Lord Toby Jug, leader of The Eccentric Party of Great Britain, let loose in Wisbech
- Credit: Archant
Letting Lord Toby Jug, leader of The Eccentric Party of Great Britain, loose around Wisbech, proves to be an interesting afternoon.
Following the colourful character on his quest to find Fenland’s most eccentric people, he and Lord Bungle, membership secretary, chairman and Alternative Shadow Minister of Beards, spread their unusual message.
With his hat on and a gold megaphone in hand, Lord Jug has no trouble attracting attention – and potential voters – to hear his quirky policies.
Though it’s only been going since January 2015, The Eccentric Party of Great Britain counts more than 5,000 members and they hope to be in Government this time next year – if there’s a snap election.
“We want to turn Fenland into Funland – a giant theme park,” he says. “Vote eccentric for a saner country” he blasts out of the microphone at bewildered passers-by.
When we arrive in Wisbech, the first thing Lord Jug and Bungle notice is the newly erected Reading Tree. They pose in front of it for photos, and pull out a book fittingly-titled ‘Everybody Feels Happy’.
Catching the attention of stall holders on the market, antiques trader Martin White soon promises to vote.
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“For what we get from the politicians at the moment, I’ll vote for you anytime,” he enthuses. “Wisbech is the perfect place – we’ve got a good mixture of people; some crazy and some nice.”
After browsing the fruit and vegetable stall, we find ourselves infiltrating The Angel Inn, and a very confused Wisbech Town Councillor Aigars Balsevics inside.
On the way back to the town centre, a passer-by named Carolle Barlow stares at the pair inquisitively, asking “why are you dressed up?”
After Lord Jug explains who he is and what he’s doing, she happily takes a party leaflet and assures “don’t you worry, I’m free thinking alright”.
Stopping off for an afternoon drink - a cup of tea for Lord Jug - a family outside The Globe pub call the Lords over for a picture, with smiles spread across the little girls’ faces they say “we’re going to be famous”.
For more information or to sign up to the Eccentric Party of Great Britain, visit www.eccentricparty.com
What is your real name? Brian Borthwick, but I changed it by deed poll in 1991 to Lord Toby Jug
What brings you to the Fens?
We’re looking to form a branch of the eccentric party in this area. We believe there are a lot of eccentrics in the closet and we want them to come out of the closet and join the most sensible party in the country. We’re the only party that actually admits to being mad – all the other parties don’t. We are the only honest party.
Tell us about your party’s policies.
We’re going to turn the whole area into Funland, rather than Fenland. It will become a Disneyland style theme park bringing total employment, and all MP’s and politicians who live here can be used as waiters. So we can throw bread rolls at them.
What are your pet hates? Other political parties, Costa Coffee, middle aged blokes in pubs wearing replica football shirts with their belly hanging out cheering their team on embarrassingly, non-recyclable election leaflets and reality TV – it’s full of false people, they’re nothing but attention seekers.
What do you do when you’re not being Lord Toby Jug? I’m a musician, teach bass guitar, lecture at universities and, of course, run the party.
What’s the most sensible thing you’ve done in your life? I’ve never done anything sensible in my life. I don’t conform to anything that people could see as normality. I dance to the beat of a different drum.
What motto do you live your life by? A laugh a day keeps the asylum away.