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The virus and echoes of Yes Minister


A HITHERTO overlooked prophecy of the government’s reaction to the coronavirus situation has come to light.

In their 1980s satirical sitcom Yes Minister, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn wrote an episode in which two civil servants, played by Nigel Hawthorne and Donald Pickering, discuss how to advise the Prime Minister about a problem.

One suggests the ‘Standard Foreign Office’ response, which has unnerving similarities to the current real-life one.

You can see the scene here.

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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