BY BEN WALKER
Much of the discussion surrounding the American election has centred on the surge of third parties: specifically Garry Johnson’s Libertarians and Jill Stein’s Greens. The UK, on the other hand has had a long history of rather successful third parties – at least in comparison with the United States. Such parties as the Lib Dems, UKIP, the Greens and regional nationalist have been growing in popularity over the last couple of decades but there has also been a rise of even more obscure parties; parties that this article will refer to as ‘fourth parties’. Below are some examples of the more obscure parties that could be standing in a ward or constituency near you.
The Whig Party:
Bio: Yes, apparently they’re back from their 100 year slumber and ready to contest a seat near you. The Whig’s founder, Waleed Ghani, faced a lot of criticism for the party’s strange set of policies that combine a 19th Century interpretation of liberal social policies with pro-EU, pro-immigration, and anti-student fees ideas. Make no mistake, this isn’t the Whig party that your great great great grandfather voted for. The Whigs are painting themselves as the new progressive party, and considering the Lib Dem’s decimation and Labour’s increasingly unelectable slant they could well become relevant in the near future.
Why you should vote: Aside from their stance on tuition fees? Don’t you want to be part of the age old movement that gave us electoral politics in the first place? Plus their logo is a fox, and as political symbols go a fox is perhaps the cutest and most inoffensive.
Why you shouldn’t vote: Despite being an aggressively liberal party, they seem to have an unhealthy obsession with British Exceptionalism. Their emphasis on the Anglosphere could leave the repentant liberal voter concerned about their newfound party’s stance on the EU. Oh, they support it, but only to ensure it doesn’t become an anti-British super-state. Take from that what you will.
We Are The Reality Party:
Bio: Originally The Reality Party before the electoral commission decided their name was too similar to The Realists’ Party (a thoroughly nutty party that endorses defending the UK and our planet with military force), the We Are The Reality Party is the place where any true psychonauts congregate. Founded and led by Mark “Bez” Berry of Happy Mondays fame, their platform can be best described as Old Labour with solar power and ecstasy.
Why you should vote: Their real selling point is their year old YouTube series called BezInBed, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. In addition, it’s not that hard to imagine that the conference after parties would be a night to remember.
Why you shouldn’t vote: Come on. It’s Bez. The only international deals this guys is capable of is smuggling top grade eccies from Ibiza. While they are admirable for getting Salfordians to vote, what they’re voting for would make Tony Wilson spin in his grave.
Liberty Great Britain:
Bio: The story of Liberty Great Britain is one out of a white nationalist Indiana Jones fan fiction. One of the two key founders, Paul Weston, was in no particular order: a deep sea diver, a pilot in Africa, and a property owner in the Czech Republic. Weston was a former UKIP candidate who left and joined the British Freedom Party over UKIP’s failure to address “issues related to Islam” in Britain. He left the party after its alliance with the EDF and famously predicted a war between the white working class and immigrants, despite being married to a Romanian. The man has a long and storied history that I suggest you investigate, but it includes arrest for quoting a particularly racist piece of text written by Churchill and a very strange tour of Europe.
Why you should vote: Admittedly it’s hard to like the guy, but he has consistently polled between 0.5 to 2 percent in elections he has competed in. Plus he was one of the early advocates for a non-fascist anti-immigrant party.
Why you shouldn’t vote: Come on. The guy legitimately believed in a neo-Marxist cultural terrorist conspiracy. I really shouldn’t have to spell this out.