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Iconic Arty-Pole is the man behind the Monster Raving Loony Party's playful politics in Lincolnshire

Amid the seriousness of general election campaigning, one political party has always stood out as the playful alternative — and in a world of chaos, the Monster Raving Loony Party is vying for fifth time lucky in Lincolnshire, or are they?

Coun Peter Hill, the vice chairperson of Great and Little Carlton Parish Council, is again in the Louth and Horncastle constituency standing in the General Election under his Iconic Arty-Pole alias as a member of the Monster Raving Loony Party — facing off against Health Secretary Victoria Atkins on July 4.

It is a party that has been the self-confessed chaos of the political asylum since its formation in 1982, and with policies such as fitting cushions on the front of all trains to make them safer, or changing everyone’s name to Chris to avoid identity theft — they can be forgiven for perhaps not being taken seriously at times.

Iconic Arty-Pole and the Monster Raving Loony Party: bringing humor and local issues to the election. Photo: LDRS
Iconic Arty-Pole and the Monster Raving Loony Party: bringing humor and local issues to the election. Photo: LDRS

The candidates often skate the thin line of ridiculousness versus seriousness, appealing to people on all four corners of the political spectrum, and more so with those who don’t feel aligned with the current direction of more mainstream parties.

Despite the laughs and jokes, Peter, or Iconic Arty-Pole as I shall be referring to him as for the rest of the piece, still has his finger on the pulse of local issues — and wants to champion that as much as he can.

“I have a great belief in our National Health Service,” he said. “I was involved in fighting for Louth hospital from the beginning, and feel the country has drifted away from principles.

“This country was totally poverty stricken after the Second World War, so we formed the NHS and started building council houses for people. Over the years that vision has been lost.”

As a resident of Great Carlton for a quarter of a century, Mr Arty-Pole is also well aware of the proposed National Grid pylon plan across Lincolnshire — which he says would land around 200 yards from his house, if approved.

He is also “anti-nuke dump” referring to plans at Biscathorpe, arguing that rail is the safest way to move nuclear waste and Lincolnshire doesn’t have the infrastructure for that.

He asks: “Are they going to trundle it over to Skegness or Cleethorpes during holiday season, because that’s the only two big stations we have around here?”

A major policy point for Iconic Arty-Pole is the creation of “wave generators” around the North Sea to capitalise on a consistent form of energy production, rather than having something like the pylons which would “take all power from up by Grimsby and move it to Essex.”

That isn’t to say he doesn’t have a few eye-catching, headline-grabbing daft policies of his own. He has long campaigned for socks to be sold in threes, asking “have you ever lost an odd sock in the wash?”

“You have a left sock, which we call the Labour Party, a right sock, which is the Conservatives, and a sock that fits both feet, which we call the Liberal Democrats.”

Another of his policies is making unicorns a protected species, arguing this would ensure more visibility for the mythical creature — stating “only children can see them these days.”

Arty-Pole is also a firm believer in “cash is king, but barter is better” and says that while his party would roll out a 99p coin to prevent the 1p change we are all so used to nowadays, he fears it would have an impact on charity.

“All those charity boxes on shop counters won’t get that spare penny if we do that,” he said.

But how does Iconic Arty-Pole actually think he will do at this election? In 2019 he received 1,044 votes, which is the most any Monster Raving Loony Party candidate has received in the 21st Century — but he isn’t hoping for much better, surprisingly.

“If I get 5% of the votes and get my £500 deposit back, I will be asked to leave the party on the grounds of taking it too seriously! Nobody in the entire life of our party has managed to do that.

“I’ve pushed Green policies in the previous two elections, but now they have stood a candidate here so I am just going to play it by ear.

“To be honest, you could put a ruptured duck on crutches up for election and it would win in Lincolnshire if you painted it blue. It might be different this year, but usually the Conservatives know most of the county is a pretty safe seat.”

The candidates for Louth and Horncastle are:

- Victoria Atkins (Conservative)

- Jonathan Slater (Labour)

- Ross Pepper (Liberal Democrat)

- Robert Watson (Green)

- Sean Matthews (Reform UK)

- Marcus Moorhouse (Social Democratic Party)

- Iconic Arty-Pole (Monster Raving Loony Party)

- Paul Hugill (Independent)

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