Bez From The Happy Mondays Has Set Up A Political Party

The man with the maracas is launching an a new political party for disaffected voters. BuzzFeed went along to the launch at his local pub to find out more.

1. Bez from the Happy Mondays has founded his own political party. It’s called The Reality Party. And he wants your vote.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

Bez – sometime freaky dancer, former Celebrity Big Brother winner and living embodiment of Madchester – has decided to launch his own political movement. And he’s deadly serious about it. So BuzzFeed went along to the launch on Tuesday night to find out what the hell is going on.

2. Bez chose to hold the launch at Wangies Bar, his local pub in Eccles, Greater Manchester.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

Before things got going we wandered around and asked people what they thought of Bez. Most of them spoke of him as a local hero.

People were mostly Labour voters, but none of them showed much enthusiasm for Ed Miliband’s party. A few people said they were thinking of voting for UKIP in the European parliament elections.

4. Bez told BuzzFeed he got into politics to fight against fracking for shale gas in nearby Barton.

Christopher Furlong / Getty

“I got a message from Dave in Barton Moss, he said ‘Bez, we need ya down here man!’ and I thought ‘fucking hell, this is Salford! What we’re known for around here is our fighting skills!’” he explained.

Fighting the fracking down the road from the pub where he was speaking, he said, had brought the community together and pushed him to found his political party.

“I’m thankful for the fracking, it’s a blessing in disguise because it’s brought us all together, as one people. The people do have the power, we are the good honest people.”

Bez went on to explain that opposition to fracking would unite the country, and hopefully eventually the world. His vision is for a global democracy with free food (with the help of bees), free public transport, free drinking water, and no fracking.

5. ‘Bez the bee-keeper’ is one of the central images of The Reality Party’s campaign.

Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Others slogans include “shake your maracas if you’re against the frackers”.

Bez said that by next year, he wants to see The Reality Party standing in every constituency around the country with “candidates everywhere”. But for now they’re testing the water by contesting a single council seat in Salford.

Life-sized pictures of Bez dressed in his bee-keeper costume flanked the stage on which Bez was to speak. Beekeeping is one of Bez’s longstanding hobbies and the insects are a key part of one of his major policies: free food for all.

“If people come together, and if you look at all the spare land what’s going about, we could turn every bit of land into a permaculture. That’s my dream,” he told BuzzFeed.

6. Before Bez speaks, we hear from Jackie Anderson, The Reality Party’s candidate for Salford council and their big hope for an electoral breakthrough.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

Jackie, a local teacher, speaks passionately against the fracking going on down the road.

7. By the time Bez takes to the stage the pub is rammed.

A pair of Bez’s faithful maracas could be spotted by the stage. At times it felt like the afterparty from a night at the Hacienda c. 1988. But with more talk of democracy. And more bees.

8. “We don’t want to get dictated to by corporate bankers and the fourth reich. My granddad didn’t die in the war for fuck all,” Bez said to cheers.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

People got pretty fired up during Bez’s speech when he tore into bankers, and sustained itself while he attacked fracking going on half a mile down the road, though it died down a bit during his spiel about GM crops.

9. Afterwards Bez had a chat about The Reality Party’s potential reach. He said UKIP was set up by bankers to drive the UK’s political system towards fascism.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

We caught Bez in the pub garden after his speech. He had harsh words for rival upstart parties.

“I think Farage is another piece of social engineering. UKIP is a party what’s purposefully been set up by the bankers.”

He continued: “I believe that he’s been brought in and set up to create some social engineering to get this right-wing, fascist bullshit promoted so that the other parties can also get more right-wing and extreme, because they’re taking the votes off ‘em.”

10. In his autobiography Bez detailed how he once dripped LSD into a cut on his forehead in 1986. What’s The Reality Party’s policy on drugs?

The only thing that could explain drug prohibition’s continued existence, Bez says, is that it is part of a deliberate social engineering programme on the part of the government.

“From the 1930s, we realised that prohibition doesn’t work, and creates an under-belly society.”

“What you’ve got to think is, why did they create one? It’s social engineering. They know by making a commodity illegal, it’ll drive it into the hands of gangers and criminals.

“So we’ve got to believe that they purposefully chose to do that through their experience in the 1930s and ’40s. What I’m saying is it’s not actually drugs which is bad, it’s actually the prohibition what’s causing all the problems.”

11. But of all the other parties, Bez said the Green Party were “alright”, although he seems to think they wanted to set up a dictatorship.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

As for Labour, Bez says the party was “supposed to defend the people and be for the working class, but now they only have slightly different polices from the Conservatives”.

But what about the Green Party? Surely they share some of the goals of The Reality Party?

“The Green Party are alright,” Bez says. “We’ve got the same views, and that, but I’m not a communist, I believe in democracy, and I want to keep a democracy, without no communist regime, which basically means a dictatorship. What I’m looking for is true democracy. That’s where I differ from Green Party.”

13. Bez concluded by saying his plan for a global democracy would “probably” get United Nations support, though he admits there are hurdles.

Alex Lynham for BuzzFeed

“What I’d do is end the banking system, introduce a real, true, worldwide democracy, and a system that would support the world population rather than the system we’ve got now: probably supported by the UN, if they’ve not gone too far the other way,” he says.

What leads him to question the UN’s support? “They’ve got a few war criminals working for them, so it’s a bit doubtful whether they will or not. But you never know.”

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