Vote for the rich Bs in the Orange Monster Vicar Party

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The Independent Online
TODAY could be the first time you have ever voted in a European election, and you may be confused by the number of parties represented, so I have prepared a brief resume of each one for you to refer to.

The Conservative Party. The party that took you into Europe - and which is quite prepared to take you out again, if there are enough votes in it. The party is divided into two wings: the Euro-sceptics and the pro-Europeans. They are divided over what the British public really wants, but are united by the feeling that there are plenty of votes in it, if only they could find out what it is. They both suffer from the delusion that the public would rather be ruled by anyone at Westminster, no matter how bad, rather than anyone at Brussels, no matter how good.

As a sort of controlled experiment, they have recently been letting Westminster government get worse and worse in order to see how much the British public can take.

The Labour Party. Once hailed as the natural party of government, more recently as the natural party of opposition, it is now hailed as the natural party of leadership candidates beginning with B - Brown, Blair, Beckett, etc. Its Euro policy is caring, committed and aware, though what exactly it involves nobody knows. The question always being asked of it is: 'But where are you going to get the money to pay for all these reforms?' They have at last found an answer to this. They are going to sue Norman Lamont for all the money lost on Black Wednesday.

The Liberal Democrats. This party has more orange stickers in more English hedgerows and more suburban windows than ever before, and pledges itself to do more of the same if elected. 'Any party that can get as many orange posters on little sticks in so many hedgerows can do anything if given the chance, so give us the chance, for God's sake,' says Paddy Ashdown, its charismatic leader. He is the only leader in recent British political history known by his nickname ('Paddy') and whose real name nobody can remember. However, it is illegal to alter his name on a ballot paper, even if you are correcting it to the proper name.

Le Monstre, Lunatique, Tout a Fait Funny Farm Parti. The French version of the Monster Raving Loony Party is fielding one or two candidates over here. Its policy is simple. 1) To have every town, village and hamlet in Britain twinned with Brussels, in order to bankrupt Brussels. 2) To erect a 220ft statue of Jacques Delors in the centre of Brussels. 3) Naked. 4) Peeing into a big fountain.

Lloyd's Names. This is a group of very famous, very wealthy, very fashionable people who, if elected, will pledge themselves to get a ruling from the European Commission that Euro MPs cannot be held responsible for insurance losses.

Chaplains of the Tory Party. Until last week the Tory Party had its own private chaplain, but in a sudden sign of getting tough, John Major fired him, saying that anyone who wanted to be a Tory MP and needed a shoulder to cry on was probably the sort of sexually maladjusted pervert who could well cause another by-election. The former chaplain of the Tory party, the Rev Ambrose Shirtless, is fighting back as a Euro candidate. If elected, he promises to turn John Major into a pillar of salt.

The Camelot Lottery Lobby Group. 'Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you] Thank you for giving us this chance to make stacks and stacks of money out of the National Lottery, we can never tell you how grateful we are, we will do anything, ANYTHING you want to show you how grateful we are for turning us into millionaires.' That was the sober message to the Government from the this group, as the franchise to run the lucrative National Lottery was tossed into its lap by a fat-cat government who wanted to show Richard Branson that you couldn't challenge a bunch of fervent Tory supporters like British Airways and get away with it for ever. So when the Camelot Lottery Group went on record as saying that it would do anything to show its gratitude, it was taken at its word, and forced to stand as a splinter Tory party group.

The D-Day Organisation Committee. This political party didn't exist till a few months ago. But already it has all the credentials to form a government. It has spent a great deal of money, a great PR department and no policy for the future. Well worth a vote.