Monster Raving Loony Party .pdf

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What’s that taking over
Uxbridge, is it a Monster?
A

lan “Howling Laud” Hope of the
Official Monster Raving Loony
Party is mad. Mad about unicorns not
being a protected species, mad about
a rival for the extreme fringe vote and
mad about not being taken seriously.
Hope, 72, aspires to secure an
outrageous success in the 2015 General
Election. He’s standing against the largerthan-life Boris Johnson in Uxbridge
and South Ruislip on a campaign slate
which includes minting a 99p coin and
installing air cooling systems on the
outside of buildings to combat “this
global warming thing” – a phenomenon
which he doesn’t believe exists.
He is a supreme example of the
English eccentric at its best, or weirdest,
depending on your point of view and
voting habits. His political pedigree
goes back to 1964 when he started
the National Teenage Party, a serious
political venture with proper policies.

“We’re campaigning
for Nectar Points
from HMRC”

Photo credit: Christopher L Proctor

MRLP InDesign.indd 2-3

“In those days we were teenagers. We
were campaigning for votes at age 18 for
students – you couldn’t vote until you
were 21 then, but you could go to war
and get shot. We also campaigned for the
abolition of the 11 Plus exam,” he says.
Fast forward to 1982 and he and
the late, inimitable Screaming Lord
Sutch launched the MRLP. Their
policies were simple. They wanted rock
music, and they wanted it now (then).
“In those early days, The BBC in
all their wisdom refused to play any
rock and roll,” he says. “Do you know
we even campaigned for recognition
for the Beatles? Even today Mick
Jagger and Cliff Richard thank us for
that. And now we’re campaigning
for Nectar points from HMRC.”
It’s not all frivolity, though. The MRLP’s
proto-policies may sit firmly in leftfield,
but Hope can point to some – allegedly
– genuine political achievements.

“We campaigned more recently for
passports for pets,” he adds. “All we
were really saying is why can’t you take
your cat or dog to the vets, get them
inoculated, and take them abroad on
holiday without going through 6 months’
quarantine? Well they’re doing that now.”

“I sacked him. The
man’s a bloody
nuisance”
The MRLP have developed some
way from their roots as the Teenage
Party. They initially stood for basic
ideals, victories for the common man.
Now it appears they’ve stepped beyond
satire, and Hope insists that party
members are serious about politics.
“Yes, we know what’s going on,” he
says. “For instance I stood in Devon.
I put myself forward to become
a town councillor for the MRLP
and the silly buggers voted me on.”
He cites his important campaign on
potholes as a key political achievement.
“We all know about potholes in
the middle of the roads, right? But
the council was doing nothing about
it. So I started a national pothole
preservation society. Well they soon
came and filled them up then! It’s just
the other side of the coin, isn’t it? That’s
what the Loony Party is all about.”

Monster Raving Loony Policies

Some of the MRLP’s most
persuasive policies would bring about
some serious changes to British life:
• Grey squirrels would be painted red
to increase the red squirrel population.
• Data would be placed in a brown bag and
hidden in the PM’s underwear drawer.
• OAPs would qualify for an Ice Lolly
Allowance if temperatures exceed 70°.
• Unicorns would be a protected species.
• A carwash would be created by punching
holes in the roof of the Channel Tunnel.
• All vegetables sold would be clearly
marked “Strictly for oral use only”
• All taxpayers would be eligable to
receive Nectar Points from HMRC.
As for his political friends turned rivals
– ex-MRLP member Lord Toby Jug has
started his own party and is running against
him in Uxbridge – he is sanguine when
asked about competition for the loony
vote and certain there is no animosity.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
Hope’s awkward pause suggests
that might not be the case.
“Do you want the truth? Are you
writing this down or recording it or what?
I sacked him. The man’s a bloody nuisance.
“I’m happy for him to do his
own thing. He’s campaigning to get
no votes at all. If that’s what he’s
campaigning for then he shouldn’t
even be running for a seat, should he?”

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope (centre) and other candidates at the 2014 MRLP conference.

13/05/2015 12:52:00

MRLP InDesign.indd 4-5

"Who needs a MRLP when we've got a UKIP?"
Perhaps controversially, political historian Steven
Fielding, 54, is not convinced by Hope’s credentials. “The
MRLP consists of these quite privileged, relatively well-off
people who just mess around and take the mickey out of
politics,” he says. “I certainly don’t think they’re contributing
anything to the political process.” Whilst pets with passports
from all over the country would probably disagree, Steven
is resolute. “We just don’t need them. We’ve already got
enough idiotic parties with ridiculous ideas – like UKIP.”
Interestingly,
a
1987
episode of satirical comedy
Blackadder unintentionally
provided this insight well
before Steven. Ivor Biggun
of the “Standing at the
Back Dressed Stupidly and
Looking
Stupid
Party’”
is clad in conspicuously
UKIP-esque purple and
yellow attire. Coincidence?
Well, yes. But it’s a good one.
Geoff McGivern as “Ivor Biggun”

Photo credit: Christopher L Proctor, BBC

There has been one stumbling block, though: funding. “All
of the elections we’ve been doing recently have been sponsored
by William Hill, the bookmaker, although this time they have
dropped out. He [the William Hill, presumably] decided he
wants to sponsor Scottish football. So this General Election,
my Uxbridge seat has been sponsored by Wetherspoons.”
This may not have been the desired effect of raising the
candidacy deposit in 1985. “I’ll tell you how that came
about,” Hope offers sagely. “Maggie Thatcher, in all her
wisdom, decided to change the £150 deposit to £500 to put
off the frivolous parties. She didn’t specifically mention
our name, but we were the only frivolous party then.”
Members of the Fancy Dress Party, established three
years earlier than the MRLP in 1979, may object to Hope
taking credit for this. But it’s fair to say that the Loonies have
bragging rights this year at least, taking their eighth General
Election by storm with sixteen candidates, and with five
town councillors returning unopposed in local elections.
It remains to be seen whether or not the public take to
the MRLP this year, or if they ever manage to see beyond
Hope’s eccentricity to what he insists are serious political
beliefs. One thing’s for certain though, Hope has a lot of
faith in his policies. “They all make sense,” he says. “A bit.”

13/05/2015 12:52:01


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