This morning I met with members of my inner circle. All of them to a man are yes men and women, drawn from my most loyal lieutenants. Take him, the head of my secret police who is engaged in eliciting information about those I must repress. He conducts himself with an enthusiasm that borders on the evangelical, chasing down those who must succumb to my regime, extracting information about them through a variety of means, his network of assistants, spies and snitches all positioned to assist in achieving my greater glory. I half-listen as he reels off the latest intelligence that has been gathered about a dissenter who remains a thorn in our side. She seeks to resist the imposition of our will. Apparently she believes that she has viewed the truth about my regime. It is all lies of course. I turn to my Chief of Information and Truth and receive his report as he sets out a seven-point plan to crush this upstart. He issues his words with the fervent belief that I installed in him when I recruited him. When was that again? I cannot remember. He has been in that position for such a long time that I struggle to remember who even held the post before him. His eyes flash with enthusiasm for the smear campaign that he has devised in order to demolish the credibility of this dangerous opponent who is intent on spreading malicious lies and malcontent about our most glorious and benevolent regime.
All of them sit around me, members of my cabal, hand-picked in order to carry out my will. I know they revel in their positions of privilege and that they too jockey with one another for position in order to receive the favour of their Most Illustrious Leader. I glance at the immaculately dressed lady whose countenance is positively glacial. She is my Minister for Demagoguery, charged with devising those repeated slogans and campaigns of popularity, irrespective of cost to those who oppose us, in order to maintain my hold on the country. I know she is in love with me. They all are, in their own way and she wants to sit at my left-hand. I should imagine she will launch a takeover bid and oust the First Lady of Prime Supply. I switch my gaze across the table and wonder what the Head of Fuel Procurement would make of that if he knew that she would usurp both his latest find and his function in delivering the finest supporters from my legions of beloved citizens. Still, it does no harm to keep them all vying for my favour. My eyes sweep around the table, the keen and obedient faces all looking to me for approval, a sign of acknowledgement, a nod of agreement or a smile of pleasure at what they have suggested in order to maintain our most glorious rule. The Minister for Total Adoration sitS staring at me, her face representative of the ministry over which she presides. She organises my supporters to provide their oft and repeated parades, rallies and demonstrations of blind loyalty, all part of maintaining my facade of popularity and devotion. I realise that the room is silent as all eyes look to me, awaiting my decision on what the Chief of Information and Truth has just painstakingly detailed in order to crush the rebellious individual. My mind was elsewhere but I have little doubt that his plans are effective. They have always proven to be in the past and will continue to do so.
“Execute it,” I say quietly. The Chief nods and makes a note in his expensive-looking notebook. I sense the simmering jealousy from the others sat around the gilded table at the approval he has just obtained from me. I will ensure they all receive their moment of approval however, feeding them the titbits that they require in order to maintain their absolute loyalty to me.
Sometime I wonder how much of what I dictate to them they actually believe or whether they harbour desires to be in my position. Surely that thought crosses their mind from time to time. I know it would mine if I was them, but then I am different to them. I am the Most Illustrious Leader and it is because of my unrivalled skills and abilities that I hold such a position and why they do not. They could not do what I could do. Could they?
Each and every day I am the beast of prey which they admire. I must at all times maintain a show of strength, so they remain committed to the maintenance of our glorious regime. There can be no weakness demonstrated. A cold, hard edifice of savage decisiveness which tells them that they chose the correct side to support. There is so much to do. So many reports to receive, so many decisions to make, so many targets to track and watch, assess and monitor. The Minister for Observation and Perusal has proven to be a key recruitment in my ongoing work of identifying those who will best serve me, from the many millions who exhibit potential. I must have the best because I am the best and this inner circle is charged with enabling my machinations to be effected and for total and absolute hegemonic control to be exerted over the masses. I know the trouble-makers, the seditious splinter groups, the treacherous traitors who need to feel the smack of firm government to keep them in their place. It dismays me at times. I invite them into the illustrious headquarters of this most powerful of regimes and deliver to them every grace and favour that they could ever want let alone imagine, yet they still turn against me. I have yet to understand why. Even my long-standing Head of Torturous Devaluation is at a loss to explain why certain of my recruitments fall. Still, it does not trouble him as he relishes getting his hands on them and exposing them to the latest malevolent manipulations that him and his ministry have devised. Their Room 101 is far worse than the one they may have read about.
Remaining on top of this vast empire remains a task suited to only the greatest and that was why I was chosen. I must watch, decide, act and govern. Each and every day, I must demonstrate that I am in control. I know the liars and turncoats spread lies that I find the whole charade exhausting, that I have lost my appetite for threatening and destroying and that it is only a question of time before the whole edifice comes crumbling down. Thankfully the Minister for Best Presentation is always able to portray me in the best light so when the occasional fatigue of this relentless operation does seek to make itself apparent, it is beaten away through the judicious application of trickery and fakery. I thank my own personal god that it is the case otherwise who knows what succour my opponents would gain from seeing such weakness come to the fore. Would they be bold enough to implement a coup d’état and have the despicable desire to unseat their Most Illustrious Leader? Sometimes I wonder if they will, but I never mention it to my inner circle. They must always know that I am strong, impregnable and omnipotent.
The trouble is that one day I might not be and that might be when they take me outside and shoot me.
Then again. That might be a blessing.