How do you reverse the devastating decline in the UK’s red squirrel population?
Paint half of grey squirrels red.
This flagship political policy belongs to ‘Chinners’ Chinnery, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party (MRLP) candidate for Kingston and Surbiton.
‘Chinners’, a cartoonist, is the party’s Minister for Spinning, Bouncing and Points.
He also holds the high office of the party’s space hopper champion.
Despite the loony name, Mr Chinnery points to more than a dozen MRLP policies, initially ridiculed, now becoming law.
These include reducing the voting age from 21 to 18, passports for pets and all-day drinking hours.
He said: “Passports for pets wasn’t just a pet thing but it’s revolutionised the horse racing industry. That’s why you’ve got horses coming over from New Zealand and Australia.”
Mr Chinnery wears his trademark leopard print jacket and top hat and relishes the opportunity to stand for election.
He said: “It’s a bit of poking fun at the politicians because, like the leopard, we don’t change our spots – unlike the other parties.
“I like the satire aspect because I think politicians are on a pedestal.
“We’re there to highlight the absurdities.
“If politicians were doing their job properly, you wouldn’t need a MRLP so I think we’re going to be around for a long time yet.
“When we get in, in a five-year parliamentary term, we’re going to get it all done in four years. So not only is that a 20% saving, it gives everyone a year off politics.
“We’re proposing to give the vote to five-year-olds. In parliament, they’re all acting like a bunch of five-year-olds so if you’re going to act like that, you might as well let five-year-olds vote.”
Mr Chinnery now wants to extend the Tiger Rock ride at Chessington World of Adventures into Chessington town centre and proposes to turn Kingston’s cycle lanes into space hopper lanes to reduce congestion.
His role as Minister for Spinning originates from criticism of the spin-heavy politics of New Labour and Alastair Campbell, but he has free rein over his choice of department.
He said: “You had someone that came in, wasn’t even elected and became one of the most powerful people in the country, splitting the media apart.
“When we have a conference, we have a cabinet reshuffle where there’s a cabinet in the car park and everyone shuffles through it.”
Mr Chinnery’s electoral agent is Lucky Rover landlord in Chessington, renamed Lord Lucky George Rover, and Lord George has relished his first experience of politics.
He said: “It’s been uplifting. I’m totally loonified. I’ve never been politically involved before – I always voted with what my mum did and I’d had enough of it all, I think everybody has.”
Mr Chinnery claims he isn’t standing in this election, rather ‘slouching or leaning to the side’, but believes exercising democratic rights is of greater importance.
This is proven by a practice polling booth he has set up in the pub, which aims to show people how simple it is to vote.
He said: “There’s nothing wrong with sensible loonyism, I haven’t decided if I’m voting for myself yet, I’ll have to read my ‘Manicfesto’ and see if I agree with any of it.
“Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result: so don’t usually vote, vote unusually.
“My key thing is just to get people to vote even if it’s to stop me getting in.
“Do it, it’s democracy.”
Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.