6th May 2021 Candidate in the Hartlepool By-election
It's a wonderful thing when seventeen years separate two visits but the hospitality and generosity remain the same!
I must thank my agent George Stuart aka Sir Adrian Wall and his wife Dotty for a first class welcome and all the regulars outside 'The Bowline' on the Marina for a great pre-election victory celebration. The weather was cold but the hospitality was warm. It was a great start to what turned out to be a long but enjoyable Thursday night.
Seventeen years before in 2004 Peter Mandelson resigned as an MP from Hartlepool to become a European Commissioner. The by-election that followed was the first time I was an election agent for Howling Laud. I had booked into George's hotel to sort out Howling's nomination papers and ever since George met Howling Laud and experienced the Loony political machine he's been a true supporter.
This time round neither George or Howling could stand for the Hartlepool by-election so I keenly jumped at the chance. George very kindly offered to collect the nomination signatures from his friends in Hartlepool. This meant I did not have to make the three hour drive up, but of course this and further lack of attendence over the course of the election campaign may have reflected in my poor performance at the polls!
All parliamentary by-election counts are different but Hartlepool count was quite exceptionally strange. It was most notable for the length of time the count took and by the end of it the exhaustion of the counting tellers, elections staff and Denise McGuckin the Returning Officer. The only other count I have attended which was so late was in May 2016 for the North Wales Region of the Welsh Assembly. That declaration had been at 7.45am because the Returning Officer Colin Everett and two or three other members of staff had to wait for results from Anglesey. In that instance all the tellers had been sent home and by the declaration the vast leisure centre was bereft of people and those remaining gently dozed. In Hartlepool all the tellers were there and counting, albeit through half closed eyes, right to the end. I can't quite understand why the ballot verification didn't happen till after three in the morning, but at this time I decided that the best course of action was to slip away back to my room in the Douglas Hotel for a couple of hours sleep.
I instantly slept but woke suddenly at 4.45am and flicked on BBC News to hear the anchor say that they thought the declaration was to take place in fifteen minutes. So running shoes were hastily put on and I pelted back to the count only to still see large piles of ballot papers in the counting booths.
At seven in the morning a frazzled Denise McGuckin invited the candidates and election agents to the back of the stage where she showed us a pile of spoilt papers. She suggested to us that the Conservative landslide was so immense and that the hour was so late that there was surely no point in going through them and would we mind stepping up to the stage for the result. Feeling fresh as a daisy I skipped on claiming prize spot!
It was a shame to beat the 'Freedom Party' as they were a spirited and young posse. I've been told that I set a new record for the largest number of votes ever cast for any candidate in 14th place in a Parliamentary by-election in the United Kingdom.
12th Dec 2019 Candidate at Islington North
in the General Election
My heart skipped a beat when Knigel Knapp, 'Knight of the UnKnown' told me he couldn't stand against Jeremy Corbyn in the general election. Knigel is a cuisinier of Christmas puds and as a result too busy at Yule to meet the challenge. This left me salivating at the prospect, a tempting low hanging fruit ripe for picking! Although excited about standing in Islington North I was also anxious about my chances of successfully securing the nomination. In the end I should not have worried as Chinners found some willing advocates on our Twitter feed. I borrowed my mother's RAV4 for the journey as I had doubts whether my old diesel Hyundai would be popular on the streets of London town. The Town Hall were both open and very friendly allowing me to park outside when I arrived at 8.30am after a fairly gruelling four hour drive. After collecting the electoral roll it was a short drive to Dervish's parking slot pre-arranged on 'yourparkingspace' and he and his husband generously added their two signatures to my nomination form. I met David, my electoral agent and then swiftly collected my remaining signatures on Witherington Road and was finished by mid-morning.
I rolled back to the Town Hall at midday and Kerry Wickens from the Elections Department was super efficient with my papers. Kerry did make me explain myself over my 'also known as' name 'Nick the Incredible Flying Brick'. I truthfully told her that 'Brick' was the name given to me at school (there were others but this was the least offensive!), which she nodded to. That Howling Laud calls me 'Flying' to which she gave a small shrug. After a small pause I said "and Manchester Crew call me Incredible" to which she gave me a hard stare looking deep into my soul! This once again proved to me our democracy will always be safe as long as it remains in the control of our Local Authority electoral departments. >>Islington_North_Statement_of_Persons_Nominated<<
The Loony Party have a new recruit, Lord Sandy’s of Bunhill who has transferred allegiance from the Green Party. He elected to be our candidate for Islington South and spent the election campaign listening to voters, pundits and other candidates saying he heard a great deal of 'utter rubbish'. He said he heard opinions on everything from Brexit to bins, most of which was ill informed and rarely grounded in fact. I on the other hand spent most of my campaign talking to sheep in Derbyshire!
The votes from both constituencies Islington North and Islington South were counted the Sorbell Leisure Centre.
Lord Sandy's and I met for the first time the Round Square Chinese Restaurant on the Thursday night of the count. We had a very filling and tasty meal as the portions were huge. We then walked with our teams to the Count which, although short, took some time due to the impracticable nature our footwear. Lord Sandy’s wore a pair of pink thigh high boots while I sported my ageing pair of yellow Moroccan slippers which I bought in the early 1990's. Also present were RU Seerius, Lady Helen’bak, Lord and Lady Tourettes (aka Sir Tax-a-Lot), Lady Table Manners, The Fragrant Mary, and an assortment of ne’er do wells and misfits from the southern constituency.
There was a somber atmosphere at the count as Labour senior management were adjusting to the loss of many of their their heartlands. The Loony’s briefly cheered up Emily Thornberry when she noticed Lord Sandy’s heels and burst into laughter. A final spoiled ballot paper which which Lord Sandy's team saw was rude, it described the candidates as ‘all shite’, we felt told! The Acting Returning Officer and her staff maintained clear heads and a professional demeanor throughout, while the Loony’s reveled in a thoroughly good night.
27th Sep 2019 Loony Conference at George & Dragon, Belper
A repeat performance! The Loony Party isn't huge, but the dedicated travel from all parts of the United Kingdom. Belper is central of course, but also a welcoming town so was a popular choice for a second go. Gripper & the Gurnards played again on the Friday night. I missed some of the events on the Saturday, as I took my son Pi to football at Cavendish Fields in Matlock. But I was there for the awesome record breaking ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on Kazoo which was organised by Barmy Lord Brockman. There was anticipation as the massed crowd of enthusiatic musicians gave a deep breath, paused, then gave it their all . . . an emotional and heart-rendering experience to be a part of!
The discussion of politics is usually frowned on at Loony Party gatherings but there was much talk of a possible and looming general election. There was a cheer at Howling Laud's speech when he told us to "prepare for government".
1st Aug 2019 Counting Agent for Lady Lily the Pink at Brecon and Radnorshire By-election
Lady Lily the Pink has been a dominant player in the Loony Party for some years. She has stood a few times and was extremely helpful and pivotal in our Party Election broadcast for our Welsh Assembly campaign of 2016. So it was a no-brainer when the by-election was called for Brecon & Radnorshire, it just had to be Pink. Lily, as always, ran an exuberant operation, with a great team.
I hitched a lift to Powys with RU & HelenBak and we arrived to truly lovely digs at The Cedars, Hay Road in Builth Wells.
Shortly after meeting Mark Reckless I sneaked out of our 'Victory Party' in the Barley Mow Hotel for a delicious curry at the Ginger Leaf Indian Restaurant on the High Street and when I returned was just in time for a lift to the Royal Welsh Showground for the count.
Both Lily and Howling were totally on fire and the evening was ours culminating in a heady victory over UKIP at the declaration.
The Incredible Flying Brick & Mark Reckless
6th June 2019 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at Peterborough By-election.
The rain didn't stop and became increasingly heavy as I drove to Peterborough. I hoped it would lighten but it never did, so signatures were collected in very wet doorways on the 8th May. I had to jump from street to street as each sheet I was using from the electoral roll disintegrated and became illegible. I was invited in to dry off by a very kind couple who gave me a tea and both signed my form while I admired their collection of Elvis memoribilia. Later retiring in a soggy state once more to my car I set my satnav to a postcode in Dogsthorpe, where I quickly collected the remainder of Howling's nominations from some very friendly people. My hat was soaked by a wet but successful day.
RU, Helen and I had an excellent curry at the 'Bombay Brasserie' on the night of the count.
I have increasingly come to the opinion that postal voting is difficult to adjudicate. There appear to be questions over the result in Peterborough. I believe that democracy is safest kept 'physical' and as 'real' as possible. By this I mean that voters, as much as possible, should present themselves in person at the polling booth.
The UK joined a 'Common Market' in 1975; it is now a 'European Union' and is inevitably to become a 'European Federation' with an end to national banks and independent autonomy. The European Union has a 'direction of travel' and will inevitably become, and impose on the regions within it, a version of government which is very different than our parliamentary democracy. It is important that the UK regains and retains independence from all the dystopic superstates. Our country should navigate a gentle course among our Commonwealth relatives and wider friends in the international community. I do not like flag waving and am uncomfortable with nationalism, but the UK Parliament is functional and protects its citizens. We in turn should take care and maintain our democracy, as it will stand us well in the future.
28th Sep 2018 Loony Conference at George & Dragon, Belper
My old friend Leutenant Jâger Schnitzel of the band BBBlackdog has long enjoyed running festivals. So he teamed up with Craig, landlord of The George & Dragon in Belper, to host our annual conference. Gripper & the Gurnards' headlined on the Friday night, which was great fun.
Brick, Nick Davis, Horse (hidden) Gripper
14 June 2018 Counting Agent for Howling Laud at Lewisham East By-election
Chinners stepped up to the mark and valiently sorted Howling's nominations. Originally he had no luck, but the punters in the Catford Constitutional Club embraced our cause so that is where we had our victory party, after which it was a few steps to the Lewisham Civic Suite where the count was held.
We did well to arrive at the Count shortly after midnight, and not any later, as it was all over by 1am!
RU Seerius, Chinners, Hell 'n Bak, Knigel Knapp, Jon Craig, Badger
2nd May 2018 Resigned from Kirk Ireton Parish Council
I had been a nominated Loony Party Parish Councillor since 8th Apr 2011 and felt seven years was enough. I had the highest attendence record for a number of those years, had made two successful lottery bids for play equipment and started the Kirk Ireton Neighbourhood Plan, which I continue as chair. However I have always regarded myself more cut out to be a national politician!
8th Jun 2017 Counting Agent for Knigel Knapp at Islington North
Theresa May let me down by calling the general election so soon after I had stood in the Stoke by-election. My wife Lizzie had taken our two children Xanthe & Pi on holiday to Teneriff and the general election was called while they were away. Just before they had left I had foolishly chuntered about my finances. Lizzie is not a 'news' person and I asked her, a few days after they had returned, if she knew "there was a general election on" and she didn't which made for a little tension. In a spirit of family harmony it seemed best to forego another new personal parliamentary campaign and focus my efforts on wider party ambition.
RU, Hell 'n Bak and I turned the screws on Knigel Knapp, 'Knight of the unKnown' with offers of support. This clinched it and he acquiesced. So plans were made for an expedition to Islington North.
The Big Fibbers gave a great performance at 'The Liquor Works' on Holloway Road and I enjoyed meeting the The comedy terrorist, we patched up our differences from the 2003 by-election count at Brent East. I had a very nice North African meal at a small restaurant a few doors down from the gig. After the gig we had a short walk to the Sobell Leisure centre and the world of Corbynista.
Pup revellers with Nick the Flying Brick, The Comedy Terrorist, RU Seerius, Knigel Knapp, Michael Fibber &Hell 'n Bak,
Jeremy Corbyn seemed very affable and didn't baulk at shaking my hand when he arrived with his entourage. in contrast to many candidates at counts I've been to over the years his security was easily overwhelmed by our rabble of Loonys. He was surrounded by very gentle souls which I was surprised by and is enamouring. That didn't stop me in my mission for a photo-bombing opportunity which probably doesn't say much for my own character!
After the count was declared Knigel and I cornered Michael Crick
Left photo with Jeremy Corbyn, right photo with Michael Crick & Knigel Knapp
23rd Feb 2017 Candidate in the Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent was my tenth attempt on Parliament,
and fourth by-election. I have taken a leaf out
of the Iconic Arty Pole's book and it is the first
time I have stood with an adjective having previously
been described by nouns.
Collecting the nominations was bitterly cold,
but an easy task as Stokies are the friendliest
people on the planet. I do genuinely believe that
Hanley would be the perfect place to rehouse Parliament.
Not only is it perfectly positioned geographically
but the the warmth of the locals might just have
a profound effect on the workings of government.
Imagine what a fine building the country could
build in Hanley with a fraction of the money required
to renovate the Palace of Westminster. In my perfect
world Parliament would be housed in Hanley and
the Welsh assembly would be moved to Stoke with
the Scottish Parliament housed in Tunstall. This
would require the ownership of the respective
towns to be turned over to their respective nations,
thereby ensuring the governing bodies autonomy.
It may be possible to cede Longton to Northern
Island and Fenton to the Irish Republic, but I
may be just getting ridiculous.
RU Seerius, Leutenant Jâger Schnitzel,
Sir Tax-A-Lot, The Inflatable Johnny Disco, The Incredible
Flying Brick, Hell n' Bak, Howling laud, Karen, Lady
Table Manners, The Indestructible Captain Chaplington-Smythe
My interview with Emma Thomas outside BBC Radio
Stoke was aired on Sunday Politics with my policy
of 'putting Piranhas in the River Trent
to make fishing a spectator sport' turning out
to be very popular with the newspapers. A later
declaration in my campaign that I am 'the only
true fakir of fake news, almost but not quite,
a facetious factory of fakiry,' was considerably
less popular and hardly mentioned at all.
A magnificent troupe of Loonies met at The
Terrace, City Road, Fenton. I was joined
the Illustrious Howling Laud, RU Seerius, Helen
Bak, Leutenant Jâger Schnitzel, Karen,
Sir Tax-A-Lot, & Lady Table Manners. The Inflatable
Johnny Disco and the Indestructible Captain Chaplington-Smythe
lent support and guidance at the pub but returned
to Manchester before the count.
The count was a big event and had a great atmosphere,
Paul Nuttall made a bee-line for our party leader
and gave him a big hug, I believed that this was
in anticipation of a Loony victory. We mingled
seamlessly with the other parties and candidates
including Barbara Fielding, who has the aura of
a lovely sweet lady which is the antithesis of
her message. It was a pleasure to meet the Liberal
candidate Dr Zulfiqar Ali, a real gentleman and
There was an exciting scrum at the end of the
night when the election was declared. In a strange
break with tradition the candidates werent
invited to join the returning officer on stage.
Instead we were swallowed up in a frenzied media
circus around Paul Nuttall and the winner Gareth
Snell who gave me a man-hug in the excitement!
He then fought his way through teaming tangle
of reporters to give a some-what drowned out speech.
I once again came seventh, in a field of ten and
came ahead of the BNP
8th Dec 2016 Election Agent for The Iconic
Arty-Pole at the Sleaford and North Hykeham By-election.
I have always assumed that when two by-elections
occur around the same time, the returning officers
liaise and arrange a mutually agreeable date.
This wasn't the case with Richmond and Sleaford
as polling days were one week apart, allowing
Howling and I to attend both.
It took me a couple of hours to reach Sleaford
including the half hour to change a tyre in the
'Derbyshire Hotel' car park just off Junction
28 in Pinxton. Lincolnshire is a large but with
poor roads, so Arty also took the same time to
travel across the county and we met up shortly
after 10am on the 10th of November. Arty was sprited
in his collection of nominations and it didn't
take long to collect them from houses around Castle
Terrace. We were even invited in by Pearl for
a warming cup of tea. I don't know what it is
about the Council Elections Departments but they
are always populated by extremely elegant people,
and Sleaford is no exeption. Marcella who took
our papers was the most civilised lady you could
ever meet, I hope our Elections Departments always
remain this way.
High Sherrif of Lincolnshire Mrs Jill
Hughes / The Iconic Arty-Pole, Flying Brick, Hel 'n
Bak, Howling Laud
1st Dec 2016 Counting Agent for Howling
Laud at the Richmond Park By-election
The last time an MP stood down with the plan
of restanding again was in Haltemprice and Howden,
and that, with twenty six candidates, was for
me, the craziest by-election yet . . . Richmond
Park didn't have the same number of candidates,
but it was still wonderfully bonkers. There were
plenty of harbinger's in the press so Chinners
was on the case immediately Zac announced his
resignation. Chinners, Howling's Election Agent,
really threw himself at the campaign and what's
more arranged a victory party at the 'The Triple
Crown' with Loony legends 'What's Next' carrying
us into the evening. This was a nostalgic taste
from years of yore with a traditional loony menu
fusing 'rock 'n roll' and politics into a full
nights' entertainment. I snuck out on my own for
an hour to eat a fabulous curry at the Cafe Masala.
I had my usual three vegetarian side dishes with
rice and pickles.
There were a lot of big name political journalists
at the count including Jon Craig who was rude
when I offered him my camera asking if he could
take a photo of us, I guess he was busy. Zac was
clearly shocked by his result, although his attractive
entourage were more sanguine. He is a big celebrity,
maybe his team will have more space for a better
project, I imagine parliament was quite claustraphobic
for those around him.
20th Oct 2016 Counting Agent for The
Mad Hatter at the Witney By-election
It was great to finally meet the charming Mad
Hatter after our many phone conversations. The
Hatter runs themed tours in and around Oxford
and is also an active campaigner on political
issues, this distinguishes him from lightweights
like me. He is Scottish, and travelled home to
campaign for Scotland to leave during the Independence
Referendum of 2014 and more recently campaigned
for the UK to remain part of the European Union.
This means he is embraced by the party, not necessarily
on his positions, but for being on the losing
I stayed at a guest house on Iffley Road in Oxford,
which was the worst place I've ever stayed at
in this country, and was the Hatter and Chinners'
taxi to Witney. We all enjoyed the count at the
Windrush Leisure Centre, the 'One Love' Party
deserve better results they're young and cool.
Hell 'n Bak, Chinners, Flying Brick,
Mad Hatter, RU Seerius, Howling, Tom Gullandt-Milner,
23th June 2016 Voted 'Leave' in the EU
I voted to leave the European Union in the referendum.
Not enough people vote in the EU elections and no ordinary
voter understands how the EU works. 'The project' appears
to be increasingly burdened with an over-bureaucratic
and dictatorial executive. There are positive aspects
to the EU, for instance, the block has stood up to the
large, predatory US companies. But the EU is enslaving
the southern countries to poverty and dictating unreasonable
terms to them. I do not believe the UK would ever have
been able to 'change the EU from the inside' and the
direction of travel is wrong. I believe the best way
forward is to make a complete break with the EU and
I hope the UK can renew our traditional ties with Australia,
New Zealand and Canada. However I support the court
case by Gina Miller and ensuing legal proceedings. I
believe it is very important that the good ship 'Brexit'
is kept trim and true with hatches battened down, but
we shouldn't throw our courts overboard as we sail through
these choppy seas.
16th June 2016 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Tooting By-election.
I set off to London at 3.45am hoping to have
an comfortable run of it, with breakfast on the
way, but there were nose to tail lorries on the
M1, even at that time, and it wasn't an easy drive.
My SatNav later took me through parts of Kensington
which was lovely. The elections department was
at Wandsworth Council and when I arrived at 8.30
in the morning I stood in full loony regalia with
an assortment of people outside what turned out
to be the wrong part of the civic buildings. Once
inside the moth eaten benefits offices I was directed
up the road to the splendid marble bedecked Town
Hall, so it was a morning of contrasts.
Helen Lucas, a party supporter, proposed Howling
on the nomination form and then we walked around
roads in Tooting knocking on doors looking for
a further nine signatures.
Laud Lawson & Obe'Joyful, Smiley
Smillie, Hell 'n Bak, Howling, RU Seerius, Yvonne Elwood,
I arrived at Helen's house just in time to help carry
a new mattress upstairs into her flat and later delivered
her old one to the Council Tip in Wandsworth. I just
squeezed the mattress into my Hyundai Santa Fe and took
it on the way back to delivering the nominations. I
love visiting tips, and the Wandsworth one was a great
experience, it has the design of a multi-storey car
park, completely unlike the spacious ones we have in
Unfortunately I didn't see the 'G' in the electoral
register next to some of the people who signed the nomination
paper. This symbol was for European citizens who are
ineligable to vote in Parliamentary Elections so I had
to return to Tooting later in the afternnoon and find
three more assenters. It was early evening by the time
Howling's papers were accepted, so it had been a long
day by the time I had driven back home.
We had a few drinks in the Spread Eagle opposite the
Town Hall on the night of the election and rolled into
the count in a very upbeat mood expecting to 'win this
one, no problem'. However, the mood at the count was
very somber, with the murder of Jo Cox overwhelmingly
setting the tone. The winning candidate Rosena Allin-Khan
had deep empathy with the events in Yorkshire and made
a very poignant speech. I guess there are vulnerabilities
to public office which are difficult to get genuine
insight to when standing on a Loony ticket. On a lighter
note we particularly enjoyed the company of Rainbow
George and his candidate Smiley Smillie.
28th May 2016 Front row seat at the 'Monster
Raving Loony' play at Soho Theatre
This was a wonderful and bizarre thing, a play
in London about Screaming Lord Sutch. Howling
was given some complimentary tickets for a Saturday
matinee so I took the train to London and met
up the gang at The Nellie Dean having had a quick
curry at the Hare Krishna's.
It was an engaging event as Sutchy runs, slumps
and jumps through classic twentieth century television
shows. There was an odd art house feel as old
TV sets flicker historical events at us and then
everything halts while we play bingo and participate
with pots and pans in a skiffle band. The performance
was over all too quickly and before we knew it
we had met the cast and were outside blinking
in the sunlight.
Steve & Joy Lawson, Vivienne Acheampong,
Joe Allessi, Jack Brown, Howling, Tom Attwood, Nigel
Knapp, Samuel James, Linda Landers, Gregory Clarke,
5th May 2016 Candidate & Election
Agent for the North Wales Reion of the Welsh Assembly
The count of all the votes cast in the the North
Wales region was coordinated by Colin Everett
who is Chief Returning Officer for Flintshire
County Council. Lynn Phillips the Elections manager
thought the results would be declared sometime
between 4-6am so, realising it was going to be
a late one, I suggested to Johnny Disco and Sir
Oink-a-Lot that we meet at Cloleg Cambria Deeside,
where the count was taking place, at 2 o'clock
in the morning. On arrival it was easy to spot
Johnny's van as it has "The Vinyl Countdown"
written in bold letters across its side!
The count had a jolly and slightly provinsional
atmosphere. I had been a bit worried there might
be some hostlity towards us as in reality we were
six English candidates standing for North Wales,
but there was no need to worry, everyone was very
Sir Oink-A-Lot & Johnny Disco
Sometime between 4-5am all the counting
tellers finished their work and the two or three Constituency
'Assembly Members' within Flintshire were directed up
to the small stage and declared. There was a lull while
the tellers sat in front of empty tables and chatted,
then very smoothly they disappeared into the night. Then
equally efficiently the tables vanished and most of the
counting agents and guests took their leave.
At about six in the morning the massive sports hall had
four lone tables pushed together in a square in the middle
of it with Colin, Lynne and two or three other council
staff valiently propping each other up and round the corner
in the other leg of the vast 'L' shaped space were a random
assortment including three Loonys, some UKIP, Plaid Camru,
and others totalling about fifteen in all. We were waiting
for the regional results from Anglesey. When Colin came
over at 7.45 he cheerfully suggested that any candidates
remaining were welcome to join him on the stage. Lynn
told me, as we made our goodbye's, that she had been awake
for over twenty six hours!
A peculiarality of this event for me is that I requested,
as usual, our 'Top Hat with Vote Loony Printed' emblem
but instead we had our 'Party Shield', which includes
the Union Jack on the ballot paper. I'm not really a big
fan of flags so have always spurned this one. However,
possibly as a result of this, North Wales Loonys got the
highest votes in all the five regions.
13th Apr 2016 The Loony 'Party Election
Broadcast' transmitted BBC1 Wales, BBC2 Wales & ITV
The golden rule of Monster Raving Loony Party
politics is to always have 'low expectations'.
So it was with a considerable amount of surprise
that I was told by Martin Forward at the BBC and
Nick Powell of ITV Wales that our PEB had passed
all the criteria and would be broadcast on the
List of persons nominated from the respective
Regional Returning Officers
After Llanwrtyd Wells we all decided that our
final round of filming had to be shot in Cardiff
at the Senedd. I rang the Welsh Assembly and spoke
to Terry Matthews who was extremely helpful. We
were all grateful to be inside on the day and
not in the cold and drizzle. The staff were friendly
and fortunately there were few other visitors
so we were able to make a little more commotion
than would normally be acceptable. Later a few
of us walked into the harbour where there was
a great atmosphere as the Six Nations had chosen
the same day to stage the rugby match between
Wales & Scotland! We met advocates of our
'windmill', 'mermaid' and 'zebra' policies.
Mark Beech, Lilly the Pink, Hugo Shovit,
Anna-Lisa, Lord & Lady Dunquan, Magpie Bum, Professor
Mudraddler, Lord Dia Rea, Lady Perty Rea, Baron von
16th Jan 2016 Filming in Llanwrtyd Wells
It was chilly, but not unbearable,
at Llanwrtyd Wells, I hitched a lift with RU &
Helen and we stayed at The Neuadd Arms Hotel which
was Lord Sutch's favourite haunt. The photo above
was taken in 'Caffi Sosban' where we filmed our
'bog snorkelling' policy and our young voter. We
had a walkabout the following day and Bernie, Anna-Lisa
and Craig introduced us to local celebrities, John
Davies a farmer and owner of the bog-snorkelling
trench, and Dougie Lloyd with his riverside garden.
Lady Lilly the Pink, Mr Pink, Craig,
Anna-Lisa, Hell 'n Bak, Karen, RU Seerius, Dale Rowles,
3rd Dec 2015 Election Agent for Sir-Oink-A-Lot at
the Oldham West & Royton By-election.
What a wonderful finish to 2015. I met our candidate
Sir Oink-A-Lot in the car park outside the Civic
Centre, Oldham on the 6th November. He collected
all but two of the signitures by door knocking
in cold relentless drizzle on Chadderton Park
Road. He's obviously far friendlier looking as
it took me as long to get the last two as it took
him to collect the first eight!
Left photo: Dale Rowles, Karen Van
Woerden, Tony & Julie Stacey, Marc 'Hands' Jones,
Hell 'n Bak, Sir Oink, Johnny Disco, Chinners, Howling,
An excellent night although we were lucky
that the pub closed so early as the count finished and
the election was declared at 1.30am, we could have missed
15th Oct 2015 - Liaising with the BBC
& Electoral Commission
Laurence, my contact at the BBC, kindly
found the contact details for Tabby Karamat in 'Politics
Editorial Policy', who in turn directed me to Martin Forward
'Planning Manager' for BBC Wales.
I spoke to Robert Coombs 'Senior Political Parties Liaison
Officer' for the The Electoral Commission in Wales who
was very helpful and confirmed everything Mark Beech had
advised about eligibility for a Party Election Broadcast.
The authorities were informed of our intent!
25th Sep 2015 Loony Conference at Uncle Tom's Cabin,
When Howling declared we were to have our conference
at Blackpool RU & I decided he must have gone
mad. But it was the best one ever! Uncle Tom's
Cabin was the perfect venue and our man in Blackpool
Tony Davis hired a bus and drove us round a Wetherspoons
pub crawl on the Saturday afternoon. A lot of
us stayed at Simon & Rhona's 'New Guilderoy
Hotel' who were not only very hospitable but also
joined in the tour and cabinet reshuffle.
Lady Lily the Pink and Anna-Lisa encouraged their
friend Craig Tompkins to drive them up to the
conference with his movie camera. We shot our
first footage for our 'Party Election Broadcast'
in front of a large backdrop of a library in the
front room of the hotel. A few weeks later Craig
sent the footage taken at the 'New Guildroy Hotel'
at our Blackpool Conference to Gordon Vowles,
a party supporter and editing maestro based in
London. Gordon composed a draft edit of a PEB
with a quirky angle that everyone thought was
great so it was all steam ahead.
We hatch a plan to qualify for a 'Party Election
Broadcast' in the Welsh Assembly Elections
The Loony Party have long aspired to qualify for the
'holy grail' of a 'Party Election Broadcast'. There is
always a lot of talk at Monster Raving Loony Party conferences,
often over a few pints, and the idea of achieving a PEB
is one of the many pipe dreams that we have loved to speculate
about. Fortunately we have among our number Mark Beech
who grasped the mettle and did a bit of research. Mark
proposed the idea of submitting enough candidates to the
Welsh Assembly to qualify the Loonys for a Party 'Election
Broadcast' in Wales. He had stood in the Welsh Assembly
Elections as a regional candidate, with his friend Pinkandorevil
Gem in 2011 and spent a little time finding out how many
we needed to stand, and where, and how much it would cost.
There are sixty seats in the Welsh Assembly. Forty are
constituency seats elected in the same way as the UK parliament.
The other twenty 'regional seats' are made up of four
seats in each of the five regions. A £500 deposit
is required to stand up to 12 candidates in each region
(although only four can be elected). As long as we stood
four or more candidates within all five regions we would
qualify for a Party Election Broadcast. We are comparitively
strong in Wales, and Mark and I decided to give it our
best shot. Lady Lily the Pink, Baron Von Claptrap and
Alun Magpie Bum agreed to be Election Agents for Mid Wales,
South West Wales and South East Wales, Mark chose to organise
South wales Central, his previous patch, and I opted for
7th May 2015 Candidate at Doncaster North
in the General Election
This was my fifth General Election, but the first
away from Derbyshire Dales. I felt it was time
for me to stand against a 'big gun'. My choice
locally was Nick Clegg in Sheffield or Ed Milliband
in Doncaster. I chose Milliband as I thought,
incorrectly as it turned out, that every man and
his dog would be standing against Nick Clegg.
I drove up the M1 to Doncaster on the 2nd of April
and collected all ten signitures entirely from
Frank Road, DN59SY, within an hour. What a friendly
Susie Lomax, Dr Doodle Do, Lady Tax-a-Lot,
Flying Brick, RU Seerius, Hell 'n Bak, Lady Table Manners,
Leon of Britain, Sir Tax-a-Lot
I handed my nomination papers in to Keith Porter
Electoral Services Manager, who is a very well
spoken gentleman. He used to be the returning
officer in Margaret Thatcher's constituency Finchley
and said he had met Lord Sutch several times.
The night of the count was a marvellous occasion
and I had an excellent group of supporters. We
made our customary loud entrance to the counting
hall and this was covered by The Telegraph among
At the end of the night at about 5.30am I was
asked very politely if I wouldn't mind standing
at the very end of the stage for the declaration,
but I forgot. Poor Ed Milliband's party were having
a rotten night and he looked quite glum, I on
the other night was extremely pleased with my
162 votes and was feeling quite cheerful.
Apr 2015 I asked the BBC to display our colours in
their political broadcasts.
It's always a pleasure to see the party name
on BBC news, but this has always been slightly
marred by by being framed in greyness. The BBC
have always displayed our hopefuls in elections
with a grey tab among the other red, blue, orange,
purple and green candidates. I rang the BBC about
this issue in early 2015 and spoke to Laurence
Coss in 'Information & Archives' who raised
my query with 'News'. I received an email from
the BBC on the 15th April saying that "The
basic point is that we have colours for parties
that have some record of winning elections or
at least coming close to winning them. That can
be local, Mayoral, European, Scottish, Welsh,
Northern Irish or general elections."
After a discussion with Howling I argued that
we have had a Town Mayor, and at present have
District Councillor and several Parish councillors
and was rung by Peter Barnes on the 21st April
2015 while I was 'Lester Lowes' my local agricultural
and builder merchants in Derbyshire, where it's
quite noisy. Peter said that it was impossible
to change anything for the General Election but
seemed to think it might be possible to introduce
colours for the smaller parties in by-elections.
He said the BBC take their lead from the 'Press
Association'. I didn't get very far with the Press
Association who just tried to tap me for a story!
9th Oct 2014 Election Agent for Howling Laud at the
I will never trust my sat-nav again, as it took
me right down the M1 and around the M25 to Clacton-on-Sea,
a truly appalling route. I set off at just after
5am and arrived at the Town Hall at 10am. Fortunately,
once there, a quick trot round Alexandra and Meredith
Road, a stones throw from the Town Hall, got me
the ten nominations for Howling, and I was on
the way back home at 1pm.
The count was another classic night. I was filmed
News, with Howling, trying to convince Douglas
Carswell to cross the floor to the Loony Party
and later had my photo taken with Lembit
Öpik and Norman
26th Sep 2014 Loony Conference at The Ridgebourne
Inn, Llandrindod Wells
This was the 30th Loony Party conference and
the first one held in Wales. The Ridgebourne Inn
was a warm, welcoming place and Llandrindod Wells
is a regal town with a certain faded glamour,
a bit like the Loony Party really. Gripper and
the Gurnards had been renamed 'Buster and the
Gonads' and we played on Saturday night with Knigel
Knapp, Dale and Molly singing for us, replacing
Nick who was taking his daughter to the zoo. Later
the Captain showed some of his extraordinary powers
of communication, when he spoke through my shoe
to the Queen of England.
Lord Cameron, Johnny Disco, Lord Offa
of the Dykes, The Captain, Gripper
5th Jun 2014 Candidate in the Newark By-election
It had been over three years since I had stood
as a candidate in a by-election so I leapt at
the chance when Howling suggested I should do
it as it was on my patch. My nominations came
from Hatton Gardens and Milner Street and I had
my first one, from Ian, within two minutes of
parking my car.
I had an interview
with Alan Clifford on Radio Nottingham on
the 27th May. On Monday the 2nd of June I was
interviewd by Chris Mason from the BBC and filmed
by Channel 4 News in the Newark Town market place
which was aired that night. I used my studio to
my one minute election address and this was
aired on Radio Nottingham around the 3rd of June.
RU Seerius, Karen van Woerden, Howling
Laud, The Flying Brick, Aloysia Kim-Oh-No
Carnell, Helen Bak, Dale Rowles, Jason Fotidar
The election count was held in the fabulous Kelham
Hall and the acting returning officer Andrew Muter
ran a seamless event with a fantastic atmosphere
and bar! At about 2am the atmosphere became electric
when Nigel Farage made a rock stars entrance
and Howling and I swiftly formed a strategy of
ambush. Our plan worked and the picture with story
was published in The
Metro newspaper on the 6th June.
I spent some time back pedaling when talking to
Paul Baggaley; a highly successful local campaigner
for Newark Hospital. He latched onto my pledge,
if elected, of becoming the Newark Town Football
Club mascot. He turned out to be the Newark Football
club chairman and was worringly keen on this policy!
Paul achieved a staggering 1,891 votes beating
the Greens and Liberal Democrats.
I came seventh out of eleven beating Andy Hayes,
Elvis Party, Common
Good and the Patriotic Socialist Party.
One of Howling's greatest
strengths is his ability to talk otherwise sane
and rational people into the Loony Party team. Derrill
Carr, a micro brewery representative, was sucked
into the inner Loony party machinery in June 2013.
Alan and Derrill hatched a plan to rebrand the finest
local beers in Hampshire under a Loony Party 'Co-ALE-ition'
brand. Derrill is a man of boundless energy and
business acumen and the Loony Party have been transformed
overnight from a one cylinder putt putt engine to
The first four of the Co-ALE-ition beers had the
2010 Election photo of David Cameron raising Howling's
victorious hand as the pump-clip theme. For the
fifth, Monster Mash, the Loony cabinet were included
in the pump-clip and I was given the task of compiling
the image in Photoshop.
On the 1st of May Co-ALE-ition was launched
at the Mash Brewery at Burcot Farm near East Stratton
and we moved from there to the Fulflood Arms, where this
photo was taken, and then onto The Albion, both in Winchester.
I travelled down with RU Seerius and Hell 'n Back and
stayed at The King Alfred. What a great night, what great
23rd Feb 2014 Toby Jug's expulsion from
The Loony Party embraces theatrical displays
of aggrandisement, it is all part of the fun. But while
Toby Jug is adept at playing the media he unfortunately
suffers from self-importance and is delusional. In the
years up to 2014 he took to declaring himself to be the
obvious leader of the party while at the same time vitriolically
and aggresively attacking Howling and the rest of us.
He has a habit of upsetting people. I've always thought
that the Loony Party has echoes of an amateur dramatic
group. Toby is like the over-enthusiastic ham actor with
no insight into the feelings of everyone else in the group
or sense of irony. We eventually became fed up, all mutually
agreed, and formerly expelled him.
13th Feb 2014 Election Agent for Captain Chaplington-Smythe
at Wythenshawe & Sale East By-election.
I got off to a bit of
an embarrassing start when I rang the Manchester
Electoral Office asking for the date of the by-election
only a few hours after Paul Goggins had died. This
wasn't intentionally callous; since the loss of
Mad Cow Girl and Johnny Cartwright there is no-one
in the Loony Party who is keenly watching out for
by-elections and they are easily missed. When I
received a text from Howling in Malta, on the 7th
of January, telling me about a by-election in Wythenshawe
I naturally assumed I was late and rang the elections
office in a panic!
Andy Cameron, Howling Laud, Flying
Brick, Emma Chapman, Captain Chaplington-Smythe, Johnny
Disco / Mike
It was the same team in the Town Hall
who ran the Manchester Central by-election in November
2012, so I was pleased to have easy access to them as
the Labour Party didn't dawdle in issuing the writ.
When the writ was issued on the 21st of January for
nominations in by the 28th it was immediately clear
that Howling would be unable to stand as he didn't get
back from holiday in Malta until the 30th!
Andy Cameron and John 'Horatio' Horner had been Counting
Agents at the Manchester Central by-election a year
before, and they suggested Captain Chaplington-Smythe
as the Loony candidate with their local pub The Crown
Inn as the headquarters for the campaign. On the 28th
January I dropped the kids off to nursery, drove up
and met Andy, we collected the register of electors
from the Town Hall, and went on to the The Crown. Andy
had been amazingly organised and a stream of nominators
flowed through the door and we had all our signatures,
and a couple of spare, by midday.
The Count was held in a very comfortable side room at
the GMex Centre and was a very civilised and pleasant
affair. The Labour candidate Mike
Kane looked tired but was friendly and enjoyed a
joke with The Captain. The Captain was carrying a small
plastic Darth Vader which made occasional profound utterances
such as "Your lack of faith disturbs me,"
which went down well with the journalists.
At the end of the night Howling and I went back to the
Britannia Hotel, and shared a can of lager with the
UKIP leadership, who were a lot more livelier at 3.30am
than me, what stamina!
27th Sep 2013 Loony Conference at The Pavilion, Matlock
My old friend Dale Rowles transformed The Pavillion
for the Steampunk and Loony 'Illuminati' There
was speculation that many of the steampunk enthuisiasts
would embrace Loony but in the event it was the
Loonys who went steampunk. I now have a lovely
pair of yellow and black goggles adorning my top
hat. Gripper & the Gurnards headlined on the
Friday night which was fun, and I think we played
well. I had to fix the wardrobe I borrowed from
the Fleet Arts Centre as we had a cabinet collapse
during the reshuffle on Saturday afternoon. It
was soon after the Cabinet Reshuffle that Dave
Savage appeared at The Fishpond. He attended Howlings
speech on a spacehopper and then disappeared again
as if transported by inter-dimensional portal.
At the same time Charin from Bradford briefly
materialised, it was great to see him, that was
my favourite by-election of all time.
Chinners, Howling, Mary, Sir Nos Da,
Dave Savage, Knigel Knapp, Lord Offa, Chris, Tony Davis
2nd May 2013 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at South Shields By-election
This was one of my finer efforts
at securing Howling a by-election.
I needn't have worried about by old
Jeep Cherokee making the trip as I
set off at half five in the morning,
it ate the motorway up. I arrived
at South Shields Town Hall at just
after nine on the 17th of April and
was collecting signatures by door
knocking at ten. The Lonnen was freezing
cold and enormous seagulls swooped
around my top hat. It took longer
than expected to collect the ten signatures
as many of the dwellings were furnished
but uninhabited. A sprightly ninety-year-old
ex-miner told me that a lot of them
were second homes 'for the benefits'.
I can't help wondering how many Lonnen's
are up and down the country. The senior
elections officer Joanne Gelson was
very helpful when I returned to the
Town Hall and I was out and back off
down the road by one o'clock and back
to Derbyshire by 4pm.
I hitched a lift with RU, Helen and
Guinness, their dog, for the election
night, a far more relaxing way to
travel. During the election run-up
the Guardian had published a critical
and unfair letter about UKIP written
by Toby Jug. I've always enjoyed UKIP's
company at by-elections and felt sad
about the frustration UKIP felt towards
us about it. Apart from this the night
was great fun, and exciting too, as
we all thought we might beat the Liberals,
Toby Jug, Hel 'n bak, Flying
Brick, Howlin Laud, RU Seerius, Cardinal
Max at the Temple Park Leisure Centre
28th Feb 2013 Counting Agent
for Howling Laud at Eastleigh By-election
Eastleigh is an easy train ride from
Derby and the Wagon Works, our headquarters,
was right opposite the railway station.
There was a very diverse crowd of
political campaigners in the pub including
a researcher for Elizabeth Truss.
It was a big night with a lot of media
interest, we hung out with UKIP, the
Wessex Regionalists, Christian and
Peace parties. At the end of the night
all the candidates were given the
chance for a speech by the Returning
Officer and Howling sang 'Mack the
I think we were all a bit surprised
to be beaten by the 'Beer, Fags &
Crumpets' Party but I guess that's
the rough and tumble of politics.
Flying Brick (wearing new
hat), David, Kirsten, Sue Sneden, Damon
Heritage, Alan Sneden, Howlin Laud, Toby
15th Nov 2012 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at Manchester Central By-election
I had a sinking feeling looking through
the electoral register at 11am on the 30th
of October. I was sitting in The Smithfield
Hotel with Peter Hinchliffe, a journalist
and blogger from Rochdale. I couldn't make
sense of the register for the surrounding
area or even find any local roads. I truly
believed, for the first time, that I would
not be able to find the nominations before
my appointment at the Council Offices at 3:00pm
later that day.
Over the years I have learnt that older folk
are far more willing to nominate a loony so
I asked Peter to 'take me to the pensioners'.
He drove me to Romney Street in Moston where
I collected all the signitures, in drizzle,
by knocking on doors in about twenty minutes,
a record for me I think!
Against our expectations the count in the
G-Mex Centre was a subdued and dismal occasion
and I left and lost my hat in a taxi when
we returned to The Smithfield in the early
hours of the morning.
29th Sep 2012 Loony Conference
at The White Hart Hotel, Uttoxeter
We were invited to run our conference
at The White Hart in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
by Jade and her partner who had moved
there after managing our previous
venue The Links Hotel, Fleet, Hampshire.
In between inviting us and our conference
in September, however, they were moved
to manage another hotel back in the
home counties so we never saw them!
On the Friday night I was on bass
with Horse on drums, Gripper on guitar
and Nick Davis singing in our band
and the Gurnards. Dale Rowles
finished the night with his steampunk
BB Black Dog. Dale organised our
2013 Loony party conference at The
Pav, Matlock Bath.
Loony Party parliamentary
candidates - Howling Laud, Tony Davis, Nigel
Knapp, Baron Von Thunderclap, Lord Offa,
RU Seerius, Mark Beech, Flying Brick
30th Jul 2012 Sam 'Thing death
I had known Sam since the mid nineties,
he was a great guy an a good friend. He stood
for Amber Valley in the 2010 General Election
and came to numerous by-elections as a Counting
Agent. He died from a heart attack in Belgium,
driving back from watching one of his favourite
bands 'A' playing at the Greenville festival
29th Mar 2012 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Bradford West By-election
Charin Slaphead Singh and William
Wagstaff made Bradford West an exceptionally
fine by-election. Charin is an IT
wizard and is the owner of Art
of Technology, he was Wild Willi
Beckett's Electoral Agent when Wild
Willi stood for the Loony Party in
Bradford during the 1980's. William
Wagstaff is the landlord and owner
of our headquarters The New Beehive,
171, Westgate, BD1 3AA. Charin contacted
Howling before the by-election and
I met him at The New Inn on the 13th
March immediately after picking up
the nomination papers from the Town
Charin is an amazing guy and opted
to drive me around Bradford to various
friends' houses and places of work
to collect signatures. My Dad is from
the Yorkshire Dales so it was great
to see the city. One of our nomination
signatures was from Charin's solicitor!
Howling spent three weeks campaigning
from his base at The New Inn so when
Sam'Thing and I turned up for the
election night he assured us of success
over George Galloway.
There was an electric atmosphere as
we entered the Richard Dunn Sports
Centre. Charin organised a serenade
to George as he entered the hall and
George spent the rest of the night
avoiding us! What a great night.
5th May 2011 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Leicester South By-election
This was the second time I had been
the Election Agent in Leicester South,
the first time had been for RU Seerius
in 2004. I found most of the nominations
fairly quickly by standing outside
the Post Office in Aylestone.
The count was held late afternoon
on Friday, which was the day after
the election. It was held on the first
floor in a room with a very low ceiling
at the Rugby Club. I had trouble wearing
my hat. We had a good group of counting
agents including Chris
Fender Black, the photo was taken
outside the rugby club main entrance.
3rd Mar 2011 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Barnsley Central By-election
Barnsley is a nice easy drive up
the M1 for me. The Barnsley Electortal
Offices were in a inconspicuous, run
down office block, at Acorn Phase
3 Industrial Estate, Grindthorpe.
My SatNav found it easily but I couldn't
believe it had found the correct address.
The count was held at the Metrodome
and was exceptional for having a bar
where we all enjoyed quaffing a few
ales with the UKIP leadership.
Howling Laud, Nigel Farage,
Tony Davis & local loony Tom Dean
14th Jan 2011 Entrant in Britain's Got
On 14th Jan
2011 I performed with nine ladies, including
my wife Lizzie, in front of three celebrity
judges on the Opera House stage in Manchester.
This was after just three hours sleep
as I had spent the previous night at
the Oldham by-election count.
In early 2010, after many years
of inactivity, Hot Pot Theatre restarted
the synchronised supermarket shopping
trolley routine with the intention
of applying to Britain's Got Talent.
During the summer we waltzed through 'Moon
River' at Belper music festival (see photo)
and at Maggie Braley's birthday party at the
rugby club. Maggie is the visionary of the
group and had conceived the trolley dance
in 1999 when we performed caberet and pantomimes
at the Fleet Arts centre.
I recorded then sent them the
Moon River showreel and a promotional
flyer compiled by Maggie, with the application,
to the TV show in November. Adam O'Neill phoned
from BGT to say we had by-passed the initial
round and were selected to go on stage in
We were asked to arrive at the Museum of Science
and Industry, in Manchester, at 9:00am. I
stayed close by at the Hôtel Campanile
having driven there at 4am from the election
in Oldham. I was in black tie as I walked
to the Museum, which was quite different from
the loony attire I had been wearing a few
hours earlier. The trolleys had been safely
delivered in Nick's van and we all met and
were all ready for action. We then waited
for hours in a holding area, in an upper floor
of the Museum, which was not dissimilar to
an bucket-jet airport lounge while a dog and
Sailor Pig attracted most of the BGT show
cameras. It was an interesting place, with
a curious mix of people, most were young some
were old, a lot had delusional hopes of success
and then there were a few who were just there
for a laugh. There were quite a number who
were obviously BGT cannon fodder, purely invited
to be publicaly humiliated. When as a group
we started to see them we began to worry about
which catagory we fell into.
At about 3pm we were whisked by minibus
to the Opera House and were led through
a labyrinth of stairs and corridors
deep into its bowels and directly
under the stage. This was a disturbing
place as the cacophonic 'No' buzzers
and deafening baying of the crowd
left no illusion to the bear pit we
were about to enter.
Our turn was chaotic, we had to follow
the rules and walk on stage to present
our act. We had chosen Haydee and
she spoke eloquently to the judges.
After we had walked off stage it
took us time to help the ladies into
the trolleys. We were only ready to
perform after Ant and Dec had helped
us lift the trolleys over some large
electrical cables. It probably took
sixty seconds, which was too long
for the the crowded Manchester Opera
House, so we rolled onto the stage
to the thunderous sound of an angry
audience stamping its feet.
Our syncronised dance to 'Moon River'
by Henry Mancini is a slow and ethereal
waltz and the BGT friday afternoon
audience were truculent and feisty.
The foot stomping that started as
we were preparing behind the curtains
swiftly became a brutal chant of "OFF
OFF OFF" as soon as we were on
stage. Michael Mcintyre buzzed us
a big red X
however Amanda Holden and David Hasselhoff
let us perform our piece and after
we had finished had clearly enjoyed
our act. In the broadcasted "producer's
cut" the audience's foot stomping
and baying were removed and replaced
with warm enthusiastic applause.
I had spoken about my Britain's
Got Talent entry in the interview with Tony
Livesey on Radio 5 Live the previous night
at the by-election in Oldham. The Sun printed
article<< in Colin Robertson's TV
Biz on the following day Saturday 15th January.
is the same article published online.
We were voted through to the next round so
we received an A4 sheet >>BGT
The Next Stage<<. We were encouraged
through sporadic phone calls to prepare another
'audition piece' and led to believe we were
likely to perform it in front of the judges
in London. Unfortunately our act hit the editing
room floor and we were never given the opportunity
to perform Space.
The Sun made >>another
story<< when we were dropped which
was funny although disheartening for the rest
of the group. I was somewhat 'pimped-up' by
the Sun. This
is the same article published online.
Lizzie's version of the events!
We had skirted the tedious first round,
attended by more mundane and less organised
acts, by sending in a DVD of Moon River
- now also placed on
You Tube for our growing fan base's
pleasure. As such we were escalated to the
dizzy heights of performing in the Manchester
Opera House, in front of a live, and somewhat
fiesty audience as well as the 3 judges
in January. We arrived eager and champing
at the shoppng trolley bit, but were forced
like the seemingly hundreds of other acts
to wait around for most of the day doing;
very little. Whilst "Penny the magic
card trick performing dog", "Sailor
Pig" and various Middle Aged clog dancing
"performers" seemed to attract
most of the pre-performance interview time
and limelight! Our time eventually came
however and despite some shockingly misleading
and again shambolic stage management and
direction, performed Moon River for the
first time, on stage, to the nation. During
this majestic and ethereal revelation, the
less discerning members of the audience
(from now on to be referred to as the "baying
mob") seemed to tire and even disapprove
of our talents and, the least discerning
of the judges "MM"- apparently
a well known and even amusing comedian-
even had the nerve to "buzz" us
a no!!! Undaunted however and as majestic
as ever we continued and finished the performance
with an artistic flourish, lacking in most,
well all of the other acts.
The two remaining judges, clearly of a far
greater calibre and talent recognising ability
were then to judge us. The lovely Amanda
Holden said despite SOME of the crowd's
reaction she had thoroughly enjoyed our
act and gave us an unequivocal YES!!! Then
the legendary David Haselhoff (better known
to those of my generation as Michael Knight)
had the casting vote. There was some delay
in his answer and remarks to the tone of
"Oh my God this is truly why I came
to England", but after a few winks
from the bathing suited beauties, of course,
how could he have given us anything other
than; a YES!!!! And so; we thought, according
to the so called "rules" we were
THROUGH to the next round. >>Certificate
we received<< We then rethought and restruitured our
second and entirely different, quicker paced,
more vibrant, more fantastical and altogether
more spacey routine, again thanks largely
to the genius of Maggie. The rest of the
story is not a happy one. Despite being
ready for launch on various of the initial
dates set for the next round in London,
when it came to 3 days before the final
date in April we were contacted and told
we were out. As our fans can see, if not
on national TV in the coming weeks, but
on You tube and this website, the fact that
we were voted out from our Moon River performance
is perhaps only second in tragic nature
to our not being able to perform "Space"
in front of the judges , again a live audience,
the nation, and ultimately the Queen. Luckily
perhaps she, the Queen, can get some solace
from a happily married off grandson in view
of being deprived the most unusual, beautiful
and imaginative performance at the Royal
Variety show this summer, perhaps...
History of HotPot and trolley dancing
We started in 1999 as a community arts theatre
group to continue the tradition of the Fleet
Arts annual panto. Nobody can remember if
there was a 'eureka' moment when someone
in HotPot thought of 'synchronised supermarket
shopping trolley dancing', or whether it
was collectively invented, but the visionary
of our theatre group was Maggie Braley and
there is no doubt it is, and we are, a figment
of Maggie's imagination. The trolley dances
were first performed in a night of Cabaret
at Fleet Arts in March 1999. We asked for
and were lent the trolleys by Safeway supermarket
who have since been swallowed by Morrisons.
They were robust trolleys and seemed to
embrace their new life, frequently displaying
determination to take the team in their
own unique direction.
We received funding in 1999 from East Midlands
Arts towards "Bugs Away", where
the 'Millennium Bug', villainously played
by Haydee, poured green goo into Santa's
pixie making machine. We followed this the
next year with the sequel 'Grot around the
Clock' and the Millennium Bug and her disgusting
sidekick Grotkins messed with Father Time
and his Great Universal Clock. Maggie left
the group to work full time for Junction
29 Nell and I mostly co-wrote the final
Panto called "Groundfarce" in
2001. The plot centred around the evil Alan
Titbog and his dastardly cohort Cillerella
and their conspiracy to deck the Secret
Garden. After Groundfarce we ran out of
steam and stored the trolleys and Panto
props deep within the Fleet Arts cellars
where they remained until 2009.
13th Jan 2011 Candidate in the Oldham
East & Saddleworth By-election
Oldham was the second time I had
stood in a by-election. Howling couldn't
do it as he was taking his annual
leave in Malta.
All my nominations came from regulars
at the Hanging Gate, Diggle. the landlord
Dave Bradbury kindly pointed them
out in the electoral register of the
surrounding streets. I had picked
the register up on the 20th of December
2010 at 10:30am, been first through
his doors later that morning and by
midday was strolling around stone
terraces surrounded by open views
of the moorlands collecting signatures.
At 3:00pm I handed my completed papers
in to Justine at Oldham Council and
at the same time met the Labour Party
Electoral Agent and Paul
Nuttall the candidate for UKIP,
who were also handing in theirs. My
main policy at this election was 'to
introduce soft furnishings to the
elections reception in the Oldham
Civic Centre' as it was one of the
bleakest rooms I've ever seen
Photo taken at the count
with, Helen 'Bak, The Flying Brick, SamThing,
Tony Davis, Lord and Lady Tourette's, RU
I was interviewed on the 10th of January
in the Uppermill Park by Claire Ashworth
who had also interviewed me three years
earlier when I stood at Crewe. I was just
recovering from a cold and the weather was
perishing. It's a good thing the footage
has disappeared as I looked shifty and like
a corpse. Claire interviewed Militant
Elvis at the same time, we were a charmless
I came seventh polling 145 votes beating
the English Democrats, Pirate, and Bus-Pass
4th Jul 2010 Mad Cow Girl's death
I don't fully understand why Roz decided
to take her own life but she had been suffering
with depression for a long time. She had suggested
she was thinking of suicide to me and others
over the course of the previous couple of
years, but it is a hard subject to engage
with in conversation. She was in debt and
told me she was declared bankrupt soon after
the Haltemprice election and had also left
her job as an Intesive care nurse on mental
health grounds. She had posted this explanation
on her website >>The
Final Straw<< in March 2009.
I drove with RU to Roz's funeral which was
at 11:00am on Friday the16th of July at Sunderland
Crematorium. Afterwards we went to the wake
at her friend Jean's house, where Roz had
been a lodger in her attic. Dennis Warner,
Roz's brother attended and was very good company.
He cycles great distances to remote places.
There was also a friendly and eccentric group
from the 2CV owners club.
Swim down into the darker depths of family
history and you find little remains of those
who have gone. Much of the pleasure of being
in the Loony Party, for me, is the pure and
lazy narcissim of easy publicity. I hope in
two or three hundred years there may be a
little left to be still found of me embedded
in the Loony vaults for one of my descendants
to discover. This might be over optimistic
as I see that Roz's story seems to be fading
fast, her website has already vanished and
there is no credible archive.
Jean asked Neil Cook to take charge of Roz's
computer and he kindly sent me the security
details for www.omrlp.com
which had been given to her by Boney in October
6th May 2010 General Election
I was interviewed with RU on the
19th Apr 2010, by German reporter
Alexei Makartsev from the 'Rheinische
Post' at The Old Kings Head, Belper.
A few days later I was interviewed
with RU Seerius and Sam 'Thing also
in the Kings Head, by Radio Derby
Link to the audio of the interview<<
The three candidates in
Derbyshire Sam 'Thing, RU Seerius &
Flying Brick outside The Old Kings Head,
Belper before we went to our respective
The Party Conference at The Raven Hotel,
Fleet had none other than headlining guest
Adam Ant with a legendary performance
of all his classics, an incredible night.
19th Aug 2009 Bought the domain name
I bid and bought the domain name www.loonyparty.com
in an online auction by NameJet for $261-
(£164.08) using party funds.
23rd Jul 2009 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Norwich North By-election
The Norwich North by-election was
at a hectic time for me as I was married
to Lizzie in Kirk
Ireton Church five days before
on the 18th of July. I drove to Norwich
first thing in the morning on the
7th of July, arriving at the Elections
office in Thorpe St Andrew to pick
up the nomination papers when they
were opening. When you're trying to
collect signatures which have to tally
with the electoral register it's far
easier to focus on a small area and
pull out the small parts of the register
associated with that area, in this
instance I got all my signatures from
HL2 and HK2 which were drinkers and
their friends from pubs along Yarmouth
On the Norwich by-election hustings
Howling Laud was filmed by author
David Lalé for his, as yet,
unreleased documentary of the Loony
The count was held at 9:00am on Friday
morning, the day after polling, in
a fabulous beautifully draped tent,
with chandeliers. It was at the Royal
Norfolk Showground and called 'Walstans
Hall'. This was the first time I had
attended a count in the broad light
of day, it made a refreshing change,
as I wasn't tired. During the count
I wandered outside into the sunshine
where I walked up to and introduced
myself to Theresa May who was sitting
on her own, with paperwork, at an
outside table. She looked a bit concerned
as I approached her so I mentioned
a mutual acquaintance who I had been
at college with. After establishing
that I wasn't an axe murder and acknowledging
me she dropped her head down and continued
with her work.
Imwyeddon, Howling and I appeared
as one of the Wall Street Journal's
of the day'.
18th Jul 2009 Marriage to
I only put my Loony Hat on briefly
during speeches on the lawn of The
Beehive to deliver a poem:
There was a Lizzie Flat Five
The most beautiful girl alive
Sent me in a spin
Truby stepped in
And now we're wed, and at the Beehive
Richard Delves, Matt Connell,
The Flying Brick, Lizzie, Robin Delves,
Janet Delves, Top Hat, Fraggle, ?
4th Oct 2008 Boney's contining refusal
to rescind control of www.omrlp.com
By October 2008 everyone in the Loony Party
were fed up of Boney's continuing control
of our domain name www.omrlp.com. I had spoken
to her a couple of times and written emails
requesting that she release the access details
but she was adamant in her refusal to do so
and worse had posted this page on the website.
After consulting Howling and other Loony notables
I opted to go for a heavier approach and sent
her this letter >>Letter
to Boney 4th Oct 2008<<
It did the trick and Boney released the username
and password details to Roz who pointed the
domain to our new webspace although she refused
to give the access details to any of the rest
10th Jul 2008 Election Agent for Mad
Cow Girl at the Haltemprice & Holden By-election
By-elections are like buses; you don't get
one for ages then they all arrive at once.
The week before I went to support Bananaman
at Henley I drove north to Hull. I was the
Election Agent for Mad Cow Girl in the Haltemprice
& Holden by-election and I spent a few
hours in the morning and early afternoon collecting
nomination signatures in Cottingham. This
was followed by a dash to the council offices
in Beverley where I kept an appointment to
submit Mad Cow Girl's nominations and the
five hundred pounds in cash.
Roz surprised all the rest of the Loony Party's
active membership by opposing David Davis
with a platform of support for the governments
proposed bill of forty-two day detention.
There was a semblance of political debate
within the party, for the only time I can
remember, which gently concluded with a collective
'what the hell' and a shrug of the shoulders.
There was a record of twenty-six candidates
standing so the Loonys along with the other
candidates were only allocated two counting
agents. Roz and I were allowed a partner each
so Howling came as Roz's partner and I took
Yvonne Elwood who was Lord Sutch's partner.
The two counting agents were Bananaman and
Eddie Vee the Yorkshire Elvis.
The count was at the Haltemprice Leisure Centre
so we all met up at 'The Beech Tree', which
was conveniently over the road. David Bishop
Elvis, who was also a candidate, met us
for a drink and there was tension between
him and our Elvis from the start. Eddie Vee
was on fire and fully attired as Las Vegas
Elvis in his sequined and flared jumpsuit,
whereas Militant Elvis was in black leathers
and not really enjoying himself.
All the photos and televised footage in the
name of Militant Elvis at the count were of
our Elvis Eddie Vee who completely usurped
him and stole the show.
Later in the night I cornered David
Icke in the restaurant upstairs and tried
to introduce myself but he took one look at
me and ran away, Howling told me that he probably
thought I was an alien lizard. This by-election
was the last time Roz had any major involvement
in the Loony Party.
26th June 2008 Counting Agent at the
The Loony Party's keenest and most energetic
campaigner 'Top Cat' TC Owen threw his large
banana shaped hat into the ring for Henley.
We stayed at The Black Horse Hotel in Thame.
The night of the count was enlivened by the
Fur Play Party who provided several cases
of wine in the reception area of the Counting
22nd May 2008 Candidate in the Crewe
& Nantwich By-election
Crewe & Nantwich was my first
by-election, I was very pleased when
Howling agreed to let me stand as
I was certain about winning this seat
for the Loonys. The highlight of my
campaign was my interview with Claire
Ashforth where she interviewed me
and some of the other candidates including
Garrett who made the election
and night of the count wonderfully
>>Link to BBC news item 'Parties
in final by-election push'<<
At the end of the night I obediently
stood in the position I was directed
to on stage. I looked across to see
Howling with a cheeky grin hiding
behind the curtain and holding his
finger "shhh" across his
mouth. Sure enough the old goat jumped
onto stage at the declaration to grip
the winning candidate's hand, unstoppable,
a master at his game!
page dedicated to this by-election
states I have legally changed my name
to 'The Flying Brick', I've never
done changed my name by deed poll,
I'm honoured they are mixing me up
with RU Seerius who has.
I came seventh out of ten beating
an independent, Cut Tax on Diesel
and Petrol, and Gemma Garret.
Imwyeddon, Sam Thing, Madam
Pomona, Howling, Flying Brick, Mad Cow Girl
and Bananaman in 'The Shakespeare', Nantwich,
shortly before attending the count
September 2007 Loony Party Conference
at the Ommaroo Hotel in Jersey
There is a large Loony fraternity
in Jersey led by The Jersey Flyer,
they organised the 2007 Loony party
Conference which they advertised as
the '2008 Conference' to confuse the
historians. The conference was very
well attended with most flying in
but some like Boney, Stan, Dave Savage
and the band coming across on the
ferry. There was an edgy atmosphere
as Boney was being deliberately rude
to as many people as possible, which
left Stan, and Dave looking isolated
Boney's exit from the Loony Party
was truly bewildering; she hit the
large red self-destruct button and
seamlessly went from party matriarch
to party pariah. I believe she over
did it and burnt out.
The highlight for me was my first
ever cabinet reshuffle. It was held
at its usual time of Saturday afternoon
on the magnificent Havre de Pas seafront,
in the photo are Howling and the Jersey
Flyer and his exceptionally fine cabinet,
which we all shuffled about in.
There was a fairly dark mood in the
evening when Dave and the Savages
played in the large basement room
of the Ommaroo, it was the last gig
they played for the Loony Party.
19th July 2007 Counting Agent at the
When Tony Blair stood down to let his old
chum Gordon Brown have a turn as Prime Minister
there was a lot of excitement in Loony circles.
We expected the Sedgefield electorate to embrace
New Loony with the leaving of New Labour.
I drove to Sedgefield to help Mad Cow Girl,
who was Howling's Election Agent, and Boney
find the nominations, which turned out harder
than anticipated. Roz and Boney had been great
friends for a long time and Roz was finding
Boney's fallout with Howling and much of the
rest of the Party depressing.
A few weeks later the count was a very sombre
affair with no Labour 'big guns' turning out
on the night and a very heavy police presence.
I was also horribly sober as the only bar
within walking distance closed as soon as
I turned up! The only thing notable I remember
of the night was meeting Norman
Scarth and reading the crazy leaflet he
gave me >>Scanned
11th July 2007 Appointed Loony Treasurer
Howling had to fill a lot of vacancies during
2007. Baron von Thunderclap took the membership
with Chinners doing the merchandise and RU
Seerius became the webmaster.
The Electoral Commission requires that the
Treasurer is their main point of contact.
Howling originally registered William Buxton
as Party Treasurer but I got the job when
William declared he was moving to Russia.
I was registered as Treasurer on the 11th
of July 2007.
In May 2007 Mel Staniforth resigned as Deputy
Leader, Party Secretary and Treasurer. This
was the last membership letter she sent out
Boney had increasingly run the Party since
Lord Sutch died. Howling, Boney and Roz (Mad
Cow Girl) fought for, and retained control
of the Party from Chris Screwy Driver's leadership
challenge in 1999. At that time Boney and
Roz divided the administration between themselves,
Boney looked after the membership and merchandise
and Roz was treasurer, party secretary and
ran the website. While she was treasurer Roz
bought the www.omrlp.com domain name and wrote
the constitution, but within a couple of years
she suffered from stress and had to resign.
She gave control of the domain name and all
the treasurer paperwork to Boney driving down
to Holmfirth from Sunderland in her 2CV in
For the six years between 2001 and 2007 Boney
lived and breathed the Loony Party, she kept
the membership at record highs, oversaw the
production of the best T-Shirt designs by
Dave Savage, liased with the Electoral Commission
filling in expense forms and cajoled Stuart
Estell 'The Flying Pasty' into creating a
modern website. In short she efficiently administered
and ran the party. Sometime in 2006 she decided
that it was time for her to be leader and
repeatedly told Howling she expected him to
step aside, which he did not feel was necessary.
I suspect that most, if not all, Loony Party
members are loyal to Howling as leader, as
he is friendly, consensual and an excellent
public speaker with an uncanny talent for
In the first half of 2007 Boney rang a lot
of Party members in an unsuccessful attempt
to instigate a mass defection to Captain Sensible's
Party. In the end the only people that
went with her were her husband Stan who is
the drummer in The Savages, Dave Savage and
Stuart Estell the webmaster at that time.
29th June 2006 Counting Agent at the
I was one of Howling's
'Counting Agents' in his bid for parliament
in the Gwent By-election, we stayed
at the Ebbwvale Hotel in Abergavenny.
Willi Beckett and I did a lot of campaigning
while being driven about by Mad Cow
Girl in her 2CV "Boat Voony - The
Dyslexic Manicfesto!" Willi died
on the 2nd March 2007. At the same time
Johnny Cartwright aka Kernel Coco Bean
stood in the Bromley and Chislehurst
5th May 2005 Candidate in the West Derbyshire
I have confused feelings about standing
in the 2005 election for West Derbyshire,
my partner Lynne (Lady Constance D'Cavelier)
had suffered back-ache over the first
half of the previous year and in the
autumn of 2004 was diagnosed with
cancer. The first months of 2005 were
a very emotional time with Lynne going
in and out of palliative care. Standing
for the Loony Party seemed completely
unimportant but Lynne asked me to
do it and it was a distraction.
I was interviewed at the Medical Centre
on Compton St., Ashbourne by Marsha
Ramroop on Andy Whittakers Radio show
on Radio Derby 18th Apr 2005.
>>Link to audio of my Radio
interview with 18th Apr<<
On 29th Apr 2005 I was joined on my
hustings around Ashbourne by Claire,
David & Tom - political students
at Kingshurst College, Birmingham.
I introduced them to my arch enemy
Martin Kylsun 'The Count' who suggested
a drink . >>Link
to audio of my Interview with Kingshurst<<
Before the count at Wirksworth leisure
centre we were joined by the 'Count's'
counting agents for some excellent
organic pizza at Mimmo's, West Derbyshire's
finest Italian restaurant.
Mimmo, Imwi'edon, Flying
Brick, Peter, Lady Table Manners, Lord &
Lady Tourettes, Dale Rowles, Robin 'Ships
Ahoy' Delves in the Counting Hall at Wirksworth
30th Sep 2004 Election Agent for Howling
Laud at the Hartlepool By-election
Feeling rather smug at how I'd organised
the Leicester by-election I was keen
to adventure north when the Hartlepool
by-election was declared.
I was lucky to book myself into the
Melbourne Hotel at 16, Stockton Road,
Hartlepool as it was owned and run
by a natural Loony George 'Jedediah
Headbanger' Stuart. When I told him
I was in Hartlepool as Howling's 'Election
Agent' he enthusiastically found me
all ten nominators, most of whom came
to the Melbourne Hotel to sign the
Nomination Paper while I was having
When I returned to Hartlepool three
weeks later Howling was conducting
his campaign from aloft George's Fire
Engine closely followed by Mad Cow
Girl in her yellow 2CV with a medley
of Sutches campaigning songs blaring
from speakers perched on her bonnet.
In early evening most of the Loonys
met up in the closest pub to the Counting
Hall where there were also a lot of
Fathers 4 Justice dressed up in super-hero
At the end of the count Fathers 4
Justice candidate Peter Watson made
the Liberal candidate Jody Dunn cry
when he threw purple dye over her
because she was a family lawyer. I've
always felt suspicious about them
since then. The night closed with
Carroll giving a nice speech and
?, Mad Cow Girl, Johnny
Morris, ?, Howling. ?, ?, Dale Rowles, RU
Seerius & Jedidiah Headbanger at the
Aug 2004 Bonsal International
I changed my tactics in 2004 and
held a hen races at Kirk Ireton village
fête to find a champion. Dorothy,
a good looking, and strong, Rhode
Island Red won the Kirk Ireton races
but put in a very disppointing form
at the International Bonsal event
coming third in the preliminaries.
I had recently returned from Nepal
where my cousin Greg was working in
the British embassy. His wife Janice
bought me a hen hat in Durbar Square,
Kathmandu. This hat made it into both
the 'Matlock Mercury' and 'Derbyshire
issue of The Derbyshire Life<<
15th Jul 2004 Election Agent for RU Seerius
at the Leicester South By-election
I was RU's Election Agent at Leicester South
and 30th Jun drove to the Council Offices
in Leicester, collected the 'Register of Electors'
and set off into the Constituency to find
It was the first time I had looked for a 'Proposer'
a 'Seconder', a further eight signatures of
registered voters and a willing local 'Agents
Office' address outside my home area and it
was a struggle. Naively I started in very
down-trodden areas and eventually mid-afternoon
found Aylestone, a civilised neighbourhood
where the locals were delighted to nominate
a Loony candidate.
When I submitted the completed forms late
in the afternoon the Returning Officer Tom
Stephenson found that one of the nominating
signatures although on the printed register
wasn't on the updated computer version and
had to be discounted. He kindly advised me,
quite correctly, to try The Vaults for another
supporter. It was a short distance from council
offices and I was sorry that I had to leave
this pub quickly and rush straight back with
my completed paperwork.
RU had an interview with Richard
Scotsman on Central TV and I was invited
along to display my shouting skills.
This photo on the right
was taken in the nearest pub to 'Saffron
Lane Sports Centre' just before we went
to The count. The Loonys in this photo
are: from the left, Howling Laud, seated
by him my late wife Lady Constance D'Cavelier
"but you can call me Bedspread".
The late 'Sam Thing' at the front, Dale
Rowles at the back with is Derby City
hat on. I am at the back holding a "say
no to pointless placards" placard.
In the middle is Lady Sew and Sew, her
husband Lord Horrachio at the back,
RU looking dapper in his top hat and
shades and a random bloke we met in
the pub wearing my hen racing hat.
My most memorable recollection from the
night of the count was shaking the hand of
the man who had shook Saddam
Hussein's hand, George
Galloway. He was there encouraging his
'Respect' candidate a rather wide eyed and
youthful asian lady.
When I went to George outside the hall and
shook his hand he looked at me keenly and
asked if I "was a supporter"? I
said "no, but they are!" pointing
to Sam and Dale who were walking vigourously
towards us. They must have looked intimidating
as he turned and briskly fled.
Sep 2003 Counting Agent at the Brent
The next by-election was at Brent
East where I was quite drunk at the count.
My previous three experiences of attending
counts were that you needed to stock up in
the pub as the counts were dry. This was not
the case with Brent East. We had a few drinks
in the pub only to later make the happy discovery
of a bar at the count! Towards the end of
the evening I upset
The comedy terrorist.
We stayed at Adelphi Hotel where I regaled
Boney and Stan about my recent accident plummeting
from the South African sky and my bedridden
rest while my broken pelvis healed. Stan now
refers to me as 'Cathiter man' due to one
of the many indignitys during that seven week
Aug 2003 Bonsal International
This photograph was published in
The Matlock Mercury. It catches me
putting 'Tikka' from Richards' Belper
Lane End racing stable through her
racing debut at Bonsal International
Hen Racing. Tikka was quick off the
mark, but sadly lost interest shortly
before the finishing line. Here I
am supporting my hen while the two
children with competing hens aren't
showing a lot of interest. The camera
angle gives it a funny edge as it
looks like I'm leaning and pushing
everyone else out! I was incorrectly
called Dave Allen in this article
and hoped to be called O'Mahony in
Feb 2002 Counting Agent at the Ogmore
Boney rang asking if I would like
to go to the Ogmore
by-election. I had just finished
a building project in Wirksworth converting
13, St John St, in Wirksworth into
2 flats and a curry shop so for the
first time in ages I had the time
and the money to afford a holiday.
Leslie Edwards aka 'Guitar Fender'
had been a school teacher and was
our candidate in Ogmore, he told RU
'I wasn't well, but I'm better now'.
He was sponsored by 'the man who is
Del Monte'. Guitar Fender was a wonderful
chap and I had a great time for a
couple of days campaigning with him,
RU, Boney, Stan and Howling. At the
count we met 'Captain
I must have been influenced with meeting
'the man who is Del Monte' and Captain
Beeny as two months later in April
I was an orange octopuss in 'Ground
Farce' a Pantomime at Fleet Arts in
I was now hooked on by-elections!
2001 Loony Conference at
I was very excited about attending the
2001 Party Conference. There were a number
of reasons, firstly I had just discreetly
stood in another election, secondly the
headquarters had moved to the home counties
but thirdly, and by far the most important,
I was aware that the Bishop had left the
Party as he was part of the Kent lot.
This meant that I was the 'tallest loony',
I remember driving down the motorway to
Yately in my Toyota Tercel going "I'm
gonna be the tallest loony, I'm gonna be
the tallest loony" and laughing thinking
for the the first time in my life I was
going to achieve something.
I walked into the bar, ordered a late afternoon
drink, and met, for the first time, Johnny
Cartwright. I was keen to ask when the 'tallest
loony' competition was? His answer appeared
initially to be cryptic but was brutaly
to the point. 'Tallest Loony? they don't
bother with that any more'.
"What do you mean? Why-ever not? The
Bishops' gone, here I am tallest Loony,
I demand a competition."
John Cartwright, looked up at me perplexed
"Lady Penelope, she's the tallest loony".
My first conversation with John was the
first and only time I've not believed him.
Howling was very welcoming and told me I
was a 'Veteran Loony' as I had now stood
A few months after the 2001 Conference
I gatecrashed Philip Mark's Party on New
Years Eve and met Lynne who was dressed
as a space cadet. She later found her true
identity as Lady Constance D'Cavelier "but
you can call me Bedspread".
7th June 2001 Candidate in the West Derbyshire
I was sad when Lord Sutch's died
in 1999 although I only met him once.
The only contact I had with the Party,
between General Elections, was when
I had been rung by Boney inviting
me to the funeral in London. I was
too daunted to go. Lord Sutch committed
suicide on 16th June, which is Howling's
I was only moderately aware of the
struggle that followed between Screwy
Driver leading the Kent lot and Howling,
Boney and Roz (Mad Cow Girl) for control
of the Party.
I have since been told by Roz that
Screwy Driver used to give a ten percent
discount to customers at his Ironmongers
on the Isle of Sheppey for members
of the Loony Party. However he rarely,
if ever, passed on the £10-
membership fee to The Golden Lion
and kept the membership list close
to his chest. Roz said that a bus
load of Kent Loony Members stormed
the September 1999 conference at The
Golden Lion in support of Screwy's
leadership bid, but were successfully
I told the Holly Bush that there wasn't
going to be a repeat of the mayhem at the
count and so only four of us attended. This
was a fortunate decision as there were some
very large police at the count who weren't
to be taking any nonsense. Mr Wheatcroft was
relieved with our relitively sober state.
Ironically for me 2001 was by far the lowest
profile but highest scoring Election. I polled
472 votes, which as of 2016, is still my voting
record. This is a photo of me and Patrick
McLoughlin taken at the 2001 count.
1997 Loony Conference at Ashburton and
the time I met Lord Sutch
I rang and apologised to Howling about
the events of the count, he told me that
'The Loonys don't do that' and was clearly
disappointed, but he was also insistant
that I should attend the conference.
Months later on a Friday morning I drove
down to The Golden Lion in Ashburton and
set up my large tent next to the bottle
banks in the pub car park. There was a party
atmosphere when I walked in mid-evening
wearing my cloak and turban, Dave and The
Savages were playing. I was instantly spotted
by Howling who grabbed my arm and introduced
me to everyone including Lord Sutch who
was standing at the bar. Unfortunately I
have cocktail party hearing and a loud voice
and was a little surprised and nervous to
be talking so suddenly to the Legend. I
rather randomly told him that I had previously
Christchurch Wizard' and now that I'd
met him my life was complete, or words to
Lord Sutch was taken aback and awarded me
the Shadow Ministry of Fluorescent Dog Turds
on account of my huge silver turban, which
did look like a large fluorescent dog turd.
The hat is now back in the Fleet Arts wardrobe..
A 'Tallest Loony' competition was hastily
arranged and I was lined up in front of
the band equipment with Baron Von Thunderclap
and The Bishop who was clearly the winner.
The Bishop had the appearence of an undertaker
carrying a briefcase, I was told the next
day that he kept his life support in that
briefcase. At the end of the evening I had
too much to drink and upset an Ashburton
local and was helped back to my tent by
Boney and Stan, the next morning I found
a badge on my tent awarding me '**** of
the month' which I wore to breakfast.
The Isle of Sheppey Loony Party members,
who two years later were to try and take
over the party, were all having breakfast
that morning, Chris
"Screwy" Driver, his wife,
The Admiral and others were quite a presence.
At midday a large group of Loonys in regalia
went on a tour of Ashburton's pubs led by
Howling Laud. I was invited along and drank
orange and soda. Before we entered each
pub the Admiral would give a shrill 'Bosun
Call' on his whistle.
Later that night I met Dangermouse, who
was the Party Treasurer.
1997 Canmdidate in the West Derbyshire
In early 1997 I rang Howling for the second
time expecting and half hoping that there
was a Loony candidate standing in West Derbyshire.
When he said there was not, I asked him if
I could do it and he said 'yes'. The Loony
vetting procedure was complete.
I spoke to the Elections Office in Derbyshire
Dales District Council, they were very friendly
and helpful, I paid the £500 in cash
as required with nominations and JJ as Election
I needed something to wear in my new Loony
persona, so raided the fancy dress rails of
the Fleet Arts panto group, I wore a large
silver turban and a large braided cloak.
Initially I had no idea what to say until
driving along the A6 by Milford with Nick
Ellis in the passenger seat shouting through
my barely working old French megaphone. He
said a lot of nonsense then paused and shouted
'Abolish Gravity'. Ever since then 'Abolish
Gravity' has been my Shadow Ministry.
I had drunk for a number of years
at The Holly Bush, Makeney so it became
'Mission Control'. Many excellent
policies were written there some of
which were printable. Having no comprehension
of the 'gravitas' of the Election
Count I invited my friends from the
pub to be 'Counting Agents'. On 5th
May everyone met at the Holly Bush
a little bit too early in the evening
and the night started.
I now know having been involved in
numerous by-elections, that the early
start to the night was foolish. In
fact Howling Laud, who is an expert
in election night etiquette, always
starts the evening fast asleep, having
been in bed since the late afternoon.
He rises at nine'ish in the evening
to meet with his troops at an Indian
Restaurant. Refreshed, assembled and
fed we then meander to the Count via
a few hostelries that he has befriended
during the hustings.
Later in the evening our group moved
from The Holly Bush to The Red Lion
on The Green at Matlock, a short walk
to the counting Hall. Many of us had
run out of money when the pub called
time but Rob Lowe bought Eighty Pounds
of further refreshment which was then
staggered up the road to the count
at Sherwood Hall. The authorities
refused entry to the alcohol so we
set up a makeshift bar outside the
main entrance. The photo shows us
shortly later in the evening while
we were still behaving. I am wearing
my dressing gown for warmth.
Alison, Debs, Chris, Robbie Do and
Giles held themselves in a decent
fashion, and melted away when the
rest of us started to disintegrate
after this photo was taken.
JJ picked a thimble off the counting table
causing a whole ballot box to be recounted;
this was almost certainly the last straw
for the Returning Officer Mr Wheatcroft.
I had been mis-behaving by standing on chairs
in the hall and shouting "Vote Loony"
and Abolish Gravity". Rob Lowe's unfortunate
fall down the stairs from the upstairs balcony
completed the mayhem. He was in a Monks
habit and jettisoning alcopops and cans
of beer exploded after him. Rob has since
written his interpretation of the night
in his book 'A True British Eccentric'.
Scanned British Eccentric Page 46 &
47<< Looking back I am grateful for the lenient
and measured response from Mr Wheatcroft
and the doorman, who I believe was the Chief
Superintendent of Derbyshire. It's surprising
we didn't all get a ride in 'JJ's taxi'
to bed and breakfast at Chesterfield Police
Station. JJ amused himself for the night
by ringing the alarm bell and holding his
glass eye up to the viewing grill. The Officer
in charge was quite unsettled and repeatedly
searched his cell for the mysterious object.
JJ's finest trick in the Holly Bush was
to drop his eye into your beer, causing
mirth among your fellow drinkers but feelings
of nausea as you completed your pint.
The local papers let me off lightly The
Derby Telegraph with a small piece >>Scanned
Page<< and Belper News kindly
publishing my apology, their photo shows
Rob, JJ and me. Rob incorrectly gave his
name to the photographer as his friend Edward
Tomlinson, who he used to play squash with.
Edward wasn't too happy about it as he had
a good job with the Council. >>Scanned
The first time I voted and why I joined
the Loony Party
I think that the first time I voted
was in the European Election of 1994.
I can remember the excitement as I
walked to the Polling Station followed
by the dismay when I looked at the
polling card and found no Loony candidate
to vote for. Soon afterwards I went
to Derby Reference library where a
kindly librarian found me the Loony
Party phone number and address.
Howling picked up the phone, when
I began to complain about the lack
of a Loony candidate I was genuinely
surprised when he told me that the
only way I could vote Loony at the
next election was by standing myself.
I didn't make any decision to do so
at that time but the seed of political
activity was sown.
I am in this photo at the back in
'The Lost Slipper Caper' A Fleet Arts
panto Dec 1994. I painted the backdrop.
After the conversation with Howling I duly
sent him a letter and cheque for £10-.
Some considerable time later I received a
large envelope with an entirely disorganised
content including my membership card no. 594.
Years later I learnt that Howling required
staff at the Golden Lion to compile membership
packs when it was quiet behind the bar. He
or she would scoop leaflets and loony rubbish
from behind the bar into the pack, writing
a random number on the membership card. Here's
Manifesto for General election 1992' and
Where I was in the General Elections
of 1987 & 1992
The next UK General Election was
on the 9th April 1992. I was 27 years
old, in New Zealand and working at
Van Der Voort apple orchard in Ettrick.
I was there a long time and drank
a lot of home made beer, I can't remember
ever being aware there was an election
I didn't vote in the General Election
on 11th June 1987, I was 22 years
old and in my final term at Cheltenham
Art College. This is a photo of me
trying to make up a show, super quick,
on the front lawn of Pitville Campus
just outside the bar in June 1987.
It failed to impress my art tutors
however: They awarded me the academic
pinnacle of a 3rd Class Honours in
Fine Art Painting.