Vote For Me, ITV1

'I've seen politicians and I want to be one. I want to be obnoxious, offensive and win'
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Vote For Me selected a long list of 60 candidates from a trawl through British byways, in a "hunt for a new political star". They came up with the usual oddities - a druid, a morris dancer, a porn star, a grandmother, George Carman's son, a convicted fraudster, a suburban Christian ("coloured people" in the NHS don't take pride in their work, apparently) and the shaven-headed fellow who wants violent offenders to be publicly flogged.

The programme's gimmick is to put them through a selection process, and the winner will stand for parliament.

Asking ordinary people to become politicians? Here's the difficulty: the spectrum we're looking at has politicians at one end and people at the other - the more at one end you are, the less at the other you can be. Thus, there are people in parliament but they're no good at politics. There aren't any people in the Cabinet, they're all politicians.

Lorraine Kelly, John Sergeant and Kelvin MacKenzie glanced at this conundrum in one of their discussions. Kelvin MacKenzie liked a woman from a mean part of town because "she hasn't a political bone in her body". Sergeant wondered what the point of that was. "We're looking for people to be voices for people who are currently disenfranchised," Mackenzie said.

"No, we're not, we're looking for politicians," Sergeant replied.

Little in the way of fresh faces, I fear, we've seen most of these characters before. The diversity candidate, the cleaner hospital candidate, the phone mast candidate. The environment candidate. The make-the-world-a-better-place candidate. He wanted to raise petrol tax but couldn't say by how much. He couldn't speak at all, the poor fellow. His other idea was that people could elect to do community service at their hourly rate instead of paying tax. "A disaster," he said afterwards.

The only one that stood out of the ruck was the fraudster. "I've seen politicians and I want to be one!" he said. "I want to be obnoxious, offensive and win!" He'd been a millionaire solicitor, he'd done time in Brixton, he'd taken drugs. All these things endeared him to the judges. He even got away with saying "95 per cent of prisoners are scum, they're just planning their next crime." But then he went and spoiled it with something that you just can't say in polite society. "And a complete ban on immigration. Complete ban. Total ban."

But quite what any of this has to do with deciding how to spend £500bn of taxpayers' money is, as yet, unclear.

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