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By Jim Rhodes
With Britain’s traditional two major national parties (fondly referred to by the electorate as the Loony Left and the Barmy Right) in meltdown over Brexit, I should like to point out that there may be another option.
I am informed that the Official Monster Raving Loony Party will hold its Annual Conference 26-29 September at the George and Dragon, a public house in Belper, Derbyshire – just a month before the crash-and-burn Brexit deadline.
For those unenlightened souls unfamiliar with the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, let me explain.
The OMRLP was the brainchild of a former rock singer named David Sutch, who became better known under his political nom-de-guerre of Screaming Lord Sutch. The party was officially born in 1982, and the following year Screaming Lord Sutch stood for the parliamentary election against Margaret Thatcher in her constituency of Finchley.
The party’s slogan was (and still is) “Vote for insanity. You know it makes sense.”
Altogether, Screaming Lord Sutch stood for Parliament in more than 40 general and by-elections, wearing his trademark campaign uniform of a top hat and oversized leopard-skin jacket. His best result was in 1994 in Rotherham with 1,114 votes. His worst was in 1988 with 61 votes in Kensington.
Inspired by its founder, OMRLP grew into a national party. OMRLP candidates soon became regular fixtures on election nights in dozens of constituencies across the country, solemnly taking their place in their characteristic clown outfits and funny hats alongside serious party candidates on the podium as ballot results are announced.
Some of Screaming Lord Sutch’s more notable campaign pledges included establishing more than one Monopoly Commission to increase competitiveness, forbidding greyhound racing to keep the country from going to the dogs, minting a 99p coin and breeding fish in wine so they could be harvested ready-pickled. He also proposed outlawing joggers. They could be put to good social use by being required to run on treadmills so as to generate cheap electricity.
One year, party members rode in a balloon to their convention to call attention to their pie-in-the-sky policies. At their victory parties, which always took place prior to the election, the party faithful would perform their ritual party dance: the Cabinet Reshuffle.
Although Screaming Lord Sutch sadly died by suicide in 1999, the party continues to this day under the tutelage of Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, who along with his late cat Catmando were elected co-leaders of the party after the founder’s death.
You can read the party’s current A-to-Z manifesto on the website (www.loonyparty.com). I’ll share just a few highlights with you, to whet your appetite.
A – Air bags will be fitted to the Stock Exchange immediately, ready for the next crash.
C – Capital punishment will be opposed on the grounds that it is unfair to Londoners.
H – Half the grey squirrels will be painted red to increase the red squirrel population.
M – Mega carwash will be created by punching holes in the roof of the Channel Tunnel.
N – National debt will be cleared by putting it all on our credit card.
U – Unruly teenagers will be superglued together. If you can’t beat them join them.
W – Wind farms will be created nationwide, and breaking wind will be encouraged.
The manifesto also calls for Britain to exit Europe and join the Duchy of Cornwall to benefit from tax exemptions.
Clearly this is the only party that can be trusted to sort out the Brexit mess.
Indeed, with an American election looming, may I suggest the time may be right to establish a subsidiary on our shores? USOMRLP has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
To that end, I am giving serious consideration to undertaking a fact-finding junket to Derbyshire, where I shall request observer status at the “Belter in Belper.” On my return, I will give you a report on what I learn – or at least whatever I can remember having learned.