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Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

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  • Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

    I remember (because I used to collect election literature as a hobby) that the candidates and range of political parties back in the day seemed zanier than today. There was an old chap called Bill Boaks who stood at by-elections all over the country as 'Democratic Monarchist Public Safety White Resident' and would usually collect about 50 votes. Then there was the Workers Revolutionary Party, which was a bit-like a souped-up Tooting Popular Front and had Vanessa Redgrave as a prominent member (Bernard Levin called them 'Vanessa's Loonies'). They wanted to replace Parliament with a 'workers government' but didn't say what that meant. Patrick Moore formed his own political party called The United Country Party: I remember that my mother thought it was about protecting the countryside but in fact it was to the right of the Tories who were 'too wet'.

    The obscene racist graffiti of the National Front seemed to be in every city, suburb and town and I think they had an offshoot called the National Party in the North-West. Then - although this might have just been a London thing - there was the Socialist Party of Great Britain which wanted to 'abolish money' in the early 80s when most of the country was skint. Nice one. In 1979, Auberon Waugh stood against Jeremy Thorpe for the Dog Lovers Party as a tribute to Norman Scott's assassinated Great Dane.

    Have I left anyone out? Oh yes: Sreaming Lord Sutch. We still have Howling Laud Hope (yes it is Laud not Lord) and the Elvis Lives Party, but they seem to be survivors of a bygone age.

  • #2
    Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

    And The USA have Trump
    Age is just a number - If yours bothers you stop counting

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    • #3
      Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

      Originally posted by Jay Mc View Post
      And The USA have Trump
      The USA also have millions of religious fundamentalists who are completely off the wall. And it's also the homeland of Political Correctness.

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      • #4
        Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

        Lord Buckethead.

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        • #5
          Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

          Originally posted by I. R. Fincham View Post
          Still going strong I see (if it's the same chap each time).

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          • #6
            Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

            I remember the Natural Law being mentioned in the media a lot in the early 1990s but never seemed to make any headway & faded away.

            I've noticed a lot of fringe parties aim for a niche area of politics, but if one of the mainstream parties start to occupy that niche the smaller ones don't have a chance.
            The Trickster On The Roof

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            • #7
              Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

              Screaming Lord Sutch, now that brings back memories of the 1980s.

              Not the looney has people and the press portray. His main aim was to lampoon the main political parties. One of his best known policies was to put the Houses of Parliament on wheels, and transport it around the country. Some of his lunatic policies are now coming to fruition, 20 mph speed limits.

              The Bootle by election on 24 May 1990, was their finest moment. They had more votes than the Social Democrat Party candidate. This was effectively the end of the S.D.P.. In the report that followed, Lord Sutch seemed shocked at the outcome.

              Screaming Lord Sutch was not the Looney he was portrayed has. He was tea total. Before any election his party was standing in, he would hold a concert to offset the loss of his deposit etc.

              When he sadly committed suicide, it left a deep void in politics. Many independent candidates, and some major political party candidates, would feel a cold shiver down their back when he appeared.
              Who cared about rules when you were young?

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              • #8
                Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                I remember the Natural Law being mentioned in the media a lot in the early 1990s but never seemed to make any headway & faded away.

                I've noticed a lot of fringe parties aim for a niche area of politics, but if one of the mainstream parties start to occupy that niche the smaller ones don't have a chance.


                I think I remember the Natural Law Party got a party political or election broadcast sometime in the 90s. They were standing in enough constituencies to qualify for one or something like that.

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                • #9
                  Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                  Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                  I remember the Natural Law being mentioned in the media a lot in the early 1990s but never seemed to make any headway & faded away.

                  I've noticed a lot of fringe parties aim for a niche area of politics, but if one of the mainstream parties start to occupy that niche the smaller ones don't have a chance.
                  Oh yes, the Natural Law Party. They were disciples of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles' onetime guru. They believed that the world could be saved by 'yogic flying' and their manifesto included replacing the Army with a kind of spiritual SAS: a crack regiment of yogic flyers. They were extremely wealthy and owned a vast mansion in the Chilterns called Mentor Towers, but the political venture cost them a lot in lost deposits.

                  The Maharishi's followers also have a centre in Skelmersdale where they fly in a yogic manner and claim to send waves of positive energy out from Skem to as far away as Yorkshire (I watched a documentary about this several years ago). The yogic flying looked like bouncing up and down with legs crossed but what do I know?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                    Originally posted by staffslad View Post
                    I think I remember the Natural Law Party got a party political or election broadcast sometime in the 90s. They were standing in enough constituencies to qualify for one or something like that.
                    I think they might have stood practically everywhere at some point in the 1990s. Somewhere I heard that they paid people to stand.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                      Originally posted by marc View Post
                      Screaming Lord Sutch, now that brings back memories of the 1980s.

                      Not the looney has people and the press portray. His main aim was to lampoon the main political parties. One of his best known policies was to put the Houses of Parliament on wheels, and transport it around the country. Some of his lunatic policies are now coming to fruition, 20 mph speed limits.

                      The Bootle by election on 24 May 1990, was their finest moment. They had more votes than the Social Democrat Party candidate. This was effectively the end of the S.D.P.. In the report that followed, Lord Sutch seemed shocked at the outcome.

                      Screaming Lord Sutch was not the Looney he was portrayed has. He was tea total. Before any election his party was standing in, he would hold a concert to offset the loss of his deposit etc.

                      When he sadly committed suicide, it left a deep void in politics. Many independent candidates, and some major political party candidates, would feel a cold shiver down their back when he appeared.

                      There's a great story there, Marc. When the "Loonies" beat the rump SDP (which had refused to merge with the Liberals), Screaming Lord Sutch rang up David Owen and suggested a merger. Apparently Owen just put the 'phone down on him.

                      He was far saner than he let on (Sutch that is, not Owen). He advocated votes at 18 (when the voting age was still 21) and later an equal age of consent for gay men. He was as you say more widely feared by the establishment politicians than they ever let on. Like many comedians, he suffered from depression: I think he could probably be described as bipolar. This led to his tragic early death.

                      In Liverpool, by the way, there's still a rump Liberal Party which refuses to merge with the Fib Dems. They still have a few Council seats.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                        'Rainbow George' Weiss of Hampstead had a 'Vote for Yourself Party' and sometimes stood in several constituencies at once.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                          Originally posted by Silver Bear View Post
                          There's a great story there, Marc. When the "Loonies" beat the rump SDP (which had refused to merge with the Liberals), Screaming Lord Sutch rang up David Owen and suggested a merger. Apparently Owen just put the 'phone down on him.

                          He was far saner than he let on (Sutch that is, not Owen). He advocated votes at 18 (when the voting age was still 21) and later an equal age of consent for gay men. He was as you say more widely feared by the establishment politicians than they ever let on. Like many comedians, he suffered from depression: I think he could probably be described as bipolar. This led to his tragic early death.

                          In Liverpool, by the way, there's still a rump Liberal Party which refuses to merge with the Fib Dems. They still have a few Council seats.
                          Independent Local Radio was another idea of his, along with pubs open all day.

                          IIRC he was part of the Student's Union Party before founding the Monster Raving Loony Party.

                          Both Monty Python & Blackadder managed to get some good jokes about candidates like him.
                          The Trickster On The Roof

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                          • #14
                            Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                            I would have even regarded the Green Party and its predecessor the Ecology Party as being eccentric in many ways. David Icke automatically comes to mind when he was their spokesman, and of course he has stood in by-elections a lot later.

                            And admittedly, the Conservative Party has had support from quite a few famous people who are, shall we say, unique. A combination of famous people mentioned as supporters had once been referred to as "dinner party from hell".
                            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                            I'm having so much fun
                            My lucky number's one
                            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Eccentric election candidates/political parties in the 70s/80s

                              Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                              I would have even regarded the Green Party and its predecessor the Ecology Party as being eccentric in many ways. David Icke automatically comes to mind when he was their spokesman, and of course he has stood in by-elections a lot later.

                              And admittedly, the Conservative Party has had support from quite a few famous people who are, shall we say, unique. A combination of famous people mentioned as supporters had once been referred to as "dinner party from hell".
                              Somehow I have a feeling that David Icke stood for the Ecology Party/Green Party on the Isle of Wight (whose inhabitants go to Portsmouth for the cultural life). But that was before his - shall we say - messianic phase. Did he stand in by-elections after he left the Greens?

                              Another footballer who had 'visions' was Glenn Hoddle, who adopted a a crude interpretation of karma and claimed that disabled people were being punished for their previous lives.

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