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How to be a dictator (UK edition 2013)

1. Make guns illegal and the innocent unable to defend themselves against armed criminals or government thugs.

2. Subjugate parliament to your will by stuffing the place with thieving, lying, criminal non-entities who will vote for anything the three line whip tells ‘em to.

3. Remove the right to silence on arrest.

4. Make citizens prove they own stuff legally and thereby reverse the relationship between citizen and state where it is supposed to be accountable to you.

5. Restrict the right to trial by jury because some laws are just to complex for the proles to get but ignore the irony that if people can’t understand a law to judge it, how could they realistically obey it.

6. Make citizens seek your consent, before they protest against you.  Have the implicit idea implanted in their heads that you have the right to say no.

7. Increase the amount of time you can detain anyone without trial or charge.

8. Make some courts entirely secret, make reporting of proceedings a crime.

9. Ensure a supranational body like the EU, that you can neither elect nor dismiss has power to pass laws on a wide range of issues in your country

10. Remove the rules on double jeopardy, so the state can keep prosecuting citizens, for the same alleged crime, until they get the result, they want

11. Pass laws making certain views illegal, like hate-crimes and arrest people for holding views you don’t like from the political to the trivial.

12. Have the toughest libel laws in the world that only the very wealthy can ever access and pretend you don’t want government restriction of the press but those pesky Lib dems might just force you, reluctantly, to muzzle ‘em.

13. Introduce an ID card, so that not being able to prove who you are, when challenged by the state becomes a crime !!!! even though you know, this will have no impact at all on “terrorism” or benefit fraud (whichever is your latest nonsense to justify it).

14. Decide there are countries you kinda don’t like; invade them or back unknown loons on the other side and cause utter carnage and murder on a grand scale and make tough sounding speeches, whilst remaining safely 7,000 miles away yourself.

15. Rely on the weak-minded to think “Well if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear….and anyway, I’m not a terrorist” whilst they are distracted by televised singing and dancing contests that they get to vote in.

16. Ensure that actual voting is pointless and the major issues of the day are off the table and never discussed.  Realise that the most hopelessly enslaved are those who do not know they are enslaved.

17. Have a state-run and state-owned broadcaster that is pro-state.

18. Run a permanent budget deficit.  Have no coherent plan to remotely get finances back to balance.  Rely on counterfeiting of fiat currency.

19. Ensure your state run schools barely educate anymore (no point teaching the proles to think, they might see you for what you are) but keep up a remorseless barrage of propaganda of dubious educational value to ensure conditioning.

20. Maintain victimless prohibition-type crimes on the statute books and claim your policies are ‘working’ when it is obvious to anyone who can think they have failed.  Hope the population don’t see the war on drugs is a war on them.

21. Tax people at insanely high levels so they lack the income to take care of ‘emselves and will always depend on you for health, education and housing.  After a couple of generations of this, most will be simply unable to comprehend alternatives to your useless, rickety services.  Some of the ‘hard-of-thinking’ may even regard such alternatives as ‘evil’ in some way.

22. Have a really big public sector workforce so people rely upon you for income.  Employ simpletons with no real transferable skills in pointless jobs and make it obvious that outside of the state they would be much worse off.  Stand back and watch ‘em defend it with their very souls.

That’s how I would do it.  Thank God we don’t live in such a society.


  1. TomO says:

    Yep, when you put it like that …

    1) pretty soon we’ll only be allowed blunt plastic cutlery

    2) don’t forget the innumerate dullards

    3) we’ll just make it up anyway

    4) over £1000 cash on your person = suspicious = confiscation

    5) make tax rules that nobody (including tax collectors) have read and understood and fine people for disobeying same…

    6) stand outside Parliament with a sign on a stick? = fine

    7) and throw away the key…

    8) Protected by the Court of XXREDACTEDXX

    9) Administrative efficiency – we don’t write ‘em ‘guv – we’s only enforcers – see?

    10) Don’t mess round – show ‘em who’s boss – be arbitrary + irrational too!

    11) See 10)

    12) See 11)

    13) Charge a ransom for any other official ID like Passports…

    14) call it 700 miles and foment a dislike of a pink version of Shrek

    15) make voting reliant on documentation from 13)

    16) jump forward to 17)

    17) ain’t that the Ministry of Truth

    18) let them eat paper see 2)

    19) edukayshun kettling / crowd containment

    20) unless said drugs are commercially distributed = jump forward to 21)

    21) what do you mean? your money?

    22) make out that the public sector contributes meaningfully to GDP….

    misanthrope moi? noooooo

  2. John Galt says:

    Ultimately, this mirage of a society is only sustainable for a certain period of time and those in the elite are often the last to know as they are hauled by piano wire up the lamp posts.

    You cannot fool all of the people all of the time and this ultimate truth is brought forth initially in the sneering contempt of those who reject conformity, but eventuality even the secretaries of the Politburo will be laughing into their palms behind the backs of the elite.

    Totalitarian societies are built by each turn-of-the-screw a lessening of freedoms, but in the end they collapse through the tittering of chambermaids.

    When the lowest of the proletarian classes understands the nature of totalitarianism is nothing but propaganda layered on lies then it is revealed for what it is, a corpse already dead just waiting for a hole and earth to be buried with.

    In every totalitarian society is the seed of its own undoing, this was the case with Athens and Sparta of Rome and Nazi Germany.

    I do not fear rain, or the thunder and lightening of a storm, even winter is but a season to be endured in the knowledge that the sun will return and with it both song and laughter.

  3. Mr Ed says:

    TomO, you are prescient: doctors call for a ban on kitchen knives.

  4. permex says:

    I feel rather ill.

  5. RAB says:

    I do not fear rain, or the thunder and lightening of a storm, even winter is but a season to be endured in the knowledge that the sun will return and with it both song and laughter.

    Oh yes, Oh very very yes!

  6. Sam Duncan says:

    23. Triple the number of lawmaking bodies, and quintuple (at least) the number of delegates to same, reducing the overall quality, confusing the people, and costing them money to no useful end.

    When I was born, my parents had one MP, in one parliament. We now have (I think) five representatives sitting in three houses, at least two of whom are therefore entirely redundant. And are we any better governed by this proliferation of professional windbags than we were forty years ago?

    In fact, there lies the root of the corruption: professionalism.

    0. Pay members of Parliament a salary, turning them from elected representatives of the people into a professional political class utterly divorced from the lives and concerns of the people.

    Look at any revolution or insurgency in history, and that’s the cause: a political class that doesn’t understand, and – however much it protests otherwise – doesn’t care. And it’s all very well crying “Democracy!”, saying that we elect our politicians where in previous centuries they selected themselves, but election is worthless if, once elected, the candidates become dependent on the state for their living and cease to be subject to the economic difficulties caused by their decisions. That isn’t democracy at all; it’s elected oligarchy.

  7. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    @ Sam Duncan ~ yes, 23 my personal bete noir, the Welsh assembly. If ever there was a pointless talking shop its that. The meme has been implanted that its a ‘voice for Wales’ But my bet is that not 2 in a 100 of my fellow sheep-fanciers would know what it said last week. Needless to say all the political classes and their hangers on are now quite dependent on the salaries and now all support this utterly pointless nonsense.

    All they do is spend more money than they collect in taxes and claim its some sort of triumph. Off-hand all I can think of is free car parking at Welsh hospitals and a 5p charge for a carrier in supermarkets, because you know, with a country the size of Wales, this kind of pointless tokenism is pointlessness on stilts.

    Yep, its a voice for Wales alright, and the voice is talking about plastic bags. Hardly the freedom of Nelson Mandela, the peaceful reform of Ghandi, the (adulterous) grandstanding of Kennedy or the economic reforms of Thatcher.

  8. [...] Counting Cats: How to be a dictator (UK edition [...]

  9. Alan Greaves of High Green, Sheffield was attacked and killed on his way to Church on Christmas Eve. The one thing his attacker could have been almost certain of, was that Alan would not have been carrying any means to defend himself. He was old, weak and defenceless. You don’t need guns say the people who are themselves protected by armed police. You don’t need guns, just call the cops.

    Too late for Alan Greaves.

    If he had in his pocket a .38 revolver he could have effectively fought back. Indeed the very uncertainty of whether or not he was armed may have prevented the attack.

    Had he owned one illegally and put five rounds into the belly of the attacker, most likely he would have got away with it. If you were in the murder squad would you look for a 68-year old Church organist in connection with the ‘offing’ of a scumbag? No, me neither, just file as drug-related, no-one cares. But Alan was probably a law abiding citizen and he may have known about strict liability laws meaning had he been caught with a gun it was five years, no excuses.

    Perhaps he did not fancy his twilight years in jail and so he was forced to walk around unarmed, unprotected and fatally vulnerable. I am certain he did not fancy his last conscious moments being violently assailed but that was the choice.

    It’s our choice.

  10. RAB says:

    When Sir Robert Peel set up our first proper police force in 1829, the “Peelers” as they became known, were armed with a wooden trucheon, a pair of handcuffs, and a football like rattle to summon assistance. So basically they were unarmed to all intents and purposes.

    The general population however wern’t. Pistols and swordsticks were in common usage, and perfectly legal. It was often the case that a Peeler pursuing an armed criminal, would ask a member of the public to borrow their firearm and get a favourable response. How times have changed eh? The Piers Morgan’s have taken over the world.

  11. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    I’ve not worked through the whole list systematically, googling each change in the law and its date, because, as I prefer to lie to myself, I have something of a life.

    A superficial once-over, however, suggests that most of these ‘reforms’ were instituted under Labour governments, mostly under Tony Blair’s premiership.

    My first guess is that there is significant hay to be made here for libertarians.

  12. Write here says:

    Oh cynic that I am…

    How about: Import a boat loads of non-natives who will, when rewarded with ‘public’ cash and housing benefits they never worked for and more significantly have never contributed towards, be ‘educated’ that they must vote for the givers-of-freebies in return. (This will, of course, only work for a while until the imports gain their own ‘representatives’ but then politics was always a short-term make-money-while-you-can venture.)

    Moreover, by changing the profile of the population you can claim you are being ‘progressive’ (gaining the approving murmurs of the chattering classes who as it happens prefer to live away from the imports) and allowing ‘issues’ you have generated to occupy the thinking time of the population. It allows the controllers to set-up, say, ‘The Office of Local-Foreign Tribal Relationships’ which is charged with berating the natives for not being more in favour of the Foreign Tribes.

    With more non-natives on board you are more receptive to foreign interest groups who can have more say in your nation’s affairs with little responsibility.

    What fun!

  13. Write here says:

    Sorry, I forgot…

    Always helps to add a wide-ranging bundle of non-central government powers (councils fining people for ‘overfull’ bins, car tyres briefly crossing solid white lines of empty ‘bus-only’ lanes, increase monitoring of people going about their lawful business, etc) all paid for by local rates and taxes.

    Nothing beats your feeling of helplessness than the utter despair that the people who were once ‘public servants’ are now your masters, and better that a man who tips your bin in the back of a lorry has the power to decide if you are ‘guilty’ of some activity which requires removing money from you.

  14. Schrodinger's Dog says:


    Your post seems to have two threads: negative rights and counterintuitive ideas.

    There are lots of counterintuitive ideas. That the world is round is one. (Why aren’t the Africans hanging-on by their fingernails? Why don’t the Australians fall off?) A lot of right/libertarian ideas are counterintuitive. That, as you mention, the free availability of guns, far from increasing it, actually reduces crime is one. Another is that the best way of preserving endangered species is to establish property rights over them. That these ideas are not obvious is unfortunate from our standpoint, because in consequence most people tend not to think about them.

    The rights you list – freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and so on – are traditional or negative rights. A more recent development, which can probably be traced back to FDR and the New Deal, is the concept of positive rights: the right to an education, the right to shelter and so on. What has become obvious over the last few decades is that people do not seem to much care about their negative rights.

    Anyone who doubts this has only to look at the last Labour government. Most of the abuses listed – limitations on the right to trial by jury, the removal of the double jeopardy rule – were initiated by it. Yet it won three consecutive general elections and nearly won a fourth – with Gordon Brown at the helm! Currently they are ahead in the polls and could well be back in power in 2015. And how did they do this? By accentuating people’s positive rights, or “free stuff” if you prefer. In the meantime, the Coalition is being excoriated in various quarters for “cuts” when government spending is higher than when Labour left office. People care very much about their positive rights indeed.

    The right has been on the losing side of this argument for a very long time. Assuming we don’t want to just give up and go home, we need to start getting our ideas across. One way to do that would be short, memorable slogans. For example, positive rights have to be provided. A good riposte would be to point out that if one person receives without working, someone else must work without receiving.

  15. “if one person receives without working, someone else must work without receiving”

    That’s a pretty neat slogan. I fancy the whole edifice will crash when the state goes bust and basically has to reboot rather like Greece at the moment only in a much, much more condensed and intense form.

    I was once talking to a nurse at the races and when I suggested I could run a better fracture clinic out of casualty than the state did she became visibly upset and then angry. I was finally denounced as ‘evil’

    This was quite upsetting because I did not get my ideas across at all, and she did not in due course take her clothes off* which was my initial strategy before I rather lost sight of the primary objective!

    (*she probably did in due course just not with me and a couple of bottles of wine)

  16. Lynne says:

    If only people would find the nous to stop bloody voting for this crap…

  17. Paul Marks says:

    In the United States some 85 million people either live on government benefits or work for the local, State and Federal government.

    95 million people work in the “private sector” (i.e. civil society – the actual economy), and many of these also get government Food Stamps, or government mandated health care (“free” ERs and so on).

    95 million people can not sustain 85 million people – plus themselves and their children.

    So SAOT does not have long to wait.

    The present system will collapse – and collapse over the next few years.

    “But the British figures…..”

    I have not looked them up.

    I have a feeling if I did look up the British figures, I would start screaming.

    And be unable to stop.

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