Count Binface on democracy, protecting the Green Belt, and bringing back Ceefax

The mayoral candidate and intergalactic space warrior speaks to James Cracknell about his election manifesto as he bids to take control of City Hall on 2nd May

Count Binface wants Thames Water bosses to take a dip in the Thames "to see how they like it"
Count Binface wants Thames Water bosses to take a dip in the Thames “to see how they like it”

Count Binface is no stranger to fighting elections. Since arriving on Earth the intergalactic space warrior has contested the 2019 general election, last year’s Uxbridge by-election and the previous race for City Hall in 2021 – when he finished a creditable ninth out of 23 candidates.

This year’s battle to become London mayor sees Binface once again donning his trademark silver cape in his bid for power at City Hall, after successfully raising the £10,000 needed to get on the ballot. Last time out, Binface won nearly 25,000 votes, but could a change in the voting system to the disproportional first-past-the-post – removing the opportunity for Londoners to select a first and second preference – hurt his chances this time around?

“They have changed the voting system without asking voters if they want it changed – I think it is undemocratic.

“When they [the Lib Dems, as part of the coalition government] wanted to bring in the Alternative Vote system, it was put to a referendum, but not this time.

“It stinks!”

Binface says to finish in the “top half” of the 13 candidates this year would represent an achievement, but the cloak-wearing alien has already achieved more in this election than one of his long-time human rivals, Laurence Fox, after the actor-turned-politician failed to submit the correct paperwork ahead of close of nominations.

“For some humans in the public eye, it did prove to be a bit tricky it seems. For an alien I thought raising the £10,000 would be the hard bit but actually getting the ten human signatures needed from every borough was more difficult!”

Binface has also criticised the introduction of voter ID rules, which he calls “unnecessary” and “undemocratic”. He says democracy is “in crisis” and is opposed to anything that makes it more difficult for people to vote.

This year’s Binface manifesto contains a list of 24 policies which he says have all been “fully costed, right down to the cost of the signage for changing London Bridge to Phoebe Waller Bridge”.

Many of the manifesto pledges have been seen before, such as the cost-cap on croissants (although inflation has seen the proposed cap rise from £1 to £1.10), bringing back Ceefax within the M25, and moving the hand dryer in the gents’ toilets at the Crown & Treaty pub in Uxbridge to “a more sensible position”.

But new promises this year include forcing Thames Water bosses to take a dip in the Thames “to see how they like it” and building “at least one affordable house”.

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The manifesto has even been published in the style of Binface’s beloved Ceefax, which he champions as “impervious to trolls” and “the most wonderful, multi-coloured” medium for broadcasting news.

“When the media industry is in crisis, I can think of no better corrective,” he says, “plus everyone loves the Bamboozle quiz”.

Relocating the hand dryer at the Crown & Treaty in Uxbridge is all very well, but are there any pubs in North London with poorly positioned hand dryers that Binface is aware of?

“I know there are plenty of pubs that could do with a spruce – The Salisbury in Green Lanes springs to mind. That is one that could do with a bit of polishing up, it has a lot of potential. But I can’t remember where the hand dryers are.”

Given the ongoing controversy around plans by Enfield Council to de-designate the Green Belt, can Binface guarantee the one affordable house he’s pledged will be built on previously developed land?

“Here’s an exclusive for you – I promise to build it on brownfield.

“I might have a lottery between the boroughs, or a Gladiators-style tournament, to see which borough gets the house.”

Perhaps acknowledging that a single affordable house may not solve London’s housing crisis, Binface has said he would also consider secretly putting “lovely big high rises” on the gardens of “tax-dodging millionaires” while using his special powers to make them invisible.

Binface’s plan to tackle crime is to bring back classic ITV drama The Bill. He says: “It will also boost employment for out-of-work actors and bring a bit of joy to people’s evenings.”

Does he also have a plan to finally introduce a new signalling system on the Piccadilly Line, which has yet to be fully funded?

“Let me put it like this. If, as mayor of London, I had the brass neck to tell voters there wasn’t enough money to upgrade signalling on the Piccadilly Line, I might think twice about illuminating the phrase ‘MAYOR OF LONDON’ via an expensive, fancy drone display over the capital on New Year’s Eve, rubbing everyone’s noses in it, before I’d found the cash to fix the tube network. 

“But that’s just me.”

Find out more about Count Binface’s policies for City Hall on his website:

Read interviews and stories about the other twelve mayoral candidates:

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