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An evil, balloon-wielding clown

An evil, balloon-wielding clown

Labour council candidate Mike Thorne

Labour council candidate Mike Thorne

News reaches us from the local elections campaign trail in Kingsweston, where redoubtable Labour candidate MIKE ‘PENNYWISE’ THORNE has come up with an imaginative tactic that is certainly getting him noticed – hanging around outside school gates across the ward and handing out balloons to bemused kiddies!

Yes, in a bid to challenge a crowded field in the always hotly-contested award for most poorly-thought out idea in Bristol politics, he apparently thought this could be a vote winner.

It’s not a view shared by everyone – certainly not the principal at St. Bede’s Catholic College. She was reportedly rather MIFFED that old Pennywise hadn’t had the courtesy to tell her what he would be doing, and so had to field numerous concerned reports of “an old man handing out stuff to kids” just outside her school.

A parent who witnessed him doing the same outside the nearby Bank Leaze junior school told us that he “was using the balloons as a ploy to get parents to talk to him so he can beg for votes – the kids nag parents for a balloon so they are forced to talk to him.”

They added: “I find that a bit CREEPY – in any other situation a strange man hanging around schools would potentially be in a lot of trouble.”

Well, perhaps Pennywise is just ahead of the curve on this. Once opponents spot how well his wheeze has gone down it’s liable to get like a crowded taxi rank outside every nursery, Children’s Centre, and school in town as Bristol’s political classes jostle to target pre-teens with their tedious electioneering!

Either that or it was always a really bad idea, and someone should to have a quiet word in his shell-like…

Edited to add:

It seems like Team Pennywise doesn’t think it’s a bad idea at all, and are going to lurk round Lawrence Weston this afternoon doing it all over again!