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

ACCUSED           Person charged with crime or offence.  Try not to get accused of too much.  Being hounded by MI5 is all very well for a little while, but it soon becomes exceedingly tiresome.  Far better to be an accuser and accuse MI5 of hounding you, even if it’s not true – which, of course, it is not.

ACQUIESCE        To comply; to admit without interrogation.  Acquiescence is not encouraged in subversive circles unless, of course, it saves a lot trouble.  It can certainly spare you an enormous amount of pain during interrogation.  Admit everything: be remorseful; weep uncontrollably; call everybody sir.

AD NAUSEUM    Latin term to describe anything that has continued to the point of nausea.  E.g. Noel Edmonds.

ADZE                 A type of axe.  But a far more exclusive word.  Why be the 357th Mad Axe Murderer, when you can be the first Mad Adze Murderer?  Exclusivity is the key¹.  Make the spelling clear to the newspapers and make sure that the handle is fixed good and tight.  There’s nothing worse than your adze-head flying off, mid-assassination and ruining the wallpaper.

1. Unless you’re trying to open a lock, in which case it’s probably a Yale.

AMBUSCADE      Ambush.  Conceal yourself in some bushes, wait for your victim to appear, leap out from your hiding-place yelling ‘This is an ambush – you’re surrounded’ and try not to look too embarrassed about the fact that you are alone. 

Surrounding a victim is not easy for the solo subversive.  You could try using mirrors, but beware – the reflections are indiscriminate.  A subversive friend of mine was reduced to a gibbering wreck when faced with the multifarious images of his victim staring out at him from the 17 strategically placed mirrors that he’d forgotten all about.

Be certain of your reasons for wanting to attempt an ambush.  Is kidnap the motive, or perhaps gang-violence?  Perhaps you are just not very good at making friends and this is the nearest you ever get to normal social interaction.  If the latter is true, you could always try to ambush a psychiatrist¹.  (You will find this impossible during the summer months, unless you live in the Caribbean.)

1. If you do decide to detain a psychiatrist in this fashion, ensure that you have enough cash to pay his bill.  Psychiatrists seldom accept cheques – nobody trusts a loony.

AMMUNITION    The painful, nasty bit that fits inside the weapon: the bullet in the gun; the pebble in the catapult; the lie in the politician.  

ANARCHY          Lack of government within a state; lawlessness; confusion.  Creating a state of anarchy is the penultimate aim of all subversion, because, only when this is achieved, can one move onto the ultimate aim of all subversion e.g. installing a government that represents all your own views¹.

In going about your legitimate subversive activities, you may be able to take the opportunity to accuse the government (or, more likely, the Parish Council) of ‘allowing a state of anarchy to exist’, which is both a damning indictment and the ideal springboard for your efforts to create such a state.  As in all matters, the wise subversive must be wary of public opinion.  The general perception of anarchy is not terribly good; it invariably receives a very bad press.  There is little that the solo subversive can do about this – good P.R. men² are very expensive.  If you are caught out and accused of being an anarchist yourself, try this argument – ‘In a truly Utopian State there would be no laws, as there would be no law-breakers.  Hence, the truly Ideal State would be an anarchistic one.  Just imagine that.  You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope some day you will join us and the world will live as one.’  If at all possible, attempt to end all public statements with a quote from John Lennon, but be prepared to paraphrase Salman Rushdie or Good Housekeeping in an emergency: it is unlikely to convince any but the terminally stupid, but might just work with a journalist.

1. Better still; install a government that is you.

2. Game of the Page – Spot The Oxymoron.


ARSON               Crime of intentionally setting fire to property or possessions.  Although burning things can be politically prudent, one has to accept that setting fire to the seat of our government is perhaps a little ambitious for the solo beginner.  Try burning unpaid bills.  Utility bills are a nice size in general and suitable for warming your hands by after you have been cut off.

ASSASSINATE     To kill by treacherous violence, especially for reward.  Don’t get involved in this sort of practice; it does not help your image.  If you feel that you really must rid yourself of a troublesome person, try sending them somewhere with a message and then changing all the locks before they return.  


Carefully plan an ambush: prepare maps, timetables, escape routes etc, and then think of 101 reasons why you should not go ahead with it.

Subject to legal advice, ‘The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion’ will return with the letter ‘B’ in 4 weeks time.

© Colin McQueen 2022

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

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

This was supposed to appear on Tuesday, but life got in the way…

ABDUCTION       The felonious carrying off a man’s daughter, wife, etc.  More often referred to by the media as kidnapping (see below) this is an excellent method of raising cash, but it is wise to be cautious:

a) Before deciding on your victim, carry out some basic research: is anyone likely to want them back and, if they do, can they afford to pay the ransom?  There can be little worse than being stuck with someone whom you can’t return, who eats like a horse and insists upon attempting to ‘discern the rationale of your didactic approach’ every evening over the cocoa.

b) When operating solo, always kidnap someone smaller than yourself.  If that is not possible, try to snatch his dog – as long as it is neither big and vicious nor small and yappy.

c) Do not get over-ambitious.  Kidnapping the mayor might seem like a wonderful idea after thirteen glasses of your sister’s homemade rhubarb wine, but it is unlikely to prove practical, and it is doubtful that you will be able to carry out your scheme without eventual exposure, capture and humiliation.

d) Do not attempt to kidnap someone of above average IQ¹.  There can be little more embarrassing than losing so many games of chess that you are forced to pay the ransom yourself before releasing the brainbox with money for train fare and a sandwich on the way home.

                          PLANNING AN ABDUCTION – Honestly, it is probably better not to.  The moment you start to get involved in meticulous planning, you will realise how fraught with problems the whole thing is and, like as not, will decide not to bother.  My best advice is to go into it as one of those spur-of-the-moment things.  Have a room set aside and fully prepared: buy a clean bucket, but other than that, take the whole thing as it comes and sooner or later, a suitable victim will walk into your life.

                          A TYPICAL D.I.Y ABDUCTION – Walking through Tesco’s car park one Friday afternoon, you spot a frail old man pushing a trolley piled high with luxury goods.  You make a split-second decision to abduct him as he starts to load up his car.  It is not until you get him home that he manages to convince you that neither the trolley nor the car was his own, and that he is himself an habitual thief.  Worse, he is old, small and frail – he is also poor and lonely.  You give him a hot meal and attempt to release him, but he refuses to go.

1. This is an immutable law of subversion – if it were not so, Stephen Fry would have been taken long, long ago.

ABSCESS            A gathering of purulent matter.  All of the main political parties have an annual abscess, usually at the seaside.  A subversive is expected to study this sort of thing carefully in order to understand what the enemy¹  is up to.  If this doesn’t put you off, nothing will.  Actually, it is not difficult to discover what the political parties are planning, as they are rarely off the television during the abscess season and go to great lengths to tell you, ad nauseum, what they intend to do next².  If you belong to a subversive group, you will probably have an abscess of your very own – probably in the pub on a Friday night.

1. As a subversive, you may decide to view all organised political parties as ‘the enemy’ – this is perfectly normal and, frankly, not terribly subversive.

2. In truth, what they want you to believe they intend to do next.  What they actually intend to do next is exactly the same as every other party in power over the entire history of the world e.g. feather their own nests.

ABSCOND          To hide oneself; to fly from justice.  Flying from justice will probably prove to be totally impractical for the do-it-yourselfer, but you can run away.  Ignore all the rubbish about attack being the best form of defence; run away and, if at all possible, hide.  Disguise has always offered additional scope for the prospective escapee and, in the case of a male disguising himself as a female, allows him to employ the supplementary safety net of tears if cornered.

ABUSE                Bad language addressed to a person; insulting words.  In order to be effective, abuse must be witty and incisive.  Abuse is never effective.  If you wish to employ abuse as a subversive tool, try to obey three simple rules:

  1. Never waste wit on anyone you suspect may not be able to understand it.
  2. Never abuse anybody you feel may be likely to beat you up as a result.
  3. If you feel that you really must abuse somebody who may beat you up, do it very quietly and from a very great distance.

The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion (Accused to Assassinate) will appear on Friday 28th January 2022 providing I remember.

© Colin McQueen 2022

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