I am all for comedians, satirists and the general public having a laugh about political matters, but I don't think it's funny for spoof candidates to stand in parliamentary elections and try to reduce the whole process to a farce.
If that makes me a grumpy, bad-tempered git then I'm proud to be a grumpy, bad-tempered git, who still remembers that people struggled, fought, and died to get the vote. There are many countries in the world where you could be gaoled for demanding an election - China for example - and many others where the election process is even more blatantly biased than it is here, yes even taking the BBC into account. And however biased and farcical you may think it is already there is simply no excuse for treating it like a fancy-dress parade and undermining belief in the whole process.
At the Witney by-election this week, there were fourteen candidates including no less than three silly, superannuated juveniles standing for parties with titles such as the Bus-pass Elvis Party, the Monster Raving Loony Party, and the Eccentric Party of Great Britain. These jests are not new and some of them have been dragged out at election after election for decades. They are dinosaurs of yesteryear. Surely it is time to put aside these tired worn-out japes and grow up? After all, only a few months ago, the majority of people in this country did vote to keep our precious right to govern ourselves. Having fought to keep it, for heaven's sake let's respect it.
These publicity-seekers are treating the whole election as if it were a carnival. Why don't they just go to a carnival and keep away from serious politics? There were actually some good independent candidates such as Mr Nicholas Ward, who stood on a platform of opposing the HS2 high-speed rail-link project - a very worthy cause. And there was Dr Helen Salisbury standing for the NHS Action Party. These people could have got more media attention and more votes if the pranksters and buffoons would just keep away.