As if the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat party, Tim Farron, did not have enough on his plate ahead of Britain’s general election, a new challenger has appeared on ballot papers in his constituency: Mr Fish Finger.
“Hello, I am a fish finger,” the crowd-funded candidate wrote on his website. The candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale in north-west England has been photographed wearing a fish finger costume but has kept his identity secret.
“In a recent poll of over 1000 users on Twitter I was voted more trustworthy than Tim Farron. Not difficult to do,” he wrote. “As a result, I have decided to stand against him.”
Mr Fish Finger has promised to scrap wind farms in the picturesque but poor area and replace them with trees of Kendal mint cake, a local speciality popular as emergency food for mountain walkers.
He is one of a few dozen eccentrics who will lengthen the list of candidates and parties and add colour to constituency-based contests across Britain in Thursday’s election.
Variously called wacky, brave or just plain crazy, the best-known of these alternative political actors is the Monster Raving Loony Party, which began campaigning in the 1960s under founder David Sutch, better known as musician Screaming Lord Sutch, who died in 1999.
Another is Dave Bishop, 73, who has campaigned and contested elections since the 1990s under names including Bus-Pass Elvis, Lord Biro, Militant Elvis Anti-Tesco Popular Front, The Church of the Militant Elvis Party and Grumpy Old Elvis.
Standing in Nottingham East on Thursday, the Elvis fan, artist and poet is billed as the Elvis and the Yeti Himalayan Preservation Party.
“Our party calls on the Chinese army to leave Tibet coz it’s blowing up mountains looking for minerals and driving the yeti and snow leopard to extinction,” Bishop wrote in the party’s manifesto.
“Our party calls on Donald Trump and Mrs May not to launch a joint military strike on North Korea in case a faulty missile from a Trident submarine misses Kim Jong Un and hits Tibet!”
Obscure groups taking part in the election include Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality, the Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog, and the Fancy Dress Party.
The Monster Raving Loonies will field 12 candidates today, including two known as Howling Laud Hope and Baron Von Thunderclap.
One of its election pledges is to “further complicate the United Kingdom tax system so that everyone can find a loophole, not just multi-national companies.”
“We think Labour have missed a trick with their return to the 1970s,” Baron Von Thunderclap said on the party’s website.
“I remember the ’70s had nationalisation ruining industry, pointless strikes, and the the three-day week,” he said.
“The 1960s is a much better option good music, long hair, peace and love!” DPA