It was quite apt who I chose to spend an afternoon with this week as the latest British budget was being revealed by current UK Home Secretary George Osbourne on the tv screens behind us.
Two key representatives from the still legitimately registered UK political party the ‘Official Monster Raving Loony Party’ – Alan “Howling Laud” Hope and “Mad” Max Bobetsky… both of whom in their own unique style, epitomise important aspects of democracy anywhere in the world.
Alan… or “Howling Laud” as he prefers to be called, has been leader of the OMRLP party since 1999 and during the run-up to the upcoming UK General Elections on May 7th 2015, what the party wishes to represent is exactly what democracy worldwide should celebrate and welcome more of. And that is the importance of choice, and also the importance of as much opposition to the status quo and those in power as possible.
The party itself has always been in opposition to governments since it’s emergence in 1983 by the UK based musician David Sutch, and it’s very existence is notable for its deliberately bizarre policies as it effectively exists to satirise British politics.
But at their core, they also represent a serious side… Mr Hope told us:
“No matter how old you are, in our lifetime we have seen nothing but a Tory or Labour party UK government and this won’t ever change unless firstly there is a better alternative choice for the nation, or if the voting public make different choices thereby encouraging all politicians to work even harder for votes!”
This year the Loony Party have candidates standing in many local locations across the UK, including Hope himself standing against London mayor Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and Ruislip, UK.
“We don’t necessarily stand to be in power, we would much rather others took the lead. But our intention is to always be in opposition representing the real people of the UK, those we talk to in the pubs up and down the country who are concerned about their jobs, rising taxes, global security, overcrowding in their areas, etc.. all the things we elect our governments to look after!” says Max Bobetsky.
There is much anticipation in the UK around what could happen in the upcoming General Elections and there shall also be a lot of likely Punch and Judy style political banter expected between the key parties, and quite possibly the electorate as a whole.
Currently, there is also discussions around the commissioning of tv debates involving all the key leaders of the UK parties, or quite possibly separate interviews with each individually.
With regard to the debates, Howling Laud Hope feels his inclusion should be a must, if not just to entertain the nation but to also enable the democratic value of choice to the nation:
“I am one of the longest serving MP’s in the UK, and despite whether the government or anyone else wishes to take us seriously, we do exist and I should be part of the UK tv leader debates. What I say to the tv broadcasters is get me on and I will guarantee that I get them to talk about the key issues that are concerning key sections of real Great Britain; getting to the heart of what is important to the people talking in the pubs, and in the communities all across the UK!” says Hope.
I asked if the rising popularity of the UKIP political party, led by the quite controversial Nigel Farage may be stealing the thunder of the ‘Raving Loony’ parade to which Hope responded:
“Nigel Farage is a great friend of mine, and we have known each other for years. What Nigel and UKIP seem to be doing is talking about many things lots of UK citizens are worried about. I don’t know if his way of saying things are good, and I can’t say we have looked at the UKIP policies in great detail, but at least he is daring to speak up against the things he and his party members believe in, and that is what UK politics needs!”
Alan Hope, when you meet him in person presents as a lively, fun character. He is jovial in every sense and loves to make you laugh; he may also be a reminder to us all of that traditionally British eccentricity of yesteryear… a parody from the past that seems to have lost it’s way in modern, UK society as a whole.
Howling Laud Hope most importantly also speaks his truth, and in many ways the truth of a growing number of people in the UK, and he combines it with an overt humour and satire that we could all do with much more of in quite challenging and rapidly changing climates all-round in which many get left behind.
What Hope also provides ironically, and just in my opinion, is like his name says: HOPE… for the likes of the quirky other characters at OMRLP including Max Bobetsky who himself also passionately cares about what those who are not being heard from communities around the country want and need for now and the future. Alan Hope is the leader they admire for representing fun, yet for also standing up for something important, and I’m sure the party who has existed for as long as this, will carry on existing and will carry on using fun and humour to make their points.
For those who believe politics is a serious thing that affects peoples lives; of course that is correct and always will be. But if you believe what the ‘Loony Party’ and the many ‘alternatives’ out there nowadays seem to represent is just ridiculing the systems or not taking things seriously enough, then you have missed the point completely.
Whether you agree with how these guys oppose the status quo, or even if you feel they are a group who should just be ignored, what I’d put to you is that without these and the many more individuals and groups who should exist and put across as many important issues in public life, whilst making the governments in power work harder for peoples votes… we would simply be left with the same old politics in the control of the same old politicians, and producing the same old results for the electorate as a whole.
So you may not wish to vote for the likes of the Loony’s of this world, and frankly that’s not the main mission of ‘alternative’ parties like Loony. But do be sure to encourage their existence as the underlying seriousness is to hold ruling governments to account for slack results and to make sure they work harder for your mass votes every day of the year, and not just around general elections time!
There’s just one area of concern I must mention which I learnt from my time with the Loony brigade… these guys are big fans of Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear tv series, and cite him as a potential, ideal future leader of OMRLP, and especially now as he leaves the BBC for pastures new!
Now that really is quite Loony I’d say, so you have been warned!!!
If you fancy a giggle, do feel free to check out the OMRLP 2015 manifesto, and do try and read between the lines via: www.omrlp.com – they even take on any new policy suggestions you’d like to make so get in touch with them if you have something funny or serious you’d like to share!