Two weeks ago politics seemed an uncomplicated business. Back in those halcyon days when the EU Referendum campaign trail had failed to catch fire, it seemed certain we were all heading for a very predictable anti-climax. One where the most pressing question would be whether the millions spent persuading us to stay or leave had been a giant waste of money.
Except it didn’t turn out like that.
The surprise result triggered an avalanche. It’s one which has so far swept away a Prime Minister, left the career of the man who led the Leave campaign in tatters and sent the Labour party into meltdown.
Theresa May has been doing her best to bring some schoolmarmish order to the Conservative Party, but it looks unlikely to be enough to quell the various warring factions, united only in the belief that Michael Gove is a Shakespearean villain.
At the time of writing, and on the other side to the House, Jeremy Corbyn is still desperately hanging onto the position he never wanted in the first place, but looks increasingly like a man on the run.
If he’s still there come the next general election, his party may well face annihilation. The career back bencher might have the mandate of the party members who joined in their droves in the hope of ushering in a different kind of politics, but in the Labour heartlands they see much the same old story. To them, Corbyn is not just out of touch and out of his depth, he’s anonymous. He’s a mouse and what they want is a lion to roar on their behalf.
So almost a fortnight on from the day when everything changed and as we emerge blinking dazed and confused into a brand new Britain, there’s only one thing for it.
We need to start again. The blue of the right and the red of the left have merged and what we need is a new political party, one which is untainted by that great big brown muddy puddle.
First we will need a name. It needs to be short, snappy and to the point. According to Electoral Commission rules it can’t be one that sounds too much like an existing party and as tempting as it might be it is also not keen on innuendo. The guidelines also stipulate that it can’t be more than six words long - Austria’s The Party for Moderate Progress Within the Law - just wouldn’t do and None of the Above has already been banned.
Once we’ve decided that we’ll need a logo, perhaps an anthem and a £150 registration free to get on the next lot of ballot papers. However, there are some things we are already certain on.
First on our list of things to do is to write a letter of apology to the rest of the EU. Not so much for the referendum result, but for making such a hash of the fallout. We’ll also apologise for Boris. And Gove. And David Cameron. A trio driven by vanity, they may not be our responsibility, but we are all guilty by association. If this new party is going to work we need to wipe the slate clean and show the rest of the world that there are still some decent people left in politics.
To that end, some things will be sacrosanct. We promise not to flog off the BBC or dismantle the NHS. We might remove a few layers of management, but we will cherish them and show that our free health service is one of the things that makes Britain truly Great, not whining about immigrants and straight bananas.
We also promise not to toy with the school curriculum, we won’t waste millions on doomed transport projects and we will always remember that the real measure of any society is how it treats its weakest. So we won’t be afraid of championing the living wage and a benefits system which puts an arm around those who can’t look after themselves.
As for party members it will be an open door policy (almost). As a precaution, those whose job is best described as ‘something in the City’ would have to be vetted by a special panel including JK Rowling and Eddie Izzard (we haven’t asked but we assume they are coming with us) to identify any loose canons.
At the next election we will campaign hard to show not all political parties are led by those motivated by self-interest and that their can be moral good at the heart of a government. And finally, we will remember that even if it ends in glorious failure, at least we will have tried.
The MP3 Party
Founded by Ruslan Fedorovsky in 2002, on the promise - ‘to delete on regulation per day, one law per week, on subsidy per month and one tax per year’. Fedorovsky and three others apparently spent £30,000 establishing the party, but its policies, which included allowing anyone to use a royal title if 100 people would act as their subjects, were slightly more eccentric. The party never contested any elections and disbanded in 2007. Boston Bypass Independents
This was one party which showed the power of a grassroots movement. Determined to get a bypass around the Lincolnshire town, they contested all 32 seats in the 2007 Boston Borough Council elections and won 25, becoming the first party to take overall control of the authority since the borough was formed in 1972. Sadly, the good times didn’t last. Following the 2011 elections the party was almost completely wiped out.
The Natural Law Party
Founded in the UK in 1992 on the principles of transcendental meditation, the movement had surprising reach and was at one point active in 72 countries. Led over here by Geoffrey Clements, its five point manifesto included maintaining the collective health of the country by creating groups of experts in the Yogic Flying technique. The NLP stood in 24 by-elections between 1992 and 1997, but their policies didn’t go down well with the electorate. Every candidate lost their deposit and the party de-registered in 2003.
Make Politicians History
The party originated in the 1980s and was led by Rainbow George Weiss who claimed he had been contacted by an extraterrestrial soulmate called Sterling Silver. Renamed in 2005, it announced a referendum fronted by snooker player Alex Higgins calling for Belfast to be renamed Best. With its candidates barely making double figures at the polls, the party called it a day in 2009.
The Monster Raving Loony Party
For a while in the 1980s Screaming Lord Sutch was part of the fixture and fittings of any election night. His biggest coup came at the Bootle by-election in May 1990, when he received more votes than the continuing Social Democrats candidate, a party centred around former Social Democratic leader David Owen who had refused to accept the merger of the SDP with the Liberals. Sutch committed suicide in 1999, but the party lived on and in 2001 polled their best results to date.