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On this day in history in 1940, was born Screaming Lord Sutch.
Sutch was a pop singer, who sought a path to publicity through standing for election, and consequently become the longest serving party leader in history.
David Edward Sutch was born in Harrow, the son of a policeman who died when Sutch was ten months old. He grew up in Harrow and became a plumberís mate until the boredom overcame him and he went for a life in popular music. His stage name of Screaming Lord Such was derived from the celebrated rock and roll star, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and from a stage prop, a fur lined crash helmet with bobbles, which, if looked at from an obtuse angle, resembled a coronet. Sutch changed his name by deed poll to Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow.
Sutch enjoyed moderate success in the Sixties. His act was characterised by horror effects. Sutch would begin by emerging from a coffin, dressed as Jack the Ripper and sporting such props as skulls, daggers and the grisly appurtenances of the funeral trade. He released numerous singles, the most popular of which was Jack the Ripper.
In 1963, Sutch stood as a bye-election candidate for the National Teenagers Party, a political organisation of his own creation, and although the votes he polled were derisory, the attention he received was stupendous. Sutch went on to represent the party at general elections and bye-elections, invariably losing his deposit and adding some merriment to the proceedings. His party advocated voting at eighteen, commercial radio and all day pub opening, policies which have all been enacted.
In 1983, Sutch founded the Official Monster Raving Looney Party, a party whose policies are apparent from its name. He continued to stand for Parliament at every available occasion and achieved the record for the greatest number of lost deposits. He remained party leader from the partyís foundation until his death, due partly to the absence of a party appointments procedure. His political apogee occurred in 1990, when he recorded 418 votes at the Bootle bye-election, a total that compared favourably with the 156 received by the Social Democratic Party who were thereupon obliged to disband in humiliation.
Although outwardly a flamboyant character, Sutch suffered from depression. In 1999, after a particularly severe attach, Sutch took his own life. He is buried at Pinner Cemetery [Pinner Road, Pinner, HA5 5RW. Section J2]. On his tombstone are inscribed the words Ď A lord without peer, Sutch was the way with himí.
Sharpe, Graham. The Man Who Was Screaming Lord Sutch.
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