Troubling times at Otto Towers – the old certainties are gone and I am obliged to take a quick gander at the candidates in our up-coming Lewisham Mayoral election that I might exercise my democratic right. Decisions, decisions. Labour’s Damien Egan is a centrist and would normally get my vote but currently – well I’m shopping around. One thing is certain, it’s not Jeremy Corbyn’s fault because as we all know – nothing is.
It’s a longer list than last time and after a quick look at the usual suspects, my eyes drift inevitably to the offerings from the right. UKIP aren’t fielding a candidate this year but thrillingly the newly formed Democrats and Veterans party are. If you’ve missed them I feel it my duty to bring you up to date.
Essentially, the DAVP seeks to bring a much needed Fairly Secret Army vibe to UK politics. It is led by John Rees-Evans who you will remember first came to our attention when, as a UKIP candidate, he tried to take a gun into a branch of IKEA in Bulgaria. John’s logic was clear; if any Islamic terrorists suddenly hi-jacked the soft furnishings department while he was shopping for flat packed furniture he would be able to take them out – Die Hard style. Sadly on that occasion this cut-price John McClane was stopped at the entrance by a security guard – who told him not to be a prat and promptly confiscated his pistol. Undeterred, Brexit John – who despite his opposition to migrants has spent most of his life living overseas – upped the ante and started claiming that a gay donkey had tried to rape his horse.
Since leaving UKIP – Mr Rees-Evans has teamed up with fellow veterans to form a party. The DAVP is campaigning under the gloriously meaningless slogan: “Don’t just BUY British – buy patriot” – and I swear to God I’m not making this up. Campaign photos on social media show a core team whose style could best be described as ‘gammon chic.’ A parade of flabby late middle aged Mitchell brothers – whose views and policies would be terrifying if the overall aspect wasn’t so unwittingly camp.
The group’s core values are summarised on their website as follows: Britain’s veterans have sworn an oath to bear true allegiance to our sovereign. An oath doesn’t expire. It is a solemn promise to be kept until death. So basically politics done by men who think that Who Dares Wins is the greatest film ever made – or stupidism writ in military form.
I was naturally eager to see who they had put up in Lewisham. Andy McNab perhaps…. or one of the 3,000 men who claim to have been on the Iranian balcony during the 1980 hostage siege….… oh no it’s Will Donnelly late of the Colchester 8th Cub pack platoon. Will is a former leading light in Young Independence – the Kipper youth wing – a holding pen for weirdos too weird for whatever the Young Conservatives are calling themselves nowadays and thus one of UKIP’s only useful contributions to society. His twitter feed reveals him to be an anti immigration Just William impersonator with a fascination for all the usual right wing nut-jobs and conspiracy theorists from ‘Prison Planet’ to – well ‘Prison Planet.’
Career options? He’s got them. He’s a professional mini golfer. Indeed, Will once ranked 2nd in the cut and thrust world of Junior UK mini golf (crazy golf to you and me – sane golf to these people) but his devotion to politics has meant the practice has slid and he’s now down to number 6. And yes, again, I swear I’m not making this up. As for his military record, well to put it mildly, the closest this representative of the ‘Veterans’ party has ever come to an actual vet was when his hamster was put down.
What to think Britain? What to think?
They say in politics that we get what we deserve – and in the Windsor Daviesy DAVP and this National Lampoon of a candidate the UK and even Remain voting Lewisham has precisely that. It’s funny – yes – but should I laugh at any mortal thing – it is perhaps that I may not weep.