Day 218: What’s in a Name?

 The facts

No, be wouldn’t waste his time over things like Boy Sanctuaries. He’d stand on a oox and shout and wave his arms about and salute people.
“I say,” said William, struck by a sudden idea, “we could wear our ordin’ry shirts an’ a coloured band round the arm. I’ve seen people doin’ that in pictures.”
“That’s a jolly fine idea,” said Ginger approvingly. “What’ll we call ourselves?”
“It’ll depend what colour we can get.”

  • Number: 20.2
  • Published: 1938 (1937 in magazine form) – originally and eponymously titled William the Dictator
  • Book: William the Dictator
  • Synopsis: William founds a movement of fascists.


While pondering the idea of a Boy Sanctuary (William the Globe-Trotter, 19.8) – planning to mimic a local bird-lovers’ magazine, Our Feathered Friends, with a boy-lovers’ magazine, Our Suited Friends – William comes across a Blackshirt rally.

And, as he wants nothing more than to emulate them, the Greenshirts are born as a political force in the village.

They marched in military fashion through the village, then William stood on a stile by the roadside and harangued them, throwing out his arms as he emphasised his points.
“You’ve gotter have a dictator … you’ve all gotter
be Green shirts same as us …. We’re goin’ to fight
everyone that isn’t …. We’re goin’ to fight everyone in the world …. We’re goin’ to conquer the world … We’re goin’ to be dictators over the world …. “

Of course, as William predicted, the Hubert Laneites get wind of the project and find some shirts of their own – and even acquire a “col’ny”.