We try not to take things too seriously in the United Kingdom. Today is election day, and the last six weeks have been intense, both for the public and for those seeking election to Parliament, so some light relief is due.
Light relief has so far derived from the ludicrous antics of the party leaders and the candidates themselves – Ed’s Pledge Stone (see Ed’s Stone), Dave’s plan to make tax rises illegal – but now that the dreadful day has dawned, it’s worth mentioning the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, who are this year standing in 16 Parliamentary Constituencies.
- Howling Laud – Uxbridge and South Ruislip
- Baron Von Thunderclap – Mid Sussex
- Johnny Disco – Wythenshawe and Sale East
- Peter E. Hill – Louth and Horncastle
- Nick the Flying Brick – Doncaster North
- Nicholas Robert Blunderbuss Green – Kenilworth and Southam
- The Dame Dixon – Hove and Portslade
- Mad Max Bobetsky – North East Hampshire
- Mark Beech – Aldridge and Brownhills
- Ann Kelly, The Mid Bed Minx – Mid Bedfordshire
- Baron Barnes Von Claptrap – Gower, South Wales.
- Mad Hatter – Oxford East
- Mad Mike Young – Sittingbourne and Sheppey
- Hairy Knorm Davidson – Faversham and Mid Kent
- Baron Von Magpie – Islwyn
- George Ridgeon – Gloucester
The OMRLP gets little coverage from the mainstream press since they attract few votes (only 7,510 in 2010 for their 27 candidates), but after election day, as the results are announced by the Returning Office in each constituency, you will see them on the podium awaiting their fate alongside other less obviously lunatic candidates. It’s bizarre, of course, that the Returning Officer must announce the ‘Official Monster Raving Loony Party’ in the same solemn voice as the other parties, but he or she usually does so with the same straight-faced aplomb.
The OMRLP (http://www.loonyparty.com/) was founded in 1983 by Screaming Lord Sutch, a former pop idol, who died by his own hand in 1999.
Lord Sutch stood repeatedly for Parliament and lost at every attempt, though the party won an occasional seat in local elections.The OMRLP manifesto has included these promises, some of which, rather surprisingly, have come to pass:
- Abolition of income tax
- Passports for pets
- All-day pub opening
- Relocation of Parliament to Wormwood Scrubs Prison, to reduce MPs’ commuting time
- Unicorns to be a protected species
The late Sir Patrick Moore, the British TV amateur astronomer, was the finance minister of the party for a short time. He once said that the Monster Raving Loony Party “… had an advantage over all the other parties, in that they knew they were loonies.”
The party is now led by Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, seen here with a cheerful David Cameron.