Yes Minister...Yes, Prime Minister《是，大臣》...《是，首相》Antony Jay, a Machiavelli Scholarhttp://hcbooks.blogspot.tw/2016/06/yes-ministeryes-prime-minister.html
Antony Jay, a Machiavelli Scholar and a Creator of ‘Yes Minister,’ Dies at 86
Antony Jay, whose keen appreciation of Machiavelli and corporate behavior helped make the 1980s British television series “Yes Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” instant classics of political satire, died on Aug. 21. He was 86.
His death was announced by a family spokesman, who did not state where Mr. Jay had died or the cause.
Mr. Jay, a producer at BBC Television and a writer for the satirical news program “That Was the Week That Was” in the 1960s, was a close student of complex organizations and the behavior of the people who ran them.
In his books “Management and Machiavelli: An Inquiry Into the Politics of Corporate Life” (1967) and “Corporation Man” (1972), he drew parallels between kings and business leaders; as a writer and producer of management training films for Video Arts, a company he founded with the comic actor John Cleese, he was practiced in mining corporate culture for comedic effect.
With Jonathan Lynn, a colleague at Video Arts, Mr. Jay decided to shine a bright light on the dark machinations of government and the relationship between public officials and civil servants, a strange codependency in which the nominally powerful ended up as putty in the hands of their ostensible inferiors.
In “Yes Minister,” which ran from 1980 to 1984, audiences delighted in the weekly predicaments faced by the Right Honorable James Hacker (Paul Eddington), the well-meaning head of the fictional Ministry for Administrative Affairs; his wily, smooth-talking permanent under secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne); and Sir Humphrey’s whipsawed private secretary, Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds).
In “Yes, Prime Minister,” the same cast returned, with Hacker elevated to prime minister. Both series were broadcast in the United States by PBS.
The series addressed, Mr. Jay told The New York Times in 1988, “the great undiscussed subject of British politics,” which he defined as “the tension not of left and right, not of Conservative and Socialist, but of all civil servants and all ministers.”
Audiences enjoyed the scrupulously nonpartisan skewering of narcissistic politicians and obstructionist bureaucrats. Ministers, members of Parliament and civil servants laughed or squirmed, depending on the joke.
“I suppose you could say that the fun of the series comes from showing civil servants as politicians see them and politicians as civil servants see them,” Mr. Jay told The Guardian in 1986. “I can tell you without any doubt that if you showed politicians and civil servants as they see themselves, you would have the most boring series television ever encountered.”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared “Yes Minister” her favorite program. “Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power,” she told The Daily Telegraph, “has given me hours of pure joy.”
Antony Rupert Jay was born on April 20, 1930, in London. His father, Ernest, and his mother, the former Catherine Hay, were actors. He attended St. Paul’s School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he earned a degree in classics and comparative philology in 1952.
After serving two years with the Royal Signal Corps, he joined the current affairs department of BBC Television, where he developed the current affairs program “Tonight.” He became editor of the program and head of the television talk features department.
In 1957 he married Rosemary Watkins, who survives him, along with their four children: Michael, David, Ros and Kate.
Mr. Jay left the BBC in 1964 to become a freelance writer and producer. David Frost, with whom he worked on “That Was the Week That Was,” hired him as a writer for “The Frost Report,” and the two collaborated on a book, “To England With Love” (1967), a sendup of their countrymen published in the United States as “The English.”
He wrote the documentary “The Royal Family” to celebrate the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969 and, with the director Edward Mirzoeff, wrote another royal documentary, “Elizabeth R.: A Year in the Life of the Queen” (1992), to mark the 40th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession. In 1988 he was made a bachelor knight of the realm.
In addition to “Management and Machiavelli,” which Forbes magazine called “among the most provocative and perceptive books ever written on the subject of management,” he wrote “Effective Presentation: The Communication of Ideas by Words and Visual Aids” (1970) and “The Householder’s Guide to Community Defense Against Bureaucratic Aggression” (1972).ading the main story
While writing on corporate culture and politics, Mr. Jay became interested in public choice, a branch of political theory that treats voters, politicians and civil servants as self-interested agents and analyzes their behavior accordingly. He was also influenced by the anthropological works of such writers as Robert Ardrey.
“I am fascinated by how organizations behave and how people behave in organizations,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2005. “During my own experiences I saw how an awful lot of animal behavior, particularly primate behavior, comes up in the modern corporation.” All of this fed directly into his scripts for “Yes Minister.”
Mr. Lynn joined Mr. Jay in writing “The Complete Yes Minister,” presented as the edited and annotated diaries of James Hacker. It was published in 1984, and a sequel, “Yes, Prime Minister,” appeared in 1986. The two later collaborated on a stage version of “Yes Prime Minister.” Directed by Mr. Lynn, it opened at the Chichester Festival Theater in 2010 and later transferred to the West End in London.
Correction: August 31, 2016
An obituary on Tuesday about Antony Jay, a creator of the British television series “Yes Minister,” no comma is cq misstated the name of the fictional government agency depicted in that show. It was the Ministry of Administrative Affairs, not the Ministry of Administrative Public Affairs.