Politics is serious business. And so it should be. Playing with people's lives and exercising power is no joke. Yet, there is a lighter side even to politics.
Take the Monster Raving Loony Party (MRLP), a fixture of British politics since 1983 when Screaming Lord Sutch established the political party. Lord Sutch, of course, was not officially a lord. That was a title popularized by the British media which almost never referred to him by his legal name, David Edward Sutch.
Rock musician David Sutch (1940-1999) founded the party as an alternative to mainstream politics. During his career Lord Sutch contested over 40 elections, often against heavy weight politicians such as Margaret Thatcher or Harold Wilson.
At the local town council level, the MRLP scored some electoral successes. In 1998, a MRLP candidate, Alan Hope, became the elected mayor of Ashburton Town Council, Devon. Hope had first been elected to the town council in 1987.
However, let no one suggest that the MRLP is not a serious party. It published a manifesto of its policy proposals in order to contest Britain's recent General Elections. The 'forward thinking and positive contributions to political life that the Loony party is famous for' were outlined in the manifesto.
Some of the MRLP's more innovative proposals are as follows:
1. Needles: Due to the increasing number of children afraid of needles, I propose the destruction of the tedious, scary and often painful process of school vaccinations. Instead, I propose that highly trained nurses should be given free reign on the playground with specially modified tranquillizer rifles which apply vaccinations as well as a tranquillizer. This would have two main benefits: It would be less scary for the children as they will not know what hit them, also it will be more fun for the nurses
2. One Sided Policy: It is proposed that The European Union end its discrimination by creating a "Court of Human Lefts" because their present policy is one sided.
3. Political Colours: All politicians should paint them self's permanently head to toe in the colour of the party they represent - e.g. all Labour candidates in Red , all Conservatives in Blue ,etc., etc
4. Animal fashions. It is proposed that: Pets, especially cats and dogs, may not be dressed in miniature human clothing for the purpose of human amusement, unless the animal in question can equip the clothing himself/herself. Punishable by dressing the owner of the animal in miniature human clothing.
5. Isle of ? It is proposed that the Isle of Man be renamed to "The Isle of Men, Women, Children and some Animals" as not just men live there.
6. Education: As well as using computers in schools, children should be taught to reed, rite, and appreciate rock.
In the Singapore context, perhaps it is only a raving loony party that can compete with the ultra-logical and efficient People's Action Party's - who else but a loony believes that they can break the PAP's electoral monopoly?
Yet, I fear that most Singaporean bureaucrats may not know how to deal with an application to register a 'loony' party in Singapore. A final decision on the fate of Singaporean 'loonies' will have to be made at a most senior level.
Lord Sutch, founder of Britain's Monster Raving Loony Party
Sometimes it's necessary for us to laugh at ourselves, if only to help us understand what we have become and in which direction we are heading.
NB – Tragically, Lord Sutch suffered from clinical depression and committed suicide in June 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year.