Showbusiness for ugly people? Not any longer if Britain’s newest political party gets any traction in Haltemprice and Howden.
One of the bizarrest elements of the most bizarre by-election in recent history is the rise of the Miss Great Britain Party, represented by the current holder of that title, Gemma Garrett. Given the absence of Labour and the Lib Dems from the ballot, David Davis’s most serious contender in the by-election circus of his own making may well be the fragrant Gemma (26, Belfast), who announced her candidacy today. Gemma, fresh from contesting the Crewe and Nantwich by-election (where she secured 113 votes), will now take on Mr Davis, a lady called Madcow from the Monster Raving Loony Party, and three independents.
And Gemma is not flying solo. Next week’s Henley by-election will be contested by (among others) Louise Cole and Amanda Harrington, a blonde and a brunette, both from the Miss GB Party.
Where will this all lead? Is it too implausible to imagine that the lovely Gemma may capture the hearts of the Haltemprice electorate, or that Louise and Amanda (despite going for a controversial vote-splitting strategy) will shock the Tories in Boris’s old seat? With many predicting a hung Parliament after the next election, is it overly-fanciful to think that a bunch of glamour queens may hold the balance of power in Westminster? Well, yes.
So what is going on? The Party’s website states that the Party was founded and is led by fashion entrepreneur Robert de Keyser who is also chairman of Miss Great Britain. So it looks like just a bit of fun to promote an old-fashioned beauty pageant and a fledgling modelling career. But the new Party may be doing a little more than that. Gemma herself fought the Crewe by-election on a platform of bringing beauty into politics, although she did set out surprisingly detailed policies on child care and army pay.
Further details on her platform for the H&H by-election are scant indeed, her manifesto page charmingly announces content to be added shortly although she appears firmly opposed to Mr Davis’s manouvering over 42 days. The (rather impressive) announcement of her candidacy, which she put out today, states that
“It is extraordinary that he thinks the issue of detaining suspects for an extra 14 days is what is most exercising the British electorate in times of a credit crunch and a faltering economy. However we are delighted that he has given us the opportunity to put another of our excellent candidates before the voters so that we can continue to debate the issues about which we believe people really care”.
Whether Gemma or her party colleagues ever achieve elected office, at least they will have given the rather plain world that many of us know a bit of much-needed colour. As the candidate herself told Sky News, “It’s a bit of fun and it’s a bit light-hearted. Perhaps some of the more stony-faced individuals who inhabit our public life could do with taking a leaf out of Gemma’s book.