Meet Britain’s loony leader

2010-05-04 09:32

If David Cameron is to become Britain’s prime minister, his first

act will be to shake the hand of the self-confessed biggest loony in the


The Conservative party leader is certain to retain his seat in

parliament representing Witney, a picturesque market town in the Oxfordshire

countryside in southern England.

But lining up against him is Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, the leader

of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, which has a 47-year tradition of

fighting British elections from a standpoint of stupidity.

Dressed in a white suit, a giant white hat and a leopard print bow

tie, the portly Hope has brought his megaphone to Witney High Street after a

boozy time canvassing two dozen pubs the night before.

Forgetting his keys in the car door as he toddles onto the town

green, the jovial Hope hands out one-million pound notes and yells “Vote for

insanity: you know it makes sense!”

“Those who’ve seen it all before, heard it all before and still

don’t believe it, that’s the votes we pick up,” he told AFP. “We bring a sense

of humour, a sense of fun to something that is quite serious.

“It’s a bit of good old England. I’m not sure you could get away

with it anywhere else. This is democracy at its best! A wasted vote is if you

don’t vote at all,” he explains.

“If I was to get two or three thousand votes, it would make the

other parties think about getting things right, because with the expenses

scandal they have made such fools of themselves.”

The party, founded by the late Screaming Lord Sutch, has 136 000

members worldwide.

They are the “official” loony party to distinguish themselves from

the unofficial nutters who end up running the country, Hope explained.

“I should be standing against the prime minister, Gordon Brown, but

I didn’t want to go to Scotland, it’s too far,” the rosy-cheeked 67-year-old

said in his campaign headquarters – the Red Lion pub in Witney.

“But if Cameron’s going to become PM, this is where the world’s

cameras are going to be.”

And Hope is determined to be the first to shake his hand when the

results of Thursday’s vote are read out.

Also among Cameron’s nine opponents standing in Witney are “comedy

terrorist” Aaron Barschak and historian Nikolai Tolstoy, a member of the

prominent Russian family.


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