POLITICS has lost of one of its more likeable figures.
Lord Toby Jug, a thirsty veteran of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, has died at a well-pickled 53.
Mrs May, who is forever lecturing the poor about how our tight public finances bind her hands on necessary spending, gaily proposes giving the EU a £39billion cheque
Rex Features Lord Toby Jug squandered a fortune in £500 election deposits and seldom attracted more than a handful of votes
Jug, real name Brian Borthwick, was a fixture at election counts with his leopard-print blazer, Hawaiian shirt and a certain conviviality misting his gaze. On his head would be a top hat with the slogan: “Don’t be a mug, vote Toby Jug.”
He squandered a fortune in £500 election deposits and seldom attracted more than a handful of votes, although in a 2009 county council election he beat two Labour candidates. He called the result: “A Loony landslide.”
His policies? To reduce immigration, he wanted vast photographs of Russell Brand and Katie Hopkins erected at British airports. These, he argued, would so terrify new arrivals that they would leg it on the first plane home.
People with stutters should receive 15 per cent discounts on their t-t-t-telephone bills. To combat obesity, superglue should be added to lip salves. And anyone convicted of homophobia should have to serve their sentence in drag.
On the face of it, poor Toby, like his late pal and party leader Screaming Lord Sutch, seemed a crackpot. That was the conventional verdict.
But the longer you look at them, the less loopy Lords Jug and Sutch start to look. Were they possibly not more sane than many of our “real” politicians?
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VAIN NINCOMPOOP CAMERON
It’s not as if Jug smashed mobile phones against the wall (Gordon Brown), shaved the back of his hands (Peter Mandelson), or travelled by sledge to the Arctic Circle for a photoshoot with huskies (that vain nincompoop David Cameron).
And Toby Jug certainly missed a trick by never granny-dancing on to a party conference stage to the strains of Abba. We had to wait for “dependable” dullard Theresa May to do that.
Mrs May or Lord Toby Jug: Which was more deserving of being carted away by the men in white coats?
Which was closer to the public’s views? Don’t be a mug, vote Toby Jug. And that was a better slogan, was it not, than Mrs May’s daft, delusional 2017 General Election claim that she was “strong and stable”?
She croaked it like a demented parrot. “Strong and stable” turned out to be as truthful as some fruitcake who marches along your high street claiming to be the King of Prussia.
Our politicians love to pose as shrewd sentries outside the nation’s coffers. They boast about their cleverness and financial acumen and yet they propose blowing £56billion — more likely £63billion, say sceptics — on a swanky new railway line that may reduce journey times between London and Birmingham by just a few minutes. Few voters want the HS2 line yet MPs press on with it. Nuts.
‘JOKE COME HORRIBLY TRUE’
Mrs May, who is forever lecturing the poor about how our tight public finances bind her hands on necessary spending, gaily proposes giving the EU a £39billion cheque for almost nothing in return.
Does the House of Commons pin her down and ask her what the blazes she is doing? Nope.
Who is the bonkers one here? It wasn’t Jug who, hoping to look virtuous, told police to reduce stop and search, a decision which was followed by a dreadful rise in knife murders of black kids. That was another crazy policy of the turbulent, scowling, almost catatonic T May.
If you meet MPs, as we politics reporters must, you will hear them say that our PM “has lost it” and “needs help”. These are not poor-taste jibes about mental health. They genuinely believe Mrs May is unwell. Yet they will not remove her from an office in which she has command of our Armed Forces. Who’s pottier here? Mrs May, or the MPs who indulge her?
Take a look at the 1997 General Election manifesto of the Monster Raving Loony Party. One of its policies was: “We will introduce votes at 16.” They clearly thought that was a comically absurd idea. Today it is national policy in Scotland and is supported for the rest of the country by the Labour Party.
‘YOU WERE A PROPHET’
Another 1997 Monster Raving Loony proposal (alongside a declaration to believe in Prince Edward, to abolish shark-pickling artist Damien Hirst and to serve roly-poly pudding at Buckingham Palace state banquets) was: “Solving the problem of over-crowding in prisons by releasing all innocent prisoners.”
Our political class has gone one better than this. It has sought to solve prison crowding by releasing GUILTY prisoners.
Then there was the Loonies’ idea to give House of Lords seats to: “Anyone who writes a problem page in a national newspaper.” Daft, of course. Instead, Labour gave a peerage to minor TV personality (and nasty little squirt) Alan Sugar.
The last gem from the 1997 Loonies’ manifesto was a promise to hold: “A referendum on whether people want a referendum on Europe.”
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Good joke — except that it has come horribly true. We were told our 2016 EU referendum was a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to decide whether or not to stay in the EU.
Many MPs now want to block that poll’s Leave result and say it was merely a rehearsal for another referendum.
Nurse, we need more straitjackets here!
RIP, Lord Toby Jug. You were not a raving loony. You were a prophet.
AP:Associated Press We had to wait for dependable dullard Theresa May to dance ABBA, says Quentin Letts
Getty – Contributor Lord Toby Jug’s party leader Screaming Lord Sutch, seemed a crackpot, says Quentin Letts
AP:Associated Press Vain nincompoop David Cameron travelled by sledge to the Arctic Circle for a photoshoot with huskies
AP:Associated Press It’s not as if Jug smashed mobile phones against the wall like Gordon Brown
Nigel Farage slams politicians for going against the Brexit will of the people