Croydon needs a comedy candidate: Run, Jonny! Run!

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.

Hilarious: Gavin Barwell

Hilarious: 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.

Positively presidential: Jonny Rose giving his backing to Gavin Barwell in Croydon Central. But will he run himself in Croydon South?

Positively presidential: Jonny Rose is backing Barwell in Croydon Central. But will he run himself in Croydon South?

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!

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Business, Chris Philp MP, Coulsdon, Croydon 8/8, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, Jon Bigger, Mario Creatura, Purley, Purley Pool, Richard Ottaway MP, Tony Newman, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Croydon needs a comedy candidate: Run, Jonny! Run!

  1. jonathanrose says:

    I kid you not: if you’d only just managed to wind your neck in on this for a few more weeks I was planning on launching my own Jonny Rose For MP comedy site sending up all and sundry but nooooo you had to spoil it.

    As for the other stuff, I’m not too precious about these things – but, in the interests of getting a fair hearing, some corrections:

    1) “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.”

    This is mental. Myriad videos and tweets (if you’d like an excel spreadsheet of all of them to pore over, just ask) were made on the night to the contrary. Not least because many of the guests lived in the heart of central Croydon where it was happening.

    2) “An enthusiastic supporter of the transformational Hammersfield scheme”

    To date, I don’t recall saying anything positive about Hammersfield. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve largely capitalised upon it to make Croydon Tech Village seem like a better alternative by comparison. Not least in your esteemed organ:

    3) “A firm sceptic over any environmental issues that an incinerator might create”

    Even the most cursory glance at my Twitter feed would show the contrary.

    I don't think you've ever called the sitting council "a shower of spineless cretins" before having to step into a room with all of them on your own?

    4) "His close mate Councillor Mario Creatura"

    That I've referred to him as a "doe-eyed corpulent, right-wing sexpot™" on numerous occasions in no way should it be regarded as a term of endearment or friendship. Consider it the sort of dispassionate anthropological commentary favoured by the likes of Attenborough, Goodall, etc.

    I could go on, but anyway – rampant inaccuracies aside – this is hilarious. Well done xxx

  2. mraemiller says:

    It’s an interesting theoretical question who the loony vote helps most but if, as I suspect, loony votes are cast by those who both dislike the status quo but can’t bring themselves to vote for the main alternative then it might be argued that they are actually good for the incumbent – creating a wall of effective abstentions between himself and the next most-likely-to-win candidate.

    In which case were Gavin Barwell to lose by 330 votes or less he might start to wonder if his party’s absorption of former loony John Cartwright and former self-publicist Michael Castle may have been a little silly in retrospect.

    That may sound fanciful thinking but I bet Geraint Davies is still kicking himself for not having won Mr Cartwright over to the third way during his “Not-A-Marxist” period.

  3. Duona says:

    I will remember August 8th for a very long time.
    Only for the Riots
    The North of the Borough has never interested those who built upon the tragedy to their advantage without ever paying it forward.. That includes Gavin Barwell and his supporters who had a plan from the start.
    Use the riots to get the money and spend it to help Gavin get re-elected.

  4. Jon Bigger says:

    Jonny “Some of my closest friends are doe-eyed corpulent, right-wing sexpots” Rose – how’s that for a catchy tagline for the first hustings event?

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