Is this the most bizarre election leaflet of all time?

There’s a by-election in the Aberdeenshire ward of Troup at the moment. Ann Bell is the Liberal Democrat candidate.

One of her six opponents, an Independent, put out this leaflet yesterday.

Troup Ward

You can read the rather, shall we say, strange content in full here on, that invaluable Unlock Democracy resource. It’s certainly a fascinating collection of conspiracy theories.

The back page has a  pledge to veto same sex marriage certificates that, apparently, all other 6 candidates have failed to agree to. Frankly, I’m quite pleased about that. My favourite bit is the imprint, which says it was printed by the author to “avoid any authorities’ victimisation of a printer.” This person clearly has chips not only on each shoulder but throughout his entire body.

Mark Pack suggested on Twitter that  this rather eccentric Conservative leaflet, or this Labour leaflet with the probably unnecessary headline: “I am not a horse” were contenders for the most bizarre leaflet ever. I don’t think either could give Mr Mitchell’s a run for its money.

But over to you. Can you do any better?


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Andy Williams 16th Nov '14 - 11:17am

    I’m only sorry that we didn’t hear more about his ‘brother John’

  • No — it is not the most bizarre election leaflet of all time. I remember Bill Boakes.
    See —

    Bill Boakes first stood for parliament as head of his own party entitled – ” Association of Democratic Monarchists Representing All Women “.

    Over the next 35 years his party went through various name changes and eccentric policy changes and he became a regular at parliamentary by-elections until his death in the mid 1980s.

    By way of comparison his contemporary Lord Sutch (the original Monster Raving Looney) was a sensible and cautious, mainstream politician.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 16th Nov '14 - 12:17pm

    Heavens, John, I’d forgotten about Bil Boaks. A definite character. ” Occasionally he would sit in a deckchair in the overtaking lane of the Westway (A40) in North Kensington, reading The Daily Telegraph.” No wonder he was involved in many road accidents.

  • There was a rather bizarre ultra-monarchist leaflet sent out last year, but hell if I could find it on my laptop.

  • Mark Smulian 16th Nov '14 - 4:47pm

    I recall that someone produced a joke leaflet at the Croydon North West by-election in 1981 showing a dozen people on bikes and captioned ‘Its a 12 Horse Race – Vote Boaks’.
    Boaks was then standing for the Air, Road, Public Safety, Democratic Monarchist White Resident Party – doubtless an organisation of his own devising – and was among the 12 candidates.
    I regret I no longer have the leaflet issued by an independent in Tower Hamlets, which among his other listed accomplishments assured voters that he could “eat four Weetabix”.

  • David Allen 16th Nov '14 - 4:57pm

    “By way of comparison .. Lord Sutch .. was a sensible and cautious, mainstream politician.”

    That’s the tragedy of Loonyism. Forever splitting into tiny, powerless antagonistic sects and tribes. Monty Python’s landmark cry of warning about the People’s Loony Front of Judea tragically went unheeded. The Sensibles just steamrollered the Loonies into political irrelevance. The world is the poorer for it.

  • James Moore 16th Nov '14 - 5:01pm

    My work colleagues in Ireland are minorly obsessed with the comedy of this particular candidate’s election literature, mostly for his photo, but also for his ‘election song’ –

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 16th Nov '14 - 5:06pm

    Once you get part his comedy photo, his policies aren’t too bad, though. Where’s the song?

  • Does anyone recall the election address published on behalf of a certain Mr Clifford Hards for the EP election in the West Midlands in 1989? I have a copy somewhere deep down in a big cardboard box up in my loft. Not having the time to retrieve it, I will rely on my memory. There was little or nothing in the leaflet about Europe. However, there were articles telling us how Mr Hards’s travel business went bust, and lamenting the decline of English cricket. And there was an account of how Mr Hards lost weight. Not too surprisingly, Mr Hards subsequently defected to the Green Party.

    Oh, and there was another one, which had a rather nasty tang to it. It was entitled “Introducing X”, and was a collection of extracts from Christmas letters that X wrote to friends. Nothing about SDP policies, nothing about the constituency or the political work that X had done there. When I showed the leaflet to my mother, she recoiled in horror at the passage where X describes putting her mother-in-law in a home so that X’s husband no longer has to go over to North London to “granny sit”. Is this what we’re supposed to be telling the electorate? Apparently, yes, because Y at Cowley Street approved it. The leaflet went out in one ward before the local party has the sense to withdraw it. I have that one in a box in my loft, too.

  • Mark Smulian 16th Nov ’14 – 4:47pm

    Well remembered, Mark. The ’12 horse race’ leaflet in Croydon North-West was mine.

    I expect Peter Chegwyn has still got it on file somewhere.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 16th Nov '14 - 5:43pm

    Actually, we’ve done a fair few joke leaflets in our time. We should put them all together in some book at some point. The ones that aren’t libellous, at least.

  • Martin Land 16th Nov '14 - 7:28pm

    This compares quite favourably with some of the stuff that UKIP put out around here. The only difference being that UKIP’s leaflets are mass as opposed to individual paranoia.

  • Somewhere I have a copy of a poster for a candidate I won’t name because he went on to become the General Secretary of a trades union which featured a drawing of a recumbent woman smoking a spliff, naked except for a strategically placed cat. He got 60 votes – well, it was 1969.

  • Not quite in the same league but during the recent local election we retrieved a tory leaflet attacking an independent candidate because she couldn’t drive and had a job and therefore would be totally unsuitable to represent the area – a leaflet fully justifying Theresa May’s description of the tories as the nasty party (and she should know). Justice was done in this case – the tory lost and the non-car driving independent won.

  • Hallo, it was nice to see a name from my ‘Liberal’ past, Mark Smulian, hope you are well 🙂

  • Mark Smulian 16th Nov '14 - 10:08pm

    peter kemp 16th Nov ’14 – 9:39pm

    Is that Peter Kemp formerly of Liberal Travel Service? Hope all’s well with you too.

  • Peter Chegwyn 20th Nov '14 - 2:41am

    For Mark Smulian & John Tilley. Yes, I do still have a copy of the Bill Boakes “It’s a 12-horse race” leaflet. As we enter a new era of multi-party politics maybe we soon will have 12-horse-race elections.

    For those who haven’t been around as long as Mark, John and myself, see here for details of the legendary Bill Boakes:

  • I’ve found that monarchist leaflet, whilst setting up my new iPad.


  • Peter Chegwyn 16th Feb '15 - 4:54pm

    Good to meet and talk about Bill Boaks. Still trying to find John Tilley’s ’12-Horse Race’ leaflet.

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