The 3rd Earl of Harrow was a well-known statesman whose inspiration came directly from our School. His entry can be found in Wikipedia. This confirms that David Edward Sutch (1940-1999), 3rd Earl of Harrow, was also known as Screaming Lord Sutch, a lead singer with his own band, and founder of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
Sutch was recognisable at election counts by his crazy clothes and top hat. He added “Lord” to his name by deed poll. In the 1980’s they raised the deposit paid by Parliamentary candidates to £500 from £150, but this did nothing to deter him. His highest poll was in Rotherham in 1994, with 4.2 % of the vote. He stood and lost in more than 40 Parliamentary elections, a record.
I acquired Lord Sutch’s home address from his bass player. He lived with his mum at the foot of Harrow Hill. I cold-called this statesman at his home and he told me that the inspiration for his career came from seeing Winston Churchill, when Prime Minister in the 1950’s, being driven up the Hill, to attend Harrow Songs.
Like Churchill, Sutch’s policies were radical. He wanted the rate of VAT raised, to increase the value of everything. To secure data, he wanted it all stored in the PM’s underpants drawer. Quitters would be encouraged not to start in the first place. Cars would be made more economic by fitting bungy ropes for return journeys. To reduce colour prejudice, grey squirrels would be painted red. Air bags would be fitted to the Exchequer in preparation for the next crash. The Defence Department would economise on shoe leather by making squaddies march longer paces. The NHS would economise by having X-ray machines manned by a skeleton staff. Class divides would be reduced by making the entire House of Lords speak Mockney. A Frivolous Fraud Office would be established to lighten the load on the Serious Fraud Office. Greyhound racing will be subsidised to stop the country going to the dogs.
I asked David Sutch if I could be his Education Minister in his forthcoming government, and he gave me that position right there on his mum’s doorstep. But I was shocked and surprised when he sacked me the following week in favour of the boxer, Frank Bruno. As an MA in PPE, I should have seen it coming.
At a party we gave in Holland Park in 1993, I proudly introduced Lord Sutch to Lord Merlin Sudeley, an equally singular politician. You can see each of them speaking on Youtube.
Inspired by Sutch, I stood in the Newbury By Election in 1993, on the ticket GIVE THE ROYAL BILLIONS TO SCHOOLS. This was the annis horribilis for the Royals, with Diana, Fergie and Charles running amok. I adjudged that to be bad form. And I got a great number of votes, a fine achievement, considering I was fighting against 18 other candidates, in the ‘Royal’ county of Berkshire, did no canvassing, and organised only one interview, that of my wife, The Hon, holding forth as my Education Spokesperson, though she had never been to school, being taught by nuns.
The full result of that bye-election, including Sutch’s and my total of votes, can be found in Wikipedia, under Newbury By-Election 1993. Of course Sutch defeated me, as he always did. Yet I much regret the passing of the 3rd Earl. I am glad that he is buried so near Harrow, in Pinner Cemetery.
His music, by the way, was also revolutionary. He employed a drummer with no sense of rhythm at all.
Mike Stone, Moretons 1957/2
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