2017-03-16

P. G. Wodehocracy

Alternative Forms of Government

(an occasional series)

Number I



P. G. Wodehocracy


As laid down in the many works of theory penned by the great political philosopher P. G. Wodehouse, primary legislation is proposed by hatchet-faced aunts who chew limes and breed suspicion and Pekingese.

The office of Chancellor is performed by a series of interchangeably bluff American millionaire businessmen.  Money, outspokenness, and attractive unmarried offspring are the only requirements for this post.  It is preferred if they make their money from a single, slightly-humorous commodity, so that they can be known as "The Pickle King" or "Mr Wonder Tonic."

Debate is achieved by various bright young things, who support or oppose each motion via surreptitious acquisition of culturally significant tokens such as antique Spode coffee pots, drafts of the black-sheep uncle's memoires, prize Persian cats, policeman's helmets etc.  Separation of interests is achieved by assuming different names and/or disguise for each new piece of legislation.

For matters of greater constitutional weight, larger cultural tokens are required, such as prize pigs, Bentleys, or the hand of the attractive niece of the under gardener (currently engaged to the American millionaire's son.)

The role of the Civil Service is taken by a host of butlers, footmen, bookies and private detectives.  Each funds his department by accepting "considerations" for activities such as overlooking two young, titled gentlemen manhandling a marble urn up the stairs.

Budget for larger capital expenditure is controlled by conspiracy to acquire money from aunts, uncles and the American millionaire on the pretext of needing to pay bookies, get married, open small crêpe restaurants...


All those in favour: pursue your fiancée to Cannes and sneak about trying to catch her having lunch with Squiffy Elberforth; those opposed: hide in the shrubbery and await a chance to swipe the watercolour that your friend the artist sold the Duchess by mistake...

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