Official Monster Raving Loony Party

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The Official Monster Raving Loony Party (OMRLP) is a United Kingdom political party that was founded by musician and politician, Screaming Lord Sutch in 1983.

Previously Sutch had stood, or attempted to stand, under a whole raft of party names since 1964. A similar concept appeared in the "Election Night Special" sketch by Monty Pythons Flying Circus in 1971 in which a Silly and Sensible Party competed against each other. Monty Python also popularised the word "loony" in the sense that Sutch was using in the name of the OMRLP, but it is possible that Sutch inspired Monty Python by managing to stand against Harold Wilson in 1966 and in the City of London election in 1970.

The Loonies generally field as many candidates as possible in United Kingdom general elections, many standing under ridiculous false names they have adopted via deed poll. Parliamentary candidates have to pay their own deposit (which currently stands at £500) and cover all of their expenses. No OMLRP has managed to get the required 5% of the popular vote needed to retain his deposit but this does not stop people standing.

The OMRLP are distingushed by having a rather bizarre manifesto, which contains things that seem to be too impossible or too absurd to implement. For example, in their 2001 platform they promised to "make class sizes smaller by standing kids closer together & giving them smaller desks" and that "All animals will have the same rights to cross the roads as zebras, pelicans & puffins.[1]" Despite its satirical nature, some of the things that have featured in Loony manifestos have become law, such as being able to vote at 18 and all-day pub openings.

In 1987 the OMRLP won its first seat on Ashburton parish council in Devon, as Alan Hope was elected unopposed.

In a by-election in May 1991, the Loony candidate received more votes than the candidate for the Social Democrats. This was the last straw for the Democrats, whose vote had been steadily slipping. Rubbing salt in their wounds, Sutch offered to form a coalition with them, but they instead eventually merged with the Liberals, the merged party now named the Liberal Democrats.

Screaming Lord Sutch, a manic depressive, committed suicide on June 16th 1999 and drew tributes from right across the political spectrum.

The OMLP is now run by Alan Howling Laud Hope and his cat, Cat Mandu, and has since fielded 15 candidates in the 2001 General Election.

Official Website: http://www.omrlp.com/

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[1] There are several types of pedestrian crossings in Britain, which have acquired these animal & bird names/acronyms