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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dealing with the tide


“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Antony Jay

Born on this date in 1930, Jay was an English writer, broadcaster, and director, famous for co-authoring (with Jonathan Lynn) the hit political comedies Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, aired on the BBC and around the globe.  He also wrote the wildly successful BBC television documentary Royal Family.

As a staunch supporter of individual rights and responsibilities, Jay also authored many essays on those topics and penned the best seller, The Householder's Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression.

After being educated at Cambridge and then doing national service in The Signals, Jay joined BBC Television in 1955, ultimately serving as Head of Television Talk Features. During the last decades of his life  (he died in 2016)             he was a freelance writer and producer and was honored with a Knighthood for his distinguished service.

“You can judge a leader by the size of the problem he tackles,” Jay once wrote.  “Other people can cope with the waves, but it's his job to watch the tide.”


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