What is it about elections that really brings out the – let’s say – eccentrics? The London mayoral elections take place on May 6 and, as ever, the ballot paper has its fair share of serious candidates, people taking the piss – and Laurence Fox, who probably falls across both categories, alongside ‘making divorce his whole brand’. But alongside all of these is an old friend.
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That symbol of British silliness, Count Binface – formerly Lord Buckethead – is in the running. Now, I’ve just Googled it, and a Count is the same level as a Lord, so it’s nice to see he’s just taken a side step and not taken a promotion since we last saw him. Who’s your money on for the winner? Not the real winner (Sadiq Khan, who is leagues ahead in the polls), but the winning loser, if you will?
Count Binface’s website promises that all excess money raised from his campaign will go to Shelter, so that’s a plus already. He welcomes you to the site by saying: “I am standing in the 2021 Elections in the Earth Capital, London, to bring voters a touch of intergalactic class and some ingenious policies that will PUT LONDON ON THE MAP.” Maybe he hasn’t seen our maps yet?
His policies are pretty well thought through, though, and some highlights include “London Bridge to be named after Phoebe Waller-Bridge”, “Croydon to get a facelift, ironically” and two of the most sensible policies I’ve ever seen: that “no shop should be allowed to sell a croissant for over £1” and “loud snacks to be banned from theatres”. Binface is a genius! Given the rebrand, he is truly the P Diddy / Diddy / Puff Daddy of novelty politics.
What I love is that Binface (in my head I keep pronouncing his name as Binfacé) is also quite liberal in his policies, with some joke-free policies about London rejoining the EU and finishing Crossrail and politicians’ wages to be matched to nurses’ for the next 100 years. Oh, and under his rules, anyone playing loud speakers on their phone on public transport is forced to watch the Cats movie every day for a year. So far, I’m not even sure if I want to vote Sadiq any more.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Laurence Fox, a man whose reputational demise – which, remember, began with that disastrous Question Time appearance last year – and subsequent embracing of the role of villain have lead him to run as London Mayor for his newly formed political party, Reclaim. Quite what Harrow-educated, Fox-acting-dynasty-born, Billie Piper-marrying Fox wants to reclaim is sort of beyond me. Anyway, one of Lozza’s policies is to end lockdown, “now and permanently”, which sounds clever. If deaths ever go through the roof again, rest assured Lozza will still let you hit up Cheltenham or Fabric and rub up against as many people as you like! Isn’t that great?
Never let it be said, however, that Lozza isn’t inspiring. For example, another candidate, Max Fosh, is running for mayor purely to get more votes than Fox. That’s his only aim.
His policies include, “Get Chris Whitty a clicker so he doesn’t have to say ‘next slide’”, “Supermarket checkout assistants to rate your meal deal and have jurisdiction to offer discounts based on your score’ and “allow Nicolas Cage the opportunity to steal one document of importance from a national museum each year.” Ultimately, though, according to his website, he wants to: “Put Laurence Fox on the call back list for every acting job in London. Regardless whether he auditioned for the role or not. Let’s reclaim Laurence’s freedom to work.”
When I asked Fosh which is his favourite of his policies was, he responded quickly and confidently: “I’m a bag fan of London’s parks, the jewel in the crown of London are the numerous parks that we have here, Hammersmith, Holland, Regents, Hyde – but we have no Jurassic Parks, Alex. None at all. And, really, I would like to see that change in the four years in which I would be Mayor.’ You can’t fault him there.
As I write this, Max Fosh, Laurence Fox, and Count Binface are all polling at one per cent – it’s neck and neck. Or, neck-neck-bin lid, I guess. After the tumultuous ride we’ve had with politics for the last – checks watch – few thousand years, I’m a big fan of these candidates injecting a bit of fun into it.
As it stands, Laurence Fox agreed to a public debate with Fosh, but has apparently gone quiet. Laurence, if you’re reading this – and I’m sure you are – this is your time to reclaim Question Time, the programme that started all this, and lose with a slightly smaller margin. All hail Mayor Binface.