The Official Monster Raving Loony Party was established in 1982 by the musician David “Screaming Lord” Sutch the 3rd Earl of Harrow, whom armed with his ‘bizarre’ policies became a familiar face come election time in the United Kingdom. As much an electoral tradition as campaign rosettes and empty promises he served as leader until he tragically took his own life in 1999 during which time he held the record for losing all 41 elections in which he had stood. Throughout all the times I took an interest in politics there was Lord Sutch either standing in the background or just to the side, filling the screen with colour in his trademark top hat, leopard skin coat, campaign badges, giant rosette and megaphone. When he died I would almost say that my interest in the electoral process and the build up to Polling Day died with him, as elections didn’t seem the same afterwards.
Had he still been with us, he would have celebrated his 75th Birthday today and so I use this poignant day to say that a little bit of Screaming Lord Sutch has been added to my collection of Wonderments and Atrocities! What self-respecting museum doesn’t have a piece relating to an important political figure? So here we have an original Screaming Lord Sutch leopard skin coat! Lord Sutch wore this very coat when he first ran as a Monster Raving Loony party candidate at the 1983 Bermondsey By- Election and wore it at numerous Monster Raving Loony party campaign trails and ‘victory’ celebrations across the British Isles through to 1989.
Sir Andrew - Lord of Shawcastle. A lifetime member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, the Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party and honorary member of Der Deutsche Rock 'n' Roll Und Loony Partei. Sir Andrew not only Co-Founder of the US National Official Monster Raving Loony Party, but was also the US delegate to the Loonited Nations and former backing musician for Lord Sutch himself.
The coat not only provides its own provenance it also tells a story that can be pieced together from clues that have remained attached to the coat all this time.
So there you have it my piece of political memorabilia from the very early days of the Monster Raving Loony Party. As I previously mentioned work has begun on a creating a permanent exhibition devoted to Screaming Lord Sutch in my museum of Wonderment and Atrocities and I will post an update as soon as its completed. Normally I prefer to post images when the project is done, but this time I thought I would give you all a little sneaky peek at a time when friends and followers remember the life of the wonderfully unique man that brought colour to elections and led the raving loonies of this land.
My sincere thanks to Lord Toby Jug for the photographs.
© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.