Is this the looniest person you could vote for in Durham next week?

‘I don’t have any chance of getting elected’


A madcap Durham general election candidate has circulated a baffling manifesto offering students a deluge of eccentric life advice.

Jon Collings, an independent candidate for Parliament, covers drugs, “land reform” and how he shares his name with a paedophile in perhaps the most bewildering thing to drop through your letter box this year.

The bizarre independent candidate makes baffling claims about:

  • Using ‘at least two methods of contraception’
  • Not going ‘down to the river when you’re pissed’
  • The ‘sadistic chemical sisters PMA and PMMA’
  • ‘Deep house’

It is the second time Mr Collings has stood in a general election.

Last time, he netted a paltry 172 votes last time and concedes a win could only occur “miraculously.”

Collings’ focus is on the issue surrounding land costs and ownership, with a campaign website aptly titled “Durham Land Reform”.

Despite the rather dull focus of his campaign, his election materials are rather interesting.


The ‘gown’ edition

Rather than discussing economic issues in depth, Collings lectures students in a misguided attempt to appear cool.

In a section of the Durham Land Reform Manifesto entitled “ABOUT YOU” Jon Collings reminisces about his own student days.

He said: “Now I know that things have changed a bit since my day – a situation brought home to me a couple of years ago when I went for a quiet drink in the Union Society bar – but I’d still put folding money on the majority of you eventually managing to procreate in the time-honoured fashion (see note 1).”

Then, in the footnote, Collings transcends into the murky realm of family planning advice: “If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy yourselves but have no intention of potentially endangering yourselves it’s probably worth using at least two methods of contraception; I know of several otherwise quite smart people who’ve been caught out in this way in the past, including science PhDs.

“(This would probably be a good point apologise to some – or, most likely, most – of you for the slightly patronising tone, both in this footnote and elsewhere.”

Beginning to sound like a grim advice column, the main body of his manifesto ends with a warning about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

He said: “Oh and, as well as not going down to the river when you’re pissed, it’s probably best to stay off the controlled substances and legal highs, not least because – with the possible exceptions of Cannabis sativa and Psilocybe spp. – you can never be sure exactly what it is that you’re taking – unless you have access to a Fourier-transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, of course (see note 3).”

The corresponding footnote to the document moves even further away from the usual realms of political discussion: “I’m afraid that Ecstasy – or Mandy or Molly or whatever you young people seem to call it these days — testing kits can’t reliably distinguish between MDMA and its sadistic chemical sisters PMA and PMMA.

“The latter seem to be cropping up more frequently these days, likely due to an illicit safrole bust last year in Cambodia – though the transgressors can hardly be accused of committing the worst crime against humanity ever to have occurred in that particular country.

“(Anyway, I think if you need to take pills to enjoy things like deep house, there’s something wrong with you).”

A bit off topic perhaps...

Off topic?

Collings’ comments about the river appear antagonistic in the wake of the recent deaths of three students.

However, Jon Collings does apologise to those lucky enough to have received more than one leaflet: “If you’ve received more than one – a situation that can probably be attributed to a liquid lunch in a local hostelry.

“I’m also sorry if I happen to have disturbed your dogs, or caused any offence (as the last thing I want to do is offend anyone – particularly our Muslim brothers and sisters).”

At an election debate run by the Student Union, Jon Collings appeared totally disinterested.

Screenshot 2015-04-27 at 19.38.06

Butler third year Vincent Lim said: “He may as well not have been there.

“The only time he made an impact was when he very briefly and passionately spoke about land reform.

“Otherwise, he seemed to lack any sort of conviction in his own campaign.”

Is he mad or a political genius?

Is he mad or a political genius?

Although Jon Collings admits he has a “slightly patronising tone” when it comes to students on his website, he also discusses another Jon Collings.

“I am NOT Jonathan Collings, 64 or 65 (if he’s still with us), who was found to have 70000 indecent images of children on his computers.

“Including many on a laptop loaned from the Catholic secondary school where he taught – which, upon its return, led to him getting busted, d’oh!

“As a result was sentenced to three years’ community service by a court in St Albans in 2010.”

He wishes students the “best of luck with your forthcoming exams.”