[The President of Buranda plans a speech urging the Scots and Irish to fight against “British colonialism”.]
Jim Hacker: Humphrey, do you think it is a good idea to issue a statement?
Sir Humphrey: Well, Minister, in practical terms we have the usual six options:
One: do nothing.
Two: issue a statement deploring the speech.
Three: lodge an official protest.
Four: cut off aid.
Five: break off diplomatic relations.
And six: declare war.
Hacker: Which should be it?
Sir Humphrey: Well:
If we do nothing, that means we implicitly agree with the speech.
If we issue a statement, we’ll just look foolish.
If we lodge a protest, it’ll be ignored.
We can’t cut off aid, because we don’t give them any.
If we break off diplomatic relations, then we can’t negotiate the oil rig contracts.
And if we declare war, it might just look as though we were over-reacting!
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