While the Tories go from one foul-up to another, and Labour has to deal with the histrionics of Ian Austin (plus king-size onion), the Brexit Party, latest electoral vehicle for the advancement of Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, has continued its delusional progress, seeking out likely locations where it can con the voters into believing that its assortment of rich opportunists gives a flying foxtrot about them.
This mission has now reached north east England, where the man already presented at the Brexit Party candidate for Hartlepool has been turfed out: as the Guardian has reported, it “had already publicly announced its election candidate as Ken Hodcroft, the former Hartlepool FC chairman”. But Hodcroft is a mere millionaire: this is not sufficiently rich, and so he is to be supplanted by a multi-millionaire.
The Guardian got wind of the candidate switch earlier, telling “The Brexit Party chairman, Richard Tice, is standing as its candidate in the Labour stronghold of Hartlepool in December’s election, the Guardian understands. Sources in the leave-voting town said Tice’s candidacy would be announced in Hartlepool later on Thursday”.
That supposition was proved correct as Tice took time out from threatening legal action against his opponents to proclaim “Delighted to announce that I’ll be standing as the Brexit Party’s candidate for Hartlepool. I have a track record of getting things done and know I can deliver for the town. I’ll battle for a proper Brexit, more money into Hartlepool and more jobs for the people here”. Yeah, right. Of course he will.
The official Brexit Party endorsement followed soon after that: ”Congratulations [Richard Tice] who has just announced he will be standing as The Brexit Party candidate for Hartlepool!” Tice’s partner, mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott, for once indulging in significant understatement, added “This will be an exciting campaign!”
And exciting it will certainly be: there will be the excitement of Tice having to explain how he’s going to be an MP and MEP at the same time, the excitement of how he will explain how much in expenses he will expect to claim from both jobs (given he can only do one of them at a time), and of course the excitement of him convincing the less well-off that merely having faith and smiling will overcome poverty and unemployment.
There will also be the excitement of Tice finding Hartlepool on a map, and then navigating his way around the constituency. As one local Labour official put it, “What does Richard Tice know about Hartlepool and challenges facing local residents? What does he know about child poverty, the devastating impact of public service cuts, what it’s like to live in communities where there are too few police officers and too few jobs?” He doesn’t.
Not really Brexit Party related, honest
Richard Tice is just another rich southerner pretending to do politics. It is doubtful that his tenure as an MEP (representing an area which does not include Hartlepool) will leave the slightest political legacy. There can be no greater expectation for his tenure as an MP, should the voters of Hartlepool be deceived into returning him to Westminster.
For rich Brexiteers, this is just another game. But for those at the bottom of the pile, whose lives would not be improved one jot by Tice’s election, it is no laughing matter.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at