Monster Raving Loony Party candidates used to feature heavily in UK general elections, but you hear little of the party these days. I’ve always respected them because their slogan, which applies to most political parties, is totally honest: Vote for insanity.
Whether we vote for them or not, it’s what we seem to get.
Once, I almost voted for the Windsor candidate on the strength of his policy to carpet the M4 to reduce noise pollution.
The party is fielding candidates in 16 parliamentary constituencies this election, but sadly North Devon is not one of them.
This got me thinking about potential Loony #ndevon election promises had they fielded a candidate here. Here’s a few suggestions:
1. The cream of Devon
Attractions such as Damien Hirst’s Verity already prove how edgy art draws tourists to the area, but we need to be even more adventurous. We need to combine our cultural and culinary heritage with brave, bold art to create world-class attractions. I believe this suggestion for Lantern Hill, Ilfracombe would top all Devon attractions . . . with added cream and jam.
2. A361 doubles and trebles all round
Will we ever get the dual carriageway we need to overtake those slow lorries and
pesky lovely caravans as they crawl up the hills? Why not just nip down to Junction 27 one night and switch the Link Road carriageway for that of the M5? That way we can whiz over the hills doing 85 keeping to the legal speed limit on a 3-lane motorway, while leaving Exeter with our old overtaking lanes every couple of miles. Simple.
3. Consolidate Barnstaple supermarkets
Barnstaple is rapidly becoming a supermarket lovers’ dream. But why stop? Let’s get rid of all the small shops, connect all the supermarkets and flatten everything else to make a big car park patrolled by North Devon’s cuddly traffic wardens? (You can adopt one, but remember a warden is not just for Christmas, it’s for life or you’ll get a fixed penalty fine.) Call the new town Tescaple and it’ll be just like every other town in England with the same lack of character.
4. Improve accessibility
North Devon’s hills are a nightmare for the elderly, those with limited disability and cars with worn-out brakes. Let’s flatten out these nuisance hills so there’s no more dangerous descent into Lynmouth or staggering up hills to see what’s over the other side: usually nothing but another boring hill in the distance. This will encourage a lot more people to cycle (especially me) and can be used to attract more tourists from East Anglia and the Netherlands, who will love it as a home from home.
Let’s start with the modest aim of a Flat North Devon, but our eventual objective has to be: a Flat Earth.
5. Make Exmoor more exciting
Exmoor is so boring: quiet, full of sheep, hills, no shopping malls, no internet to post bored selfies, quiet, boring. See, I told you.
To attract more young people, we intend to use a LEADER 5 grant to make Exmoor more relevant. Our first project will be to introduce ‘bleat boxes’ attached to sheep so that the latest Top 10 singles by whichever teenage pop idol is flavour of the second can blare out across the wilderness to kill yawn-inducing tranquillity. The bleat boxes, tastefully finished in faux wood veneer to blend in with the environment, will be attached to the sheep like panniers and be powered by solar cells.
That’s the limit of my suggestions on a Bank Holiday evening.
What would your suggestions be?
And is there a Monster Raving Loony representative in North Devon with official policies?