Happening Happy Hippy Party
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The Happening Happy Hippy Party, or HHHP, was a British political satire website and ezine that ran between 1997 and 2002, emerging during the dotcom boom in British satire. Apart from outliving its competitors, what made it distinctive was that it posed as a spoof political party, with policies like easing the burden on Britain's National Health Service by making accidents illegal and improving Britain's climate by towing the island 200 miles south.
Writers and Content
The members/writers were largely confined to the south of England (principally the seaside town of Gosport, where the HHHP was based). Regular contributions were made by American comedy writer Emily Wilson-Jones, and the Party attracted a large American/Canadian following. Features at the site included a "Bushism Generator", which generated random entertaining quotes from US President George W. Bush and a teapot webcam, part of the Party's ongoing fixation with tea.
During one of its television appearances in 1999, the HHHP's leaders reputedly attempted to declare their college an independent state, citing the growing of watercress in one of the science department's laboratories as sufficient agricultural produce to sustain it. Although the college concerned did not object, the sequence did not make it into the broadcast edition of the Meridian Broadcasting show Cybercafe.
Praise and Criticism
When it closed in 2002 the HHHP had appeared several times on British national television and generated approval from as diverse sources as the Adam Smith Institute and Private Eye. During its tenure it received over 200 applications from people who had misunderstood that it was not a real political party.
The HHHP did attract criticism, however. An ITV show about the internet, Cybernet, slammed the principally student-written site as "childish" and "puerile" humour. This review was broadcast on British national television in 2002, and coincided with the decline of the party.