The Postmaster General
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“Some question the need for all-pervasive, oppressive security apparatus within a modern democracy, but I'd be out of job without it...”
The Postmaster General is in charge of the Postal Service within a nation, itself a quasi-governmental agency, giving him two distinct powers: he answers to no boss, and anything he does is by definition legal. Postmaster Generals are secretive individuals, often viciously vindictive and are know to kill all who oppose them. Several people who have edited this article have already been killed. Beware, foolish mortal!
A Postmaster General, in many countries, is the chief executive officer of the postal service of that country, responsible for oversight over all other Postmasters. The practice of having a government official responsible for overseeing the delivery of mail throughout the nation originated in England, where a Master of the Posts is mentioned in the King's Little Book of Secret Payments, with a payment of £100 being authorised in February 1512. Belatedly, in 1517, he was officially appointed to the office of Governor of the King's Posts, a precursor to the office of Postmaster General of the United Kingdom, by Henry VIII. In 1609 it was decreed that letters could only be carried and delivered by persons authorised by the Postmaster General, thereby creating the worlds first official monopoly.
The early work of the Postmaster General can be considered as a precursor to those by modern governmental agencies, the CIA and the National Security Agency within the US, MI5 and "The Tufty Club" within the UK, indeed the main purpose in originally setting up the position was to have someone steam open and have a quick nosey at correspondence on the off chance there was something a little juicy contained in a letter.
edit Role during the Reign of Terror
In 1793 the French Postmaster General, following the advice of Maximilien de Robespierre, set out to destroy all opposition through mass executions of "enemies of the revolution". In order to find proof of a conspiracy the Postmaster General was tasked to peek through many thousands of overly perfumed correspondences between members of the French aristocracy. Rather than a conspiracy the Postmaster General found repeated references to kinky practices amongst the aristocracy often involving light spanking, breakfast cutlery and oranges. For Robespierre it was enough, and armed with the information that the rich could afford to use fruit in their perverted sexual practices whilst the working man had to make due with humourously shaped turnips proved a decisive factor in justifying the Reign of Terror.
edit Modern Day Duties
With the rise of the interwebs, and the slowdown in letter writing many questioned the value of maintaining Postmaster General positions, until the rise of two prominent organisations Thurn und Taxis and the Trystero. Both web-based groups utilised the more traditional methods of communication to distribute potential embarrassing goods to individuals the world over. Due to the deliberately appalling packaging the Postmaster General's work is much easier than the earlier process of envelope steaming.