December 05, 2010

It's Good To Be The King

I wanted to tell you all about my commune.

Things were getting out of hand, so we decided that order needed restoring. It took a while but we are all sorted out now.

First, we needed to decide who would be in charge, so we had an election. It used the first past the post system, and somehow, I won. I'm in charge for a maximum three year term. After that I am out, unless the system is changed. I didn't want to seem too greedy so I set my own pay level. It isn't the highest salary in the village but I can make up for that after my term of office. Besides which, I don't really use my own money for anything. I just use funds from the community jar.

I sat down and wrote a load of rules for the villagers. Since there was no real opposition, all of my rules got through the process I had mandated. It was simple stuff: taxation, for instance. I decided that I would take half of everyone's salary. I needed some enforcers so I wrote an entry test that would weed out all but the seriously deranged. Sure, they were hard men and women but I didn't need any shrinking violets in case things got nasty. I set the speed limits on all roads. If these were transgressed, the enforcers collected the fines. I think I made good choices because the villagers are terrified of the enforcers. Once, one of the enforcers killed a villager but I knew that if he was punished the other enforcers would ease up. They would refuse to tase the children, or stop beating up the women in the gaol, and we simply can't have that. Since then, a couple more villagers have died suddenly, and a couple have ended up in wheelchairs, but the villagers, bless them, continue to turn a blind eye. Some even agreed that the transgressors deserved what they got.

The education system was in a mess. The village school said prayers at morning assembly so I put a stop to that. If a child fell over in the playground playing "tag" and hurt himself, the teacher supervising would hug and soothe the child. I stopped that as well. Imagine if someone thought the teacher had sexual desires for the child? No, it had to be stopped. In fact, I stopped the games as well. The children, often excited at their short bursts of freedom from lessons, would run around like demented chickens. It was only a matter of time before one of them fell over and scratched a knee, or worse. No games in the playground. Then, a new boy, Mohammed, joined our small community. As soon as I found out he was a Muslim, I made sure that Christianity was never mentioned in the school again. I took a look at the dinner menu and I was horrified! None of the meals were halal. They all are now. Also, we discovered that little Jake's parents had split up. Jake's dad, Simon, is a gayer, and his partner Jeff had moved in when Jake's mum left. So I immediately banned all references to "mum" or "dad", so that we didn't emotionally damage little Jake.

I was forced to make changes down at the GP's surgery too. Steven (the village GP), is an old friend and I had sounded him out prior to the election. I told him that we had to control peoples behaviour so that we weren't forever paying for healthcare. He agreed to make stuff up about drinking, drugs, smoking and most of the foods the villagers liked eating. We constructed a chart concerning body-fat which meant that anyone over border-line anorexia was classed as seriously morbidly clinically obese. So if they got sick-it didn't matter what the ailment was-Steven refused treatment or charged them a small fortune to hand out generic (but clearly unsafe) medicines. The odd villager or two died because of Steven's ineptitude, but we covered it up.

I had checked out Justin prior to the election as well. He and I thought alike. I am pleased that I appointed him senior judge. Like me, he agreed that juries were a waste of time, money and effort. For high profile cases we had decided on a system of "volunteer" jurors. We would simply send them a letter telling them to report for duty and if these volunteers failed to show up, we would get the enforcers around to their homes and we would gaol them for non-compliance. I am glad I picked Justin. One of the villagers had decided that parting company with half of his wages every month violated his "rights" in some way. Now, I freely admit that we did scribble some nonsense down about human rights before the election, but hell, it was purely a PR exercise. Anyway, he hadn't paid for a while so we wrote to him, politely demanding our money or we would send the lads in. He didn't pay so I gave the boys a green light. They dragged him to court and Justin was embarrassed by the mans behaviour, shouting about this right and that right, so Justin cleverly ignored him, imposed a fine and sent the chap on his way.

Before the election I had made a string of promises to the voters. Now that I was in I realised that, being in charge, I could just pretend I hadn't made any promises at all. Besides, I needed the money for other things. One of the chaps down at the club told me about a brilliant computer programme that could predict where birds would sit in the trees. As an avid twitcher, it was a simple decision. The judge, the doctor and at least two of the enforcers had a mild interest so we went for it. It cost a fortune but I felt that it was good for the community to know where the birds were sitting. Well, the software didn't work for the longest time, and there were several budget over-runs. I just jacked up the taxes on petrol. In the end it didn't work at all, but we learned some lessons. I had to ignore the petitions from the nay-sayers when I made the initial announcement about the Bird Spotting Programme, and their complaints were getting on my last nerve, so I outlawed petitions. They were muttering about me in the village pub so I had Steven produce some horror stories about alcohol. That sent a few scurrying home but the damn smokers were still gathering and still muttering. I jacked up the tax take on booze and fags but that didn't work. I banned smoking within five hundred feet of any living thing, but they kept on smoking! Unbelievable. Steven made up even more outrageous "facts" about smoking, but, and there was no way I could have foreseen this, smoking rates went up! Still, every cloud and all that, we ended up with even more money in the jar.

Anyway, there were a thousand teething problems with the new system, but we persevered. The enforcers eventually got help from those villagers who don't mind telling tales about their neighbours, and thanks to some intensive indoctrination at the school, we soon had the children reporting in on their parents activities. Naturally, we tap every phone line, and we track and trace all emails to and from the village. Our camera system cost a fortune but you know what? I think the villagers feel safer with the street cameras. They baulked a bit at my BedroomCam and BathroomCam incentives, but they got used to it in the end. Those that didn't were picked up by the enforcers and we just tagged them with GPS bracelets. So it all worked out in the end.

I had to change that ridiculous "maximum three year term". You couldn't get enough done. I have now been in charge for fifteen years. I am a multi-millionaire. My team are all well compensated too. The villagers aren't too happy, but, it's a hard life. Happiness isn't everything, is it?

It is good to be the king though.



GoodnightVienna said...

wordver agrees: abill

Jacobite said...

Brilliant capt.

Woodsy42 said...

This is excellent - even if depressingly true.

Anonymous said...

King when you havin a Royal Weddin?

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks all.

Anon, I haven't declared myself king yet. But it's coming. If only so that I can award myself more money and God-like status.

One son is in charge of the enforcers, and the other collects the dosh and oversees the gaolings. Bonus! I now have several dozen villagers working for 12 pence a day in the gaol. I have them manufacturing stuff for the guy in charge two villages down from me.

He has a daughter too. Not exactly a "10", but I will make sure my boy marries her anyway. It will strenghthen trade ties with that other village.

The villagers will be happy with my tax increase to cover the wedding, the honeymoon, the new mansion and the 30 or 40 staff needed to wait on them hand and foot.

This tax increase, like all the others, will remain in place forever. That community jar won't fill itself.


Bucko said...

Brilliant story Captain!

opsimath said...

A brilliantly-presented observation, CR, if a little too close for comfort for many of us.

Thank you - and it's so good to have you back.

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Bucko.

I had to really stretch my imagination with this work of fiction.

It is far too outlandish to happen in real life involving real, free human beings.


Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Opsi.

It's good to be back!


NewsboyCap said...


this commune of yours sounds like heaven to me,much more relaxed and
freer than real life.At least the villagers don't have to mess around with all that election nonsense any more.Keeps life on an even keel,no more lying,cheating, thieving MPs.No more police pretending protect us.No more paying hard earned money to a foreign power who
we never elected anyway.WTF! bring on Rantyland the home of the mental.

Lost said...

Nice idea Cap'n and an enjoyable read.

But it's not going to work unless at least 98% of your villagers are distracted by mind numbing pointless entertainment of some sort.

Hang on, you could also use this to lie to the villages to keep them fearful, or even indoctrinate them.

I also propose you use this medium to broadcast your royal wedding excessively, over and over.

All this will help take the villagers mind off the taxes, loss of liberty etc not to mention what you've done to the two eastern villages.

Just my 2cents


Anonymous said...

Captain Ranty said...


In Part Two we will discover that I have been giving the villagers money away to several other villages.

And, I sent my standing army to get involved with two fights that had nothing to do with us.


Captain Ranty said...


Part Two also details the dumbing down, and the crap I am putting in the water to keep my villagers supine.

We also discuss a small protest in which one of the idiotic villagers gets himself killed by an enforcer. It took some flannel, but eventually the enforcer was promoted and given a pay rise.


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Marvelous! As stated previously, depressing but nontheless marvelous.

SuffolkLiberty said...

You Highness - You definitely need a village newspaper or radio station or better still both plus a television station which stops those damn troublemakers congregating in public or at the pub. Keep them at home so they cant gossip or spread lies about you. Make sure the editor of all three outlets is a personal friend and gets on well with Steven and Justin; even better if they all went to the same school/lodge/university/golf club. Who is providing the grub to your villagers? Bring in one of those retailing giants so that the butcher, grocer, bakers and florists have to shut down and then ensure that they get jobs at the retail giant and on minimum wage and tell them to be bloody grateful. You've got a lot of work to do to keep them troublesome folk in touch. Need any help?

James Higham said...

You seem to have the rules pretty well sorted there.

Snakey said...

lol Excellent

Dick Puddlecote said...

Superb, Captain. :)