Lord Buckethead

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Lord Buckethead
First appearance 1987
Portrayed by Mike Lee (1987, 1992)
Jonathan Harvey (2017)
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Political satirist
Nationality British
Political party Gremloids
Based on Hyperspace character
Created by Todd Durham

Lord Buckethead is a British satirical political candidate. A candidate of that name has stood in three United Kingdom general elections against three different Conservative Party leaders and Prime Ministers. Representing the Gremloids, a frivolous political party, he ran against Margaret Thatcher for parliament in Finchley in 1987, against John Major in Huntingdon in 1992, and against Theresa May in Maidenhead in 2017 where he polled 0.4% of the vote.

Outside of political contexts, Lord Buckethead has appeared at Glastonbury Festival, introducing the band Sleaford Mods in 2017,[1] and has additionally released a Christmas song titled "A Bucketful of Happiness".[2]

Origin[edit]

Lord Buckethead claims to be an intergalactic space lord. His name and costume are derived from the 1984 cult sci-fi comedy Hyperspace (also known as Gremloids, the name of Lord Buckethead's party) by writer and director Todd Durham.[3] A candidate going by the name of Lord Buckethead has stood for parliament in three United Kingdom general elections, but on every occasion his face was obscured as he was wearing a bucket-like mask on his head.[4] Lord Buckethead's participation in parliamentary elections has been considered typical of a British tradition for "unorthodox candidates" in politics, having been compared to the activities of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.[5]

In 1987, VIPCO, an indie home video label in the UK, was experiencing some problems. The owner of VIPCO, Mike Lee was running less controversial labels in 1987, so Mike decided to enter the election to get some publicity for one of the films he had at his company. Mike decided to dress up as Lord Buckethead, the villain of Gremloids.[6]

In 1992, VIPCO, which had been revived, had Gremloids on its release slate. Mike Lee decided to join the election as Lord Buckethead again.

The 2017 incarnation of Lord Buckethead was named as Jonathan David Harvey in the returning officer's declaration for the Maidenhead constituency in the 2017 United Kingdom general election.[7][8][5][9]

When asked by CBC Radio interviewer Carol Off if he was the same individual running as Lord Buckethead in each election or "are you like Doctor Who, do you regenerate for each election?", he replied: "I am Buckethead. We are Buckethead. We are Legion. Does that answer your question?"[10]

Political activities[edit]

In 1987, Lord Buckethead stood against Margaret Thatcher in Finchley.[11] He campaigned to demolish Birmingham to make way for a spaceport.[7] Buckethead received 131 votes in the ensuing general election.[12]

In 1992, he stood in Huntingdon against John Major.[13] He received 107 votes (0.1%) in the general election.[14]

In June 2017, Lord Buckethead campaigned for election in Maidenhead against Prime Minister Theresa May.[15][7][16] He received 249 (0.4%) votes in the ensuing general election, the highest yet for the Lord Buckethead character.[17][18] In a tongue-in-cheek article, The Guardian gave Buckethead a "Best Policy" award for a manifesto pledge to bring back Ceefax.[19] A few days following the 2017 general election, Lord Buckethead made an appearance on the American late-night show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, appearing as a comedic alternative to Theresa May as the person to lead the United Kingdom into the upcoming Brexit negotiations.[20][21]

Additional activities[edit]

He made a surprise appearance at Glastonbury Festival in June 2017 several days after that month's general election, being greeted with cheers and chants of his name. He introduced the group Sleaford Mods, whom he labeled "the unassailable, the irreplaceable, [and] the unfathomable".[1] In 2017, Lord Buckethead also released a Christmas song and related music video titled "A Bucketful of Christmas". The Irish Independent published an article praising the video as "a must-watch".[2]

Platform[edit]

Lord Buckethead's manifesto in the 2017 election promised "strong, not entirely stable leadership", a reference to the Conservatives' "strong and stable" slogan.[22] The following promises were included:

  • Nuclear weapons: "A firm public commitment to build the 100-billion-pound renewal of Britain's Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm commitment, privately, not to build it. They're secret submarines, so no one will ever know. It's a win-win."[10]
  • Free bicycles for all to "combat obesity, traffic congestion, and bike theft".[10]
  • Instead of Theresa May's commitment to bring back[10] grammar schools, Buckethead would build "gamma" schools founded on three principles: "One, better funding for teachers, to attract bright graduates. Two, increased facilities for children, especially playing fields. Three, if any child misbehaves three times, they are blasted into deep space, with the parents provided with a lovely fruit basket, by way of consolation or celebration, depending on the child. Discipline is key".[10]
  • A referendum on whether or not to have another Brexit referendum.[23]
  • Legalise the hunting of fox hunters.[23]
  • Nationalise Adele.[23]
  • Exile of Katie Hopkins to the Phantom Zone.[23]
  • Regeneration of Nicholson's Shopping Centre, Maidenhead.[23]

Electoral history[edit]

General Election 1987: Finchley
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Margaret Thatcher 21,603 53.9 +2.8
Labour John Davies 12,690 31.7 +4.9
Liberal David Howarth 5,580 13.9 −7.3
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 131 0.3 N/A
Gold Party Michaelle St Vincent 59 0.2 N/A
Turnout 40,063 69.4 +0.4
General Election 1992: Huntingdon[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Major 48,662 66.2 +2.6
Labour Hugh Seckleman 12,432 16.9 +3.0
Liberal Democrat Andrew Duff 9,386 12.8 −8.3
Liberal Paul Wiggin 1,045 1.4 N/A
Green Deborah Birkhead 846 1.2 −0.2
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 728 1.0 N/A
Conservative Thatcherite Michael Flanagan 231 0.3 N/A
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 107 0.1 N/A
Forward to Mars Party Charles S. Cockell 91 0.1 N/A
Natural Law David Shepherd 26 0.0 N/A
Turnout 73,554 79.2 +5.2
General Election 2017: Maidenhead[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Theresa May 37,718 64.8 -1.0
Labour Pat McDonald 11,261 19.3 +7.4
Liberal Democrat Tony Hill 6,540 11.2 +1.3
Green Derek Wall 907 1.6 -2.0
UKIP Gerard Batten 871 1.5 -6.9
Animal Welfare Andrew Knight 282 0.5 N/A
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 249 0.4 N/A
Independent Grant Smith 152 0.3 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 119 0.2 N/A
Christian Peoples Edmonds Victor 69 0.1 N/A
The Just Political Party Julian Reid 52 0.1 N/A
Independent Yemi Hailemariam 16 0.0 N/A
Give Me Back Elmo Bobby Smith 3 0.0 N/A
Turnout 58,239 76.4 +3.8

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Smith, Patrick (23 June 2017). "Lord Buckethead makes surprise appearance at Glastonbury appearance to introduce Sleaford Mods". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Lord Buckethead released a music video for Christmas and it's a must-watch - Independent.ie". independent.ie. 
  3. ^ "The real Lord Buckethead: the cult sci-fi film that inspired Theresa May's election rival". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Who is Lord Buckethead, the man who stood against Theresa May? – BBC Newsbeat". BBC Newsbeat. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Malkin, Bonnie (9 June 2017). "Lord Buckethead, Elmo and Mr Fishfinger: a very British election". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "Article: Lord Buckethead – The Whole Story". The Reprobate. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  7. ^ a b c "Lord Buckethead vs Theresa May – meet the UK's weirdest political parties". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Metro.co.uk, Georgia Diebelius for (13 May 2017). "'Lord Buckethead' to stand against Theresa May in General Election". Metro. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Lord Buckethead is election hero after dabbing on stage next to Theresa May". Daily Star. United Kingdom. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Meet Lord Buckethead, the U.K. election's intergalactic spacelord". 
  11. ^ Brokaw, Tom (11 June 1987). "NBC Evening News With Tom Brokaw". TV News Archives. 
  12. ^ Waterson, Jim. "A Person Called 'Lord Buckethead' Is Standing Against Theresa May in the Election". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Huntingdonshire Vote Counts 1950–92" (PDF). Official Huntingdonshire.Gov.UK. 
  14. ^ Matthew Engel (23 October 2014). Engel's England: Thirty-nine counties, one capital and one man. Profile Books. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-84765-928-6. 
  15. ^ "PICTURES: Lord Buckethead campaigns for election in Maidenhead". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "A Man with a Bucket on His Head Ran To Unseat Theresa May. Why? Well ..." NPR. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "Maidenhead parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "The Latest: Costumed candidates in UK get moment of fame". Associated Press. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. She looked grim as her local victory was announced, even while sharing a stage with a man dressed as the Muppet character Elmo (he got three votes), Howling "Laud" Hope of the Monster Raving Loony Party (119 votes) and Lord Buckethead, a towering figure in black with a pail on his head (a resounding 249 votes). 
  19. ^ Heritage, Stuart (8 June 2017). "The 2017 election awards: from best eating of a Pringle to biggest dolt". The Guardian. 
  20. ^ "Brexit II". Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. YouTube. 11 June 2017. HBO. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  21. ^ Tomasz Frymorgen. "Lord Buckethead has agreed to lead Brexit negotiations". BBC Three. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  22. ^ Moseley, Tom (27 April 2017). "'Strong and stable' - had enough yet?". BBC News. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  23. ^ a b c d e Lion, Patrick (9 June 2017). "Theresa May's rival Lord Buckethead ran on Katie Hopkins and Adele policies". 
  24. ^ "UK General Election results April 1992". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "Statement of persons nominated – Maidenhead". Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 

External links[edit]