Yesterday’s announcement that The Pub Landlord is to stand as a candidate in the General Election in South Thanet, wherever that might be, was satire of the highest calibre, worthy of Beyond the Fringe or Private Eye.
But it also served to highlight what seems likely to be missing from the election campaign in Croydon. Any proper comedians…
Of course, Croydon North already has laugh-a-minute Winston McKenzie as a candidate, while Croydon Central’s joker in the pack seems likely to be gaffe-prone Gavin Barwell.
But Croydon South threatens to be a comedy-free zone, with four months of worthy polemics about the deficit and Purley Pool, yet the grim prospect of little else to lighten the mood.
Chris Philp? Deadly dull. The Hon Emily Benn? Well-connected, but still dull. That Jon Bigger bloke..? There’s not even a Tricky Dicky Ottaway villain figure, sneaking away with a swag-load of public cash, to attract the public’s pantomime-like boos and displeasure this time around.
The people of Purley, Coulsdon and Kenley deserve a candidate to enliven the public debate but also to help subvert the process ever so gently.
Long gone are the days of John Loony donating his election deposit to public funds on behalf of the Monster Raving Loony Party. To paraphrase Stephen Morrissey, that joke wasn’t funny any more when Loony, aka John Cartwright, did the indecent thing and became a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party.
So Croydon South deserves something to offer a little light relief.
Less Russell Brand, maybe more Jo Brand? Someone ready to prick the pomposity of the politicians and inject a titter or two into proceedings (stop giggling at the back).
Inside Croydon wants to hear your suggestions.
They can be local or national figures, full-time comedians or just those with driving ambition to perform at Westminster’s Palace of Varieties. South London’s own Arthur Brown, perhaps? Stephen K Amos or Mark Steel, both of whom have local links, and one of whom has had his name on a ballot paper in the past?
At our daily editorial conference this morning, one suggestion which received unanimous support was local Purley man and KFC “evangelist” Jonny Rose. Always ready with a cheery quip on social media, Rose already has an cohort of devoted fans on Twitter. As well as Anne Piles.
As a founder member of Croydon’s Glee Club, Rose would be able to stand on his record of being at some dining club or other in the south of the borough on the night of August 8, 2011, from which his mates were merrily tweeting that they couldn’t see anything happening, and therefore there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong.
Oh, how we laughed at that!
And Rose appears to have single-handedly solved unemployment in the borough with his so-called “Tech Village” initiative. Or at least unemployment outside the north of Croydon.
An enthusiastic supporter of the transformational Hammersfield scheme so beloved of Barwell, and a firm sceptic over any environmental issues that an incinerator might create, Rose could prove to be a conviction candidate as well as a comedy one.
He already has experience of running a comedy campaign, of sorts, with his attempt at humour with his “Purley die-in” parody, although his use of pictures from America of people protesting against deaths at Ferguson provoked widespread criticism. Clearly, Rose may not be as clever as he appears to think he is.
He is not without some experience of Croydon politics, having somehow managed to receive a personal invite from that paragon of political judgement, local party leader Tony Newman, to attend a Labour briefing. From which Rose duly tweeted scornfully throughout, showing his innate capacity to subvert proceedings – just the sort of thing needed in the Croydon South campaign.
Rose’s capacity for self-promotion knows no bounds, so he would appear to be perfect political material (however oxymoronic that may be). In fact, with the LibDem vote in a state of collapse and helped as ever by the backing of his close mate Councillor Mario Creatura, as his campaign manager, there’s a chance that Rose could even give Philp a run for his money.
It would certainly put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.
We still want to hear the view of our loyal reader as to who they want to see as the comedy candidate in Croydon South. But Inside Croydon’s message is: Run, Jonny! Run!
Coming to Croydon
- Youth Games cricket team trials, Thornton Heath, Jan 16
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 17
- David Lean Cinema, Hannah Arendt, Jan 20
- David Lean Cinema, The Imitation Game, Jan 22
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 24
- David Lean Cinema, Night Will Fall, Jan 27 (Holocaust Memorial Day)
- David Lean Cinema, Kon-Tiki, Jan 29
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 31
- Soul Symphony Community Choir taster session, Feb 3
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Feb 7
- Tales of Love, Lost and Found, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 7
- Uninvited Guests, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 11-13
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Rosie Wilby, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 27
- Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson, Stanley Halls, Feb 28
- Holmes Alone, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 6
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 11
- Iain Lee, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 14
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 8
- Anatomy of the Piano, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 15
- Patrick Monahan, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 16-17
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
- South Norwood Community Festival, July 5
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