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Joseph Alessi, Joanna Brookes and Samuel James in Monster Raving Loony. © Steve Tanner

Joseph Alessi, Joanna Brookes and Samuel James in Monster Raving Loony. © Steve Tanner

When Monster Raving Loony was announced a few months ago, I got a bashing on Twitter when I cheekily asked dramatist James Graham if he’d considered writing his next political play about the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn – “or if that was too close to his current subject”.

I don’t want to attract more ire so won’t dwell on the comparison but, suffice to say, seeing the play in its London premiere at Soho Theatre, my reaction was inevitably informed by my personal experience as a moderate Labour Party member. “What’s winning got to do with it?” Screaming Lord Sutch, Loony founder, comments in the play at one of his losing elections – a sentiment I’ve heard despairingly often over the past year.

Anyway… Graham’s play ends with Lord Sutch’s suicide in 1999, after his mother’s death and a long battle with depression. During his lifetime, Sutch personally contested and lost all 40 elections he stood in – a record.

Monster Raving Loony motto: "Vote for Insanity"

Monster Raving Loony motto: “Vote for Insanity”

But, did you know, the Monster Raving Loony Party continues to this day, still urging the electorate to “vote for insanity”? And the Loonies have themselves used opportunities to jump on the Corbyn Labour bandwagon. Following his ascendancy to the Labour Party leadership, the Loonies put forward two new Defense proposals for the UK:

  • We will get rid of Trident and replace it with a new Tuning Fork.
  • We shall keep the Falklands and Give Jeremy Corbyn to the Argentinians.

This year, the Party made a big noise, and their first official party broadcast, around the Labour-held Welsh Assembly vote on 5 May, and now, here in London, they’re contesting the by-election in Tooting, the seat left vacant when Sadiq Khan won the mayoralty.

The Loonies current leader Howling ‘Laud’ Hope is running in Tooting. He says of the late Lord Sutch and the by-election on 16 June:

“Coincidently this happens to be my birthday and the anniversary of our dearly departed leader, Screaming Lord Sutch 17 years ago. So c’mon Tooting, give us something to smile about in his memory: the saving of our deposit would be a fine thing, if not better than that. Remember Citizen Smith, he would have voted for us, would probably have been the candidate, he would have won. So why not us, you know it makes sense!”

Read other sensible suggestions in the Policies A-Z of the Monster Raving Loony “Manicfesto” here. Annual party membership is a bargain at £9.99, by the way – for which you get even more goodies than the ability to vote for the leadership (a snip in the Labour Party at £3).

Monster Raving Loony continues at Soho Theatre until 18 June 2016.


Is democracy a joke? Screaming Lord Sutch believed so

Is democracy a joke? Screaming Lord Sutch believed so

Terri on Twitter

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