As It Happens

Meet Lord Buckethead, the U.K. election's intergalactic spacelord

Lord Buckethead received 249 votes, which is fewer than Theresa May secured, but more than a man in an Elmo costume.
Lord Buckethead and Theresa May went head-to-(bucket)head in the constituency of Maidenhead. (Lord Buckethead/Twitter)

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In the June 8 U.K. election, Prime Minister Theresa May competed for her seat with an intergalactic spacelord who goes by the name Lord Buckethead. The mysterious black-robed figure was ultimately vanquished by May in the Maidenhead showdown. He secured 249 votes, to May's 37,718.

As It Happens host Carol Off interviewed Lord Buckethead. And it was amazing. 

Carol Off: Am I speaking to you inside your bucket, Lord Buckethead?

Lord Buckethead: That is an excellent question. Not quite. When I am at rest, at leisure, I am able to wear a kind of portable head apparatus which allows me to breathe slightly more easily, but I'll tell you something, you wouldn't want to see me outside. 

CO: And why is that?

LB: Because it's not a very nice colour. And it looks slightly profane.

CO: This is because you are in fact an intergalactic spacelord, is that right?

LB: That is correct. I travelled here from hyperspace, via the London borough of Finchley. 

CO: And why would an intergalactic spacelord want to run in the British elections?

LB: Carol, that's a very insightful question, and let me answer that in two parts. One, I intercepted several Earth transmissions telling me that the United Kingdom was in sore need of effective opposition. And hence I believed that 25 years after my last venture to take on John Major, it was time for me to come again. But on top of that, I noticed that here was a British prime minister who had called a completely unnecessary general election! With that level of absurdity going on in the country, I was able to sneak under the radar and that is why, you in dear Canada, are only learning about me now.
The official results from the 2017 UK election in constituency of Maidenhead. Lord Buckethead came in 7th.

CO: But Lord Buckethead, if this is true, that the reason why you found it was wise to run, was because the United Kingdom lacks effective leadership and because Theresa May had made an epic mistake in calling the election, why is it you only got 249 votes?

LB: Another good question. But allow me answer with this, and I will quote your earth scientist Einstein, Carol. Every answer is relative. And I urge you to look back at my past election history for a better answer. In 1987, when I took on Margaret Thatcher, I scored 131 votes. In '92, when I took on John Major, I took 107 votes. So now, when you look at 249 juicy votes, that's more than my other two efforts combined! More than that, I was 7th out of 13 candidates. In that metric, Carol, it was a night to remember. 

CO: Over these decades, that you have been running, has it always been the same you? Or are you like Doctor Who, do you regenerate for each election?

LB: I am Buckethead. We are Buckethead. We are legion. Does that answer your question?

Lord Buckethead's name and costume are derived from the 80s cult sci-fi movie, Gremloids. (Wikipedia)

CO: Not really ... but maybe you can tell us what Buckethead is?

LB: We're getting quite philosophical now. But I like the fact that you said it didn't answer the question. Most British interviewers are too polite, and they simply say yes, and they move on, but you're right, my last comment doesn't answer the question, does it? But never mind. 

CO: Is that a question for me? Are you asking me if my question was answered or not?

LB: I like this, we really are entering the philosophy of questions and rhetoric. I think if you want to ask me what is a Buckethead, you need to see the 1984 Star Wars parody Hyperspace, or as it was known in the U.K., Gremloids. That was my first appearance. That will give you more information about my being. However, otherwise, come to London and let's meet up for a cup of tea!

CO: Now, I have to say with all respect, Lord Buckethead, that your bucket does not look like a bucket, it looks more like a stovepipe.

LB: A stovepipe? How interesting. Well in that case, I may have to consider running in the 2022 election, or indeed 2017 election, part two, as Lord Stovepipehead. Would that be good?

CO: Maybe it's your policies. What are you actually about, Lord Buckethead? 

LB: Well, as a journalist Carol, I'm slightly shocked that you haven't read my manifesto. But I'll tell you this. Most of my policies have been not only fully costed, but specifically designed to British and indeed the Maidenhead area, their interests. But I shall try to elucidate a few that would have interest across the pond. How about this:

  1. On nuclear weapons, I would state a firm public commitment to build the £100-billion renewal of Britain's Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm commitment, privately, not to build it. They're secret submarines, so no one will ever know. It's a win-win. 
  2. I suggest free bikes for everyone, to help combat obesity, traffic congestion, and bike theft.
  3. On schools, Mrs. May wanted to bring back the 1950 tradition of selected grammar schools. I say nonsense! I would propose a Buckethead way of "gamma" schools, which are founded on three key principles. One, better funding for teachers, to attract bright graduates. Two, increased facilities for children, especially playing fields. Three, if any child misbehaves three times, they are blasted into deep space, with the parents provided with a lovely fruit basket, by way of consolation or celebration, depending on the child. Discipline is key, Carol. 

CO: There could be an election very soon, you know, because of this situation you have over there. Are you going to run in the next election, as well?

LB: I am well aware of the situation, Carol, I was there next to the prime minister just a few hours ago. And you are quite right. Not only could there be a new election, there could be a new prime minister before we have the election. I think it is incumbent upon me to see who that is, and make a judgement then, on whether they must face the wrath of Lord Buckethead.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Lord Buckethead. Seriously, do it.