Friday, 4 January 2008

How To Rule The World (in 5 easy steps)

Today marks the first in an occasional series of “How To” features on this blog. This particular epistle brings you the sound knowledge and advice you need in simple steps in order to gain global domination. Try it yourself – its fun for all the family.

Tip 1:
Get an understanding Bank Manager.
James Bond movies show us that global domination does not come cheap. Hugo Drax (Moonraker) not only had an island hideaway, but an entire space station and several shuttles. In addition to this not many overdrafts would be granted to a monocle-wearing baldie endlessly stroking a cat whose business plan is “to hollow out a volcano and launch plane-eating missiles in an attempt to rule the world via starting a Russia/USA war” (You Only Live Twice). Even in the real world complete and total power does not come cheap. Take Sealand, a former English naval base which came up for sale in January 2007. Quite possibly the smallest principality in the world Sealand comes with its own subjects and currency, though it does have a history of military coups due to the ongoing transportation problems.

Tip 2:
Hire Henchmen/side-kicks with just the right degree of stupidity to take the fall for you.
This is probably the biggest stumbling block in fictional power struggles, though the rise to power of Peter Mandlesson and Dick Chaney would seem to indicate that it is possible. Film henchmen always seem in easy supply and we tend to subscribe to the idea put forward in Die Hard 4.0 that there must be an 0800 HENCHMEN hotline in operation somewhere. The ideal assistant is big and strong enough to get in the way of the bullet, loyal enough to follow orders that will result in the end of the world as we know it without telling anyone else and just stupid enough not to realise that come the revolution they will be the first against the wall.

Tip 3:
Aquire Excellent Administration Skills
No matter what job you do there’s always endless paperwork. Imagine the amount of emails in your In-box of a morning when you’re the Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy. You can’t just “accidentally” delete that email from the people of Alderan complaining about that new Death Star thingie you gave the go-ahead to six months ago in a drunken moment.

Tip 4:
Aquire an unusual or vaguely menacing pet.

Sharks are a favourite, as are piranha fish – but even a white cat, stroked in a suitably menacing manner, can acquire a certain degree of chill factor. Squirrels are probably best avoided, as are Panda Bears unless the reaction you are after is more “ah!” than “aaargh!”

Tip 5:
If all else fails have a good escape route

Always have a bolt-hole for that last minute escape when, inevitably, things go horribly wrong. In the world of fiction this is an escape pod, rocket pack or submarine, whilst in the real world this tends to be a cushy job in the European Parliament.

The most important advice of all comes from the late, great Douglas Adams who said that anyone capable of getting themselves into a position of power is, by very dint of that fact, the absolute last person you should allow to be there. Bear this in mind when choosing your associates and you may just succeed.

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