Hacker sees the job of government as one of "doing good", or more specifically reforming the country according to his own party's policies: which, more often than not, means the initiation of departmental reforms and economies, a reduction of the level of bureaucracy and reduction of staff numbers in the Civil Service.
To do so, or to at least look as if he is doing so, is what he considers to be a vote-winner.
The series opens in the wake of a general election in which the incumbent government has been defeated by the opposition party, to which Jim Hacker MP belongs.
His party affiliation is never stated, and his party emblem is clearly neither Conservative nor Labour.
Almost all episodes ended with a variation of the title of the series spoken as the answer to a question posed by Hacker.
Several episodes were adapted for BBC Radio, and a stage play was produced in 2010, the latter leading to a new television series on UKTV Gold in 2013.
While Appleby is outwardly deferential towards the new minister, he is prepared to defend the status quo at all costs.
Woolley is sympathetic towards Hacker but as Appleby reminds him, Woolley's civil service superiors -- including Appleby -- will have much to say about the course of his future career (i.e.assessments, promotions, pay increases), while ministers do not usually stay long in one department and have no say in civil service staffing recommendations.Many of the episodes revolve around proposals backed by Hacker but frustrated by Appleby, who uses a range of clever stratagems to defeat ministerial proposals while seeming to support them.Conversely, Sir Humphrey sees his role as ensuring that politics is kept out of government as much as possible and that the status quo is upheld as a matter of principle.But with the status quo notably including the prestige, power and influence of the Civil Service, Sir Humphrey attempts to block any move that seeks either to prevent the further expansion of the civil service or to reduce the complexity of its bureaucracy.At the time of the making of the series, television cameras were not allowed in the House of Commons and had only recently been introduced into the House of Lords, so it was not unusual to a British audience to have no scenes from there.