The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion (Cabal to Collaborate)

CABAL               Secret plot.  Most of your D.I.Y plots will be extremely secret: you will probably be the only person ever to know anything about them.  If you feel that you are perhaps getting too much of a good thing, tell your wife¹, but expect to be held up for ridicule.

  1. Subversion is a notoriously sexist occupation and ‘partner’ still sounds a little too ‘woolly hat and lentils’ for many ‘traditional’ subversives.  If you are the wife, then tell your husband and expect the same result.  If you are single, then tell anyone you can think of and expect total apathy.  If you have a friend, then you are not a subversive.

CANT                 Hypocritical speech This is not the word I thought it was and it doesn’t mean anything like the same, however, no turning back, and it is quite an appropriate word for our guide.  Being hypocritical is one of the most essential subversive skills.  Without it, you may end up saying what you really mean.  Fatal.  Never fall into the truth trap.  Truth is a four-letter word to the subversive¹.  Lie at all times.

  1. Inevitable, as most of them cannot count beyond three.

CAPITALIST        Owner of capital.  Think of everything nasty, everything evil, everything you most covet – that is capital.  Think of the owner of the capital – that is a capitalist – and sheer, naked envy will make him your sworn enemy.  He has it and you don’t.  Now, how can that be fair?  Being fair is all about you having the capital and the capitalist slaving away in an attempt to get you some more.  Life, of course, is seldom fair.

CAPITULATE      Surrender on terms, give in.  This is something the good, honest, decent subversive will never do – unless it is to his advantage.  Surrender traditionally requires either the hoisting of a white flag or a good foreknowledge of the safe word.  Capitulation is, in fact, the greater part of subversive valour¹ and very rarely results in bruising other than to the ego – which does not hurt anything like as much.

  1. Oxymoron of the day.

CASTRATE         Remove testicles.  Not particularly effective as a political ploy, but great fun in the right company.

CEMENT             Fine mortar.  A fine, grey powder which, when mixed with sand and water, has many applications in building and construction work.  Mainly employed by the D.I.Y subversive in the construction of concrete boots:

  • Place victim’s feet into two medium-sized plastic buckets¹.
  • Three quarters fill with suitable cement mixture.
  • Allow concrete² to set (usually 3 to 7 days, depending on conditions).
  • Throw victim in river or lake.

It is wise to take a few precautions before employing such conglomerate footwear:

  1. Spread plenty of plastic around before mixing the concrete – splashes can be very difficult to remove from light-coloured carpets.
  2. Ensure that the concrete is correctly mixed.  Incomplete mixing could lead to surface cracking and eventually to the re-floatation of the corpse.  Whilst this may be acceptable in the large marine environment, it can be unsightly in the home pond or swimming pool.
  3. Ensure that the water depth is sufficient to cover the victim.  Throwing a six-foot victim into a five-foot garden pond is never going to work³; the weight of the concrete will ensure that the victim remains upright and, even allowing for a certain amount of settlement, his nose is unlikely to sink below the surface.  If you are not properly prepared, you may be forced to haul your victim from the water.  Beware – wet concrete is even heavier than dry concrete.  If you are unable to remove him from the water, try putting a small fishing rod in his hands or, alternatively, decorate his head to resemble a buoy.

Alternative Procedure: 3,000 tonnes of concrete spread evenly across the bridge of the nose will silence even the most stubborn of dissenters.

  1. Traditionally, the wearer of concrete wellies will be dead.  If this is not the case, you may need some help in holding their feet still while the concrete sets.
  2. Mixture of sand, cement and water is known by builders as ‘gobbo’ and is used in building walls – concrete (below) actually relies upon the addition of a harsher ‘ballast’ – usually pebbles or grit – in precise ratio.  It is a well-known fact that these ratios are never actually precise enough and the resulting mix is either too dry to lay, or so wet that next-door’s cat is consumed by it three weeks later.
  3. This is especially relevant if you are trying to submerge a living victim.  There is a very useful technique for ascertaining the vitality of your victim involving a small hand mirror, but I don’t know what it is.  Perhaps it would be best to gag the victim whether alive or dead, but not with the monogrammed handkerchiefs that Aunty Sheila has bought you every Christmas for the last twenty years

CHAOS              Disorder, confusion.  The ultimate aim of the subversive group is to spread disorder and confusion throughout society.  The ultimate dénouement is usually the spreading of disorder and confusion amongst the subversive group itself.

COLLABORATE   Aid an enemy in occupation of one’s own country.  To vote Conservative.  In a war (subversives are always engaged in a war – even if it’s only with the car) collaboration is perfectly acceptable, providing you do it with the winners.  In the Second World War, the French collaborators made three basic mistakes:

1. Collaborating with a party that offered little in return.
2. Collaborating with the losers.
3. Being French.

In order to make a real success of collaboration, you will first have to persuade somebody to occupy your country.  If you are American, Chinese or Russian, I think you might as well give it up as a bad idea straight away.  If, however, you live in Lichtenstein, you have a fighting chance¹.  Your first step is to talk to someone with a larger army and persuade them to invade.  Negotiating with a foreign power is not always easy:


                                  Advise them of the richness of your natural resources.

                                  Offer them money.

                                  Ask very, very politely.


                                  Be certain of their aims.

                                  Be certain of your aims.

                                   Get everything in writing.



  1. Although the non-fighting chance is always the preferred option.

© Colin McQueen 2022

The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion Index is here.

6 thoughts on “The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion (Cabal to Collaborate)

  1. So so many points of reference. Capitalist; Heeeeyuuuge inherited wealth trumps toweringly over humanity?
    Also, my very first job was as a mixer for a plasterer. My teachers would have so laffed, since all claimed I was a decent stirrer, if not a good student. I also suspect the Don Corleone Construction Company have given the concrete Hush-puppys idea a miss and realised the way to keep some stoolie shtum is to throw the squealer into the nasty mix head first.

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