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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May 2005, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
The more unusual election pledges
By Jenny Matthews
BBC News

Most of us have become familiar with at least some of the manifesto pledges of the main parties during this election campaign.

Iceberg in the Glacier National Park in Patagonia
"Stop melting!", Church of the Militant Elvis would tell icebergs
But there are some more unusual promises being made by various smaller parties.

Some of their plans can be worked out from their names - Build Duddon and Morecambe Bridges, for example, or Save Bristol Baths (SBS).

But if you have ever wished there was a 99p coin, or wanted a public inquiry into vets' fees, or perhaps a tax on caravans - well, there could still be a party for you.

Perhaps you are looking for a new take on immigration policy?

Among the promises from the Church of the Militant Elvis are plans to place giant photos of celebrities such as Johnny Vegas, Graham Norton and Chris Evans in Heathrow and Gatwick, "to discourage undesirable foreigners from entering Britain".

The party has only one candidate, David Bishop, in the Derbyshire constituency of Erewash.

Andy Kirkwood of the Party Party
Andy Kirkwood of the Party Party wants us all to have a bit more fun
Mr Bishop would also press for a public inquiry into British vets' fees - "the highest in Europe".

He would like to go the Antarctic, stand in front of icebergs and shout at them to "stop melting".

"It won't do much good but it's more than Bush and Blair are doing," he says.

He would also "present Mr Blair with an Oscar for his marvellous performance as a sincere politician", and give one of his Erewash rivals, Veritas' Robert Kilroy-Silk, a job as "keeper of the Royal stool".

Andy Kirkwood - standing in Dorset South - has created the Personality and Rational Thinking? Yes! Party (The Party Party, for short) to try to show "how brilliant Britain could be" with a bit more emphasis on fun.

Although he says it is the environment that is his real "personal passion", he also wants to relax laws which stop people enjoying themselves - because "you should be able to make noise on a Saturday night".

He also suggests 1,000% council tax on any second home, and shorter working hours. "One week on, one week off would be plenty," he says.

Another new party, the Dungeons Death and Taxes party - whose registered address is tourist attraction the London Dungeons - is offering a suitably lurid manifesto.

Speed bumps
Max Power would like to reduce speed bumps
It pledges to reintroduce hanging, "but only for minor offences such as writing graffiti and dropping litter". Murderers and those guilty of improper use of mobile text abbreviations will be disembowelled.

The new school leaving age would be nine, with "thickie" children forced to take up manual labour. The party also pledges to occupy and annexe France, and to have tax rates of 90%.

The party is fielding two candidates, Brett Harris in Edinburgh East and Damien Fleck in the City of York.

Another party with an unusual selection of policies is the New Millennium Bean Party - "the party for human beans".

Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church - Prince William's date?

In his online manifesto the party's sole candidate, Captain Beany in Cardiff Central, admits "we will never form a government".

But he nonetheless offers a range of policies, some of the most eye-catching being in the field of education - including weekly pay for further and secondary students, and the option for primary school children to "choose their parents".

Under "culture", Prince William would be given a bachelor flat in Cardiff Castle so he can date singer Charlotte Church, and there are plans for "all tattoos to be bilingual".

Under sport, women's football would be developed as a national sport, and there would be a knighthood for rugby legend Gareth Edwards.

If your concerns are mainly those of the young driver, then Dan Anslow and his Max Power Party, standing in Southend West, Essex, could have the policies for you.

Among their manifesto pledges are "to name and shame crappy garages", a reduction in speed bumps, prison sentences for uninsured drivers and compulsory advanced training for all drivers.

They are also offering "free boob jobs on the NHS, which will benefit everyone" and "a huge tax on caravans, because that sort of behaviour has got to be deterred", says Max Power editor-in-chief John Sootheran.

Still not quite radical enough for you? A number of parties are proposing to do away with the current system of government altogether.

Telepathic Partnership wants to "create an interactive democracy by installing touch screens in everyone's home", says its one candidate, Michael Hall for Wokingham.

The idea, he explains, is that people will be able to make any suggestion which will appear on the screens, and could become law if people vote for the suggestion.

The top 10 suggestions listed by Mr Hall are:

  • Stop killing human beings
  • Stop killing animals - Go vegetarian
  • Abolish money - Everything free
  • Introduce the water engine to save the environment
  • Abolish the freemasons and all other secret societies
  • Install touch screen computers in every home
  • Is the idea of a god an illusion?
  • Build 60 million apartments - one per person
  • Feed the world
  • Encourage other countries to install homepoint touch screens

The Vote For Yourself Party also want to do away with the current political system.

It is contesting 23 seats with 13 candidates, mainly in Belfast, Cardiff and London.

One of its candidates, George Weiss, says it wants instead to create a "directly accessible democracy - or DAD for short - and government by something called preferendum (a form on which voters can tick proposed policies that they like)".

Brett Harris outside the Edinburgh Dungeon
Dungeons, Death and Taxes would occupy France
"The people of Cardiff and the people of Belfast have the opportunity to vote to become independent city states," says Mr Weiss.

"We're calling for Cardiff and Belfast to transform themselves into model 21st century cities, and to co-host the 2020 Olympic Games."

Robert Leakey, the 90-year-old Virtue Cognitive Currency Appraisal Party candidate for Skipton and Ripon, also has an ambition agenda for change.

He wants to replace the current system of politics with a system of what he calls "cognitive apprisals", where people away from Parliament would send in motions themselves.

Not only that, but he would like to "get rid of money altogether", and replace it with a barcode-style "virtue currency".

Of course, no article on unusual pledges would be complete without the offerings of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

This year, it insists it is "preparing for government" and has a wide range of policies in its manifesto.

On the economy, this includes issuing a 99p coin "to save on change".

House of Lords
The Loonies would replace the House of Lords with a House of Cards
On sleaze, "any cabinet minister found telling lies will be shot across the English Channel in a high velocity circus cannon".

Education policy includes pledging to reduce class sizes "by making the pupils sit closer to one another and issuing them with smaller desks".

Parliamentary reform ideas include one to "replace the House of Lords with the House of Cards, to make it easier for the government to deal with".

The transport section includes a plan to shut all motorways to any traffic except bicycles with fewer than three gears.

On law and order, they "propose to make the length of a day 32 hours long so that the pubs can be open for even longer".

On home affairs, "everyone wanting to come and live in the UK will be made welcome, so long as they are over the age of 85 and accompanied by both parents" and on the environment, "all foxes will be issued with sheep's clothing".



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