“Shake your maracas if you’re against the fracas.” – We Are The Reality Party!
Mark Berry, better known as Bez from the Happy Mondays, once represented himself in court for breaking a court order and proudly proclaimed to the judge: “I refuse to be found guilty. I will not recognise any sentence you give me.” As he was later led towards his cell to serve four months in jail, he was heard yelling, “Victory is in my grasp!”
The point being that his move to politics was a foregone inevitability. The maraca-shaking trailblazers’ iconoclastic ways probably even influenced political troubadours like Joan Baez. Slightly less predictable, however, in a much more genuine sentiment, is that many of his policies make perfect sense.
The Reality Party was founded in 2014 and stood with three candidates in the 2015 UK general election. Their goal was simple: “To bring about revolutionary change for everyone in as short a time as possible.”
This revolutionary change involved closing all offshore tax havens, renationalising water, energy and transport and banning fracking. Their radical aim to achieve rapid revolutionary change was to have instant referendums via social media.
“The party was basically formed because of the threat of fracking, and also we’ve got the threat T Tip which is a hostile takeover by a foreign power which is the American Corporates. The idea is that it is not a revolution it’s more of an evolution because if we don’t evolve as a human race and move away from fossil fuels then the consequences are dire for us all,” he says very sensibly, only to be greeted by an undercurrent of smarmy belittling by the BBC because he gurned his front teeth out on countless pills in the 1990s instead of spending it spunking public money up the wall in a pinstripe suit.
Focussing on community, mitigating environmental disaster and preventing the privatisation of the NHS were the main focus of Bez and his teams’ campaign, which they put forth under the blanket term of “taking back responsibility.”
Amongst the party was the aforementioned Bez who won 703 votes in his bid to take the Salford and Eccles seat. Nigel Askew, who battled against Nigel Farage in what he called “The Battle of the Nigels” while referring to himself as “The Real Pub Landlord”, secured 126 votes. And Mags McNally who also gained a respectable 200 votes.
While neither were successful in claiming a parliamentary seat, they can at least take pride in the fact that they may have brought attention to very pressing environmental issues and raised awareness of the T Tip scandal while others failed to do so. And what’s more, they did while offering up a chuckle and disavowing the stiff upper lip of politics.
You can watch the clip of Bez dishing it out the BBC, below.