Dear Lord Sutch

It's a pity you threw away your deposit for the Dudley West by-election. But perhaps it is time that you took up residence in the other place ...
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Although not a Loony myself, I think you will be missed at the Dudley West by-election. The count will not be the same without you.

Reports say that you were forced to withdraw because you accidentally threw away your £500 cheque for the returning officer when clearing out rubbish from your home. Even for you this is a novel way of losing your deposit.

You have become both a symbol and a working part of British democracy. In a purely financial sense, you have made a greater contribution to it than any other modern politician. With 40 lost deposits, now £500 each, you have overtaken the record set by the late Commander Bill Boaks. No one has spent so much on getting into Parliament since the days of the "rotten boroughs", when MPs actually paid for their seats.

Since you first stood (for the National Teenage Party) at the "Profumo by-election" in 1963 at Stratford-on-Avon, you have never preached rancour or racism nor used deceit or double talk. Other candidates, please copy! You put two big changes in British life on to the map with your campaign for votes at 18 and the legalisation of pirate radio stations. (You also called for a cat licence, but we're still waiting for that.) And at the Bootle by-election in 1990, you killed off the SDP and thereby left David Owen free to solve the problems of Bosnia.

You are living proof that anyone at all can stand for our parliament, for any motive. It takes a mature democaracy to tolerate joke candidates - and to recognise them as jokes, unlike the Americans with Ollie North.

You have given voters a chance to underline their disenchantment with the mainstream political parties. It is healthier for them to expresss this through you rather than an extremist of Left or Right or a messianic billionaire: better a Monster Raving Loony with capital letters than a real monster raving loony without them.

For all these reasons, Dudley West is the poorer without you. But perhaps at 54 you might think it time to pull down the curtain (or should it be coffin-lid?) on your election career.

As Britain's longest serving political leader, you are, by long-established convention, entitled to a life peerage on your retirement. I urge you to claim it and become, at last, a real Lord Sutch. You would look great in ermine robes, and nothing you could do or say would seem extraordinary in the House of Lords.

You could become a Lord-in-Waiting - in waiting perhaps for the biggest job of all.

The Labour Party has called for a "downsizing" of the monarchy and its transformation into a symbol of a classless society. It is impossible to imagine any of the Windsors in this role. You could become the first sovereign of the House of Sutch.

You would be a modern merry monarch for the millennium. You could certainly make a unique contribution to the State Opening of Parliament. If you don't mind the ambiguity, wouldn't you enjoy delivering the Screaming Queen's Speech?

Comments