Politics

Space warrior Count Binface: 'I want people to remember how precious it is to have the right to vote'

In an exclusive interview with Big Issue, Count Binface explains why, despite being a parody candidate, homelessness is at the heart of his manifesto

Count Binface is running against 12 other candidates in London's upcoming mayoral election

While most London mayoral candidates centre their campaigns around being lifelong residents of the capital, one shiny example has travelled further than any other candidate to place his name on this year’s ballot.

Intergalactic space warrior and part-time politician Count Binface is one of 13 candidates standing for the office of mayor of London for the next four years. His competition includes current mayor, Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party, and Conservative challenger Susan Hall.

While Sadiq Khan made headlines earlier on the campaign trial by pledging £10m to end rough sleeping by 2030, Count Binface told Big Issue he could help the current mayor hit that goal much earlier.

“I truly believe that homelessness is something we all need to fight and combat,” the alien told Big Issue.

“It’s completely able to be eradicated. We can join forces to make it so – Sadiq I’m looking at you with your 10 million quid you’ve promised. Let’s work together and make sure that by 2028 homelessness is a thing of the past.”

Sadiq Khan speaks at a press conference in St Johns Church Waterloo
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2030 if he’s reelected.
Image: London Labour

The novelty candidate – created by comedian Jon Harvey – released his 24-point manifesto in early April, reaching more than one million people on X alone. Alongside some humorous pledges such as renaming London Bridge to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, his more serious points focus on topics such as homelessness and ending poverty once and for all.

“Eradicating homelessness is one of the key tenets of the Count Binface manifesto,” he explained. “There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be forced to sleep rough.”

This is Count Binface’s second London mayoral election; he previously stood in the 2021 competition, placing ninth out of 20 candidates overall with close to 25,000 votes. This time he’s gunning for a ‘Champions League spot minimum’. In both 2021 and 2024, the alien aristocrat used his enhanced platform during election season to raise money for Shelter, with any extra money brought in by his campaign being donated to the charity.

Championing an end to homelessness, standing up for social justice, and preaching the importance of democracy – would you consider voting for the Count? Binface spoke to Big Issue to tell us more about why he deserves the votes of Londoners.

In your manifesto, you pledge to build at least one affordable home. Who are you going to give that home to?

Well, that’s a very good question. When it comes to building at least one affordable house, I make that promise because every other politician’s promise about housing has been fake. So I feel I can genuinely hit this promise within the four-year mark. As for who it goes to?

Well, I propose a two-phase approach. One, all the 33 boroughs take part in a knockout gladiator-style tournament to decide which borough will get the house. And then a means-tested lottery system for eligible applicants will decide who gets the property [within that borough]. I think that’s fair, and I think it’s fun.

You also pledged to gift all London royal palaces (except Buckingham Palace), and every London home belonging to Russian oligarchs, to the nation to eradicate homelessness in the capital. What would you do with the current residents?

Eradicating homelessness is one of the key tenets of the Count Binface manifesto. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be forced to sleep rough. And no, it isn’t a lifestyle choice – I think we can all agree on that.

As to what should happen to the current residents of the royal palaces? Well, my view is simple. There is something like six or seven royal palaces in the capital. And I think any royal family can get by perfectly fine with one. So they could all go live in one gigantic palace (Buckingham) and the nation could use the other five. I think that’s fair, I think it’s sound and I think it would send an excellent message to the nation that we are all in it together.

As for Russian oligarchs, very simple. I’d send them off to the Phantom Zone or Russia – whichever is less hospitable. And I’ve got an idea which one it is.

You’ve been vocal about wanting London Bridge to be renamed Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Have you met her?

I have not actually met Phoebe Waller-Bridge; not yet anyway. But that’s why it’s wonderful to talk to the Big Issue because with the pulling power that the Big Issue has – it is my firm belief that you could be the ones that bring me and Phoebe together. So that when the launch moment happens for the bridge, Phoebe is the one to crack the champagne and bring the tourists flocking to London’s cheapest ‘new’ landmark.

We’ll do our best. You’ve said that government ministers and the mayor’s pay should be tied to nurses’ salaries for the next century. Do you think a nurse’s job is worth the same as an MP’s?

Well, I think a nurse’s job is worth at least as much as an MP’s. And if you want proof of that, I would ask, could a nurse do an MP’s job without getting stung in a honeytrap? Or without making calls at 3.15 am to demand money, saying it’s a life and death situation? I think a nurse could do an MP’s job fine. Could your average MP do a Saturday night shift at Lewisham A&E? I very much doubt it. That’s proof of the pudding – so I would equalise the pay. I don’t mind whether what you do in the first instance is elevate the nurse’s pay (which you should) or just to bring down the MP’s pay. Ultimately, I would like to meet in the middle, but we’ll see how we go. But I believe nurses do a more important job than MPs and I want them rewarded for that.

So as an alien, why did you choose London out of all of Earth’s cities to run for power in?

Well, London is the greatest city on planet Earth. You guys are the best and I’ll prove it. I hopped in my time machine and went back to a little date called 2012. And you’ll remember the feelgood factor that London had then. It truly was and is the Earth’s capital. You guys know it’s the greatest city, despite all its little foibles. And I’ll tell you what, those Frenchies will have to go some to even make the Paris 2024 Olympics an iota of the magnificence of London 2012. Why? Because London is the greatest. And that’s why I am here. Because you deserve me.

Count Binface poses next to the river Thames. The parody candidate says he thinks Thames Water bosses should be made to take a dip in the iconic landmark.

In your manifesto, you say you’d give the Parthenon marbles currently housed in the British Museum back to Greece. But what would you put in its place?

Well, firstly, the reason the Parthenon marbles should be returned to Greece is because they’re Greek. You thieving bastards? I’m sorry. It’s just true; I tell it as it is. What would I put in its place? Well, that big room in the British Museum, I think should be reserved for something that denotes the current state of British art under the Conservatives. You could fill the room with nothing whatsoever because, of course, that’s what they’ve done to arts funding.

And why does your manifesto say you’d make Thames Water bosses take a dip in the Thames?

Very simple. They’re the ones that have caused it to be filled with excrement. And not only am I going to take the piss out of them, I’m going to take the piss out of the Thames too. But the key thing is a bit of poetic justice. They should be made to go into the Thames and have a little dip, just to get a taste (literally!) of what they’ve done to the greatest river on your planet. Yes, they might get a little dose of E coli. Yes, they might come up against a couple of eels that have become hooked on cocaine because the river hasn’t been cleaned properly – all those things are possible. What’s more, I would have their dip in the Thames broadcast free to air on all channels because that’s what I call a live stream. Let’s watch them suffer. I think it’s about time.

And finally, why do you think it’s important for people to vote in elections?

Ultimately, whether people vote for me or vote for anybody else – I’m more interested in the idea that people vote at all because democracy is a very precious thing. There are very, very few star systems in the entire omniverse that use it. In fact, only one. Are there any star systems that are using it properly? No. But you guys are the closest.

2024 is the most important year for democracy since it was invented by the Athenians. Why? Because over half of Earth’s eligible voters are going to the polls this very year. Your decisions, or indeed lack of decisions, could truly help determine the fate of democracy, and therefore the fate and the freedoms of all of you.

I want people to remember just how precious it is to have the right to vote. Just like it’s precious for any Brit to have the right to stand for election, no matter how idiotic the get-up. The point is, we’re free, we’re able to choose, and we can do whatever we want. It’s what makes Britain wonderful. We should be a bastion, we should be a beacon to the entire world. And that’s why I say to every single Londoner who can vote, please vote.

And of course, make your vote ‘Count’.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
No Rwanda flights before election, Sunak admits – as calls for urgent asylum reform grow louder
Rishi Sunak after calling the 4 July general election
General election 2024

No Rwanda flights before election, Sunak admits – as calls for urgent asylum reform grow louder

From poverty and housing to migrant and LGBTQ+ rights – why 2024 general election has such high stakes
Rishi Sunak after calling the 4 July General Election
General Election 2024

From poverty and housing to migrant and LGBTQ+ rights – why 2024 general election has such high stakes

Sunak calls general election for 4 July: 'It's time to put a limping government out of its misery'
General election 2024

Sunak calls general election for 4 July: 'It's time to put a limping government out of its misery'

Yes, inflation is falling – but nearly 90% of Brits say cost of living crisis is far from over
inflation/ cost of living/ supermarket queue
Inflation

Yes, inflation is falling – but nearly 90% of Brits say cost of living crisis is far from over

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know