European Elections: The Alternative Parties

By Londonist Last edited 115 months ago
European Elections: The Alternative Parties

European elections. Thur 4 June.
Brussels isn't like Westminster. For one thing, the expense accounts are bigger. For another, it's actually possible for small parties to get elected. London already has MEPs from UKIP and the Greens. When, tomorrow, the city elects the eight people who'll represent it in Brussels for the next five years, there's a real chance that other upstarts could rear their head.

And so, we thought we'd take a look at the more unorthodox people squabbling over a ticket on Eurostar this year.

The Christian Party/Christian Peoples Alliance are exactly what you expect, and campaign on a platform of God (they're pro) and gays (they're anti). What you wouldn't expect, though, is that their leader would be the bloke who wrote Sinitta's 1985 pop classic, 'So Macho.' He's a vicar, these days.

The English Democrats are dedicated to being very, very angry about the West Lothian question. They want an English parliament, an end to EU membership, and a stop on immigration. They're not racist, though. Their candidates include a Kenyan-born car repairman, for a start.

Libertas isn't quite as sinister as it might sound. Founded to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, it's now, confusingly, Europe's first pan-European anti-Europe party. Its candidates elsewhere on the continent include a former Latvian PM, but in London it has to make do with ad-man-cum-disability rights campaigner Max Burt.

Yes2Europe is the one to vote for if you're pro-European and conservative. It's thus of no interest whatsoever to anyone other than Kenneth Clarke.

Its mirror image, No2EU, combines a hatred of Brussels with a love of socialism. It's led by RMT boss Bob Crow, so is unlikely to win many friends with a London electorate. Not to be confused with...

…The Socialist Labour Party, which scourge of Thatcherism Arthur Scargill founded in 1996, after managing the impressive feat of becoming disillusioned with the Labour government before it had even been elected. Not to be confused with...

…The Socialist Party of Great Britain, which was founded in 1904, and thus presumably dismisses Crow and Scargill as a lot of Ramsey-come-latelies. It advocates 'impossibilism'. With the socialist left vote splitting three ways - and the People's Front of Judea expected to show up any day now - we suspect this to be a well named creed.

Jury Team offers 'politics without parties', by picking its candidates by direct selection. This is where Esther Rantzen will go, should she go through with her threat to invade Luton. Its top candidate in London is the rather less famous former HSBC man Reza Tabrizi. Although someone of that name is listed on IMDB for his work on cinema classics including Life is Hot in Cracktown and How My Dad Killed Dracula ("Two young teens don't believe their cousin's dad killed Dracula. Then he picks up a shovel and starts to dig..."), this appears, disappointingly, to be a coincidence.

None of these are actually likely to win a seat. One that really could, though, is the BNP. The party won 4% of the vote in 2004. With turnout likely to fall, and disgust with the mainstream parties at an all-time high, it's quite possible it could double that to win the 8.2% required to win a seat.

This, we feel, offers the best reasons to go to the polls on Thursday. If you don’t want the BNP to be your face in Brussels then, whoever you vote for, please vote.

By Jonn Elledge

Last Updated 03 June 2009