Written by Dotty Winters


When I’m in charge

Because the people with all the power seem to have fucked-up priorities, we’re asking our writers what five laws they’d enact if they ran the country (or indeed, the world). Life under Dotty Winters would involve telling a bungalow like it is and showing your voting decision working-out.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.


When Standard Issue let me know I was going to be charge of the whole world for a bit, and I could make any five laws I want, I was very excited. I immediately invested all my savings in chocolate buttons and told all my clients to knob off.

Now that the buzz has died down a bit and I’ve assembled my flat-pack throne, I’m ready to announce my political plan – my planifesto if you like (and you should like it, I’m in charge now, it makes sense to stay in my good books, I’m kinda vengeful).

1. Let’s do some democracy

I like democracy, in theory, but in practice it has all got a bit tricky because of all the dickheads. Tempting though it is to scrap the whole lark and just decide everything myself, I am naturally very lazy.

So we are going to open up the process. People will be able to vote in as many different ways as you can think of: by text, online, through snapchat, by Pokémon or by saying, “I’d like more NHS,” three times into the mirror at midnight.

Obviously all this civic engagement is going to get people pretty fired up, so to stop them getting too horny for representation we’ll apply some checks. You can vote however you like, but you have to show your working. Every vote will need to be accompanied by an explanation of why you are voting the way you are. If it turns out that your reasons were stupid, wrong or ill-informed, that will affect the power that your next vote carries.

So… if you vote for a policy because you believe that it will result in £350m a week going to the NHS, and then that turns out to be bollocks, next time you vote you only get 80 per cent of one vote. You have to make a series of really good, informed voting decisions to get your full vote back.

Note to self: we should do this for Britain’s Got Talent too.

2. Smart spending

Scrap Trident; invest the money in inventing drive-through post-offices and other stuff we need.

3. Appearances can be deceptive

Folks, it’s not OK to talk about people’s appearance any more. I’m banning fat-shaming, cutesy put-downs (I’m looking at you, bingo-wings) and most of everything in tabloids. We are going to start with a new presumption: fabulous unless proven otherwise (and there will be no mechanism to prove otherwise).

“You have to go and have a cup of tea with each of your closest 50 friends or family members and tell them, to their face, what you are going to do and that it is your idea.”

From now on you can’t mention people’s weight, appearance, hair or clothes. You won’t even need to say nice things about that, because we all know how awesome everyone looks, and anyway there are at least a zillion other things you could compliment them about.

4. Wrong on two levels

We need to crack down on house-level inflation. A bungalow is a house that only has one level. A house with two levels is not a ‘dormer bungalow’; it is a former bungalow and should be referred to as such.

5. You have to tell people face-to-face

For my final law, I wish for more wishes. No, I’ve decided I’m still going to need some other law-makers to help me out, partly because I can’t eat a late night policy-making pizza all by myself (I totally can) and mainly because my understanding of the environmental and economic impact of fisheries policy is a little rustier than I’d like.

To keep those power-crazed politicos in check, I’m introducing the say-it-to-my-face policy. If you propose a new policy and it’s voted for by the electorate, you get to implement it. You have to phase your new policy in, starting with your immediate friends and family.

This means you have to go and have a cup of tea with each of your closest 50 friends or family members and tell them, to their face, what you are going to do and that it is your idea. If your policy affects a specific group (say women, disabled people, immigrants) these groups should be represented in your closest friends and family. If they aren’t, you can’t suggest the policy.

I think I’ve fixed everything. If you need me I’ll be watching High School Musical in the bath.

Peace out, citizens of Dottystan.
Dotty Winters


Think that’s a little harsh (to bungalows)? Find out what Debra-Jane Appelby would do if she were in charge here.

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Written by Dotty Winters

Nascent stand-up, fan of fancy words, purveyor of occasional wrongness, haphazard but enthusiastic parent, science-fan, apprentice-feminist.