Jobs for the Boys

Jobs for the Boys

Infobox UK Television Episode
Title = Jobs for the Boys
Series name = Yes Minister

Caption = Episode title card
Series no = 1
Episode = 7
Airdate = 7 April 1980
Writer = Antony Jay
Jonathan Lynn
Producer = Sydney Lotterby
Director =
Guests = Richard Vernon
Neil Fitzwiliam
Richard Davies
Episode list = List of "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" episodes
Prev = The Right to Know
Next = The Compassionate Society

"Jobs for the Boys" is the seventh episode of the BBC comedy series "Yes Minister" and was first broadcast 7 April 1980. In this episode, the final ' "Yes Minister" ' is uttered by Sir Humphrey Appleby.


Sir Humphrey Appleby is in Jim Hacker's office with Bernard, and is somewhat anxious. His Minister is about to take part in a radio programme and will refer to the "Solihull project" — a construction enterprise that is apparently "a shining example of a successful collaboration between government and private industry." However, despite the fact that Sir Humphrey briefed the Minister in those terms, he is less than enthusiastic about it being made public. Bernard wants to know why Hacker has been kept in the dark about the Solihull report and Sir Humphrey has a simple explanation: "He hasn't asked." Bernard presses his Permanent Secretary and wonders how the Minister could ask about something of which he is unaware in the first place. Sir Humphrey is now more forthcoming: the Solihull report casts doubt on the financial credentials of Michael Bradley, the project's private backer. His bank may decide to foreclose, but Sir Humphrey is to meet its chairman later on and hopes to sort things out. In the meantime, he advises that the Minister must be discouraged from publicly mentioning the project. Hacker arrives and immediately asks for details of his impending radio discussion. Sir Humphrey tries his best to persuade him to omit any reference to the Solihull project, but since he is unwilling to offer a convincing reason, Hacker is determined to make as much political capital as he can.

Sir Humphrey meets for lunch with Sir Desmond Glazebrook, the Chairman of Bartlett's Bank, who happens to be an old friend. Sir Desmond is unsympathetic to Bradley's predicament but Sir Humphrey suggests that the bank takes over his part of the contract and goes into partnership with the government itself. However, Sir Desmond reminds him that it is up to his Board, and the outcome is far from certain. Changing the subject, Sir Desmond enquires if there are any chairmanships of quangos currently available. Sir Humphrey finds it difficult to think of a suitable position, as by Sir Desmond's own admission he is a banker and therefore knows "nothing". Sir Humphrey vainly uses their restaurant location to inspire various commissions and authorities on which Sir Desmond might sit. This culminates in a steak being flambéed at the next table and suggesting the Fire Services Examination Board. Ultimately the only job that takes his interest is on a new Industrial Co-Partnership Commission, which is in Hacker's gift.

En route to Broadcasting House, Hacker questions Bernard on Sir Humphrey's motives. The Principal Private Secretary finds himself unable to offer any explanation in plain English, but does prevail upon the Minister to follow Sir Humphrey's advice.

During the recording, Hacker pointedly expands on the perceived virtues of the Solihull project. Afterwards, one of the participants, a trade unionist called Joe Morgan, approaches the Minister. He is seeking a special "Birmingham allowance" for his members, and makes it clear that he knows more about the Solihull project than Hacker himself does. He uses this as a threat and leaves the Minister rather befuddled.

During the journey back to the DAA, Hacker talks to George, his driver. It transpires that his position has enabled him to overhear many conversations about the Solihull project and once again, the Minister is puzzled why he should be the one that isn't in the know.

Back in his office with Bernard, he tries to question Sir Humphrey on the matter, but is frustrated by not knowing what to ask. They are joined by Frank Weisel, Hacker's political advisor. He has prepared a paper on quangos, with the aim of taking all appointments away from ministers and handing them to a Select Committee instead. Hacker is enthusiastic and cites as a case for change the recent recommendation of the "blithering idiot" Sir Desmond Glazebrook for the Industrial Co-Partnership Commission. He refuses point blank to appoint him. Sir Humphrey begs him to reconsider and finally decides to show Hacker the Solihull report. The Minister is mortified by its contents and despatches Bernard to stop the BBC broadcast; however, he is too late. Sir Humphrey advises that all may be well if Bartlett's Bank agrees to take over the contract — but this is contingent on Sir Desmond Glazebrook getting his desired quango. Hacker now accepts the appointment with alacrity and furthermore, recommends that Joe Morgan be his deputy. This leaves Frank Weisel, whom Hacker and Sir Humphrey persuade to serve on yet another commission: one that itself investigates the composition and activity of quangos.

Episode cast

Cast notes

* This is the last episode to feature Hacker’s political advisor, Frank Weisel, played by Neil Fitzwiliam.


cquote2|Bernard: Sir Humphrey, this is a bit of a cover-up, isn't it?
Sir Humphrey: Certainly not, Bernard. It is responsible discretion exercised in the national interest to prevent unnecessary disclosure of eminently justifiable procedures in which untimely revelation could severely impair public confidence.
Bernard: Oh I see... It's like Watergate!

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  • jobs for the boys — Jobs given to or created for friends or supporters • • • Main Entry: ↑job * * * jobs for the boys british informal phrase jobs that someone gives to their friends Thesaurus: types of job or workhyponym general words relating to jobs and work …   Useful english dictionary

  • jobs for the boys — Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • jobs for the boys — UK DISAPPROVING ► work that someone in a position of power gives to friends or relations: »Labour sharply criticized the board s appointment of the former trade minister as an example of jobs for the boys. Main Entry: ↑job …   Financial and business terms

  • jobs for the boys — ► jobs for the boys Brit. the practice of giving paid employment to one s friends, supporters, or relations. Main Entry: ↑job …   English terms dictionary

  • jobs for the boys —    Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Jobs for the boys —   Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • jobs for the boys — British & Australian work that is given by someone who is in an important position to their friends or members of their family. They operated a system of jobs for the boys …   New idioms dictionary

  • jobs for the boys — Meaning Favouritism where jobs or other patronage is given to friends and acquaintances. Origin The boys are the old boys of english public schools. The class system in england used to, and to an extent still does, maintain an old boys network ,… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • jobs for the boys — British informal jobs that someone gives to their friends …   English dictionary

  • Jobs for the boys — 1. system of male nepotism in which one looks after the interests of one s mates in preference to other people s interests; 2. any similar system in which preferential treatment is given to friends, associates, supporters, etc …   Dictionary of Australian slang