limited way next year with private funding, is a huge gap in services.
She said the society, which had been identified by the board as the preferred provider for the service last July, was only advised in May that the board would not be funding it.
Board chairman Richard Thomson said while he understood Ms Long’s disappointment, it would have been irresponsible for the board to introduce services it could not fund in the long term.
He describes the board as being stuck in a “Yes, Minister” situation (a reference to a British television programme which highlighted the foibles of bureaucracy) where it may get money to start up a service but not be funded to sustain it.
This is not the only Yes-Minsiter aproach to funding in the region.
Oamaru Hospital bought a CT scanner last year but the ODHB which holds the contract for scans will not pass over payment for North Otago patients. This means North Otago patients who qualify for ACC are getting scans locally but other people have to travel to Dunedin Hospital for publicly funded scans or pay to have them in Oamaru.
This is a ridiculous situation when Oamaru has the equipment and the expertise to provide the service while Dunedin has a waiting list for scans and it is a three hour return journey from Oamaru to the city.
If people require a scan funding shouldn’t be dependent on where they get it.