This man is so sick of politicians he has set up his own party. But who would vote for it?

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John Muir is sick of politicians. He is tired of modern politics.

The sentiments may sound familiar to many, but Mr Muir's response was far from conventional; one day, after a trial run on the British public at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, he simply founded his own political organisation.

The result, the Albion Party, describes itself boldly as the "newest force in British politics" though so far it has barely managed even a blip on the country's radar screens. Few people outside its claimed 2,000 members will have heard of it.

But Mr Muir is convinced that a mixture of his own eccentric, cherry- picked views combined with a national weariness at the stale debates of Westminster will give the fledgling organisation lift-off.

"I think we can win at least one seat - I am determined and convinced that it can be done," he says. "Though I don't expect everyone to believe that."

The Albion Party purposely defies easy political labels of right or left or green and Mr Muir simply defines its position as "in front". Its members are aged "nine to ninety" and from all backgrounds and former persuasions, though with a bias towards the regions.

Albion believes the United Kingdom should leave the European Union to recover its sense of identity, but eschews Thatcherite economics and instead seeks a return to the cosy world of the apprentice system, craftsmanship and an emphasis on small businesses, co-operatives and self-employment.

Mr Muir's mix'n'match policies also include commitments to the "basic human right" of a clean environment, including a move towards car-free centres by 2000, a written constitution, regional assemblies, decriminalising of marijuana for medicinal purposes and an end to exports of military equipment to regimes that ignore human rights.

Its literature quotes the founder - and de facto leader - as saying: "The answer is self-belief, empowerment and the restoration of democracy."

He insists his only motive is to make a serious impact on the British political landscape, adding, "I'd like it to be fun as well".

John Muir's own background gives little clue to the mixture of progressive and romantic views the Albion Party now holds.

Aged 50, he was brought up in a family of market gardeners, attended a Jesuit school, had a short-term commission in the 11th Hussars and then began a career in advertising and business.

It was in his most recent career, as a freelance conference organiser, that he formed the idea for a new party, during frequent trips to the former Soviet Union.

"I was going backwards and forwards to Azerbaijan, watching a country emerge from a union which it had been immersed in for some while," he says.

"It just seems confident in the future despite the deep problems it faces."

He adds: "I sensed a drive and enthusiasm for what could be done."

Mr Muir, who was briefly a Tory party member, thought he saw a parallel with Britain's "lost" potential outside the EU, and after rejecting the single-issue Referendum Party, and the "three-party mediocracy", set up his own in August.

The party, which has offices in Victoria, central London, has spent thousands of pounds on advertising and takes up most of Mr Muir's time. It has some of the trappings of a political organisation: a full-time staff of six, a glossy brochure - and a financial backer whom Mr Muir refuses to name.

In fact, he is notably reluctant to discuss any of the new party's finances, including how he can afford to work full-time for it, save to admit that the administration costs the equivalent of pounds 60,000 a year.

At the moment he is seeking fresh money to ensure Albion can field scores of candidates at the next election.

Devotion to the new party has had unexpected social consequences on some friendships for him and his wife, Caroline. "We have been dropped like hot cakes by a certain set of friends," he says. "Some think I'm off my head."

Mr Muir believes the contrary; that his party will restore sanity, purpose and a sense of identity to British politics.

"Of course a lot of people think I'm off my trolley but in fact I'm on my trolley - and it's going in the right direction."