This fresher’s hilarious Insta perfectly mocks our country’s garbage MPs
Patrick is the MP for the fictional constituency of Clapham
Everyone reckons being a politician is a job they'd be good at, but few put their money where their mouth is and actually go out and do it.
Patrick O'Donnell, a first year Politics student at York, has been documenting his life as an MP for the fictional constituency of Clapham for the past year on his Instagram account.
Having started the account as something to do when A-levels got too stressful, the fake MP's shenanigans have gone viral, picking up 5000 followers over the weekend.
Despite having taken to walking around his flat with sunglasses on, Anna Wintour style, he insists the fame has not gone to his head. The Tab York spoke to the Derwent fresher to find out more.
Why did you set up the account?
I've always been interested in politics, but I originally made it just for my friends to have a laugh at in school. This all started last April when I was basically just taking pictures around school and I got my mates to pretend to be random people and shook hands with them. In sixth form we wore suits, so I sort of looked the part, whereas now it's harder because I tend to wear a t-shirt and jeans!
So how come we've only just been hearing about it now?
A few days ago my flatmate found it and posted some screenshots on Twitter and then it absolutely blew up. I'm actually quite surprised by the amount of people who found it funny because I thought only my friends would get it. And now thousands of people are retweeting it and following the account.
Your phone has been vibrating quite a lot!
Actually, that's just messages – I had to turn Instagram notifications off, because the vibrating was constant. I was on 200 followers two days ago, which was basically just my friends and now it's over 5000.
What have people said about it?
Most of the online reaction has actually been quite complimentary, one guy who lives in Ireland even said he'd vote for me if he could. I think because politics is such a mess at the moment with Trump and Brexit, that people are just happy to see someone making fun of it all, rather than all the depressing news we see all the time.
People have genuinely asked if I'm a real MP, and that's scared me a bit, because anyone who looks at these with my facial expressions, body language and captions should know straight away I'm joking.
How have you managed to balance your newfound fame with your degree?
I haven't actually done any work this weekend, I still need to do my reading. To be honest, I'm not enjoying the theory side that much, all the Plato is quite heavy.
What does Patrick the MP stand for?
He kind of goes with a few Labour policies and just puts them out there. I genuinely did try and encourage people to go out and vote and I said look, because of the tuition fees and the increased minimum wage there is a valid reason to go out there and vote Labour. But then he also does stupid things, like he campaigned for 24-hour buses, free champagne on trains and less air in packets of crisps. So there's a silly side, and a slightly more serious side, but it's mostly silly.
Personally, I don't know where I'd place myself on the spectrum but I've definitely moved further left since the election, and I've pretty much agreed with everything in the Labour manifesto.
Have you met any famous politicians?
I haven't met Jeremy Corbyn yet, but I did meet Ed Miliband on my 18th birthday. It was in the evening, and I was out with my friends and we just saw him looking quite tired in the tube station going home with his wife. I think he was quite taken aback when 30 of us kids just bumped into him and took selfies with him.
Why did you pick Clapham for Patrick's constituency?
I'm actually from Clapham in South London, but the constituency doesn't exist anymore. I was worried I'd get in trouble and break some law if I picked a real constituency.
Are you going to keep it up?
I think I will. My friends went to other unis so I wasn't going to carry it on but people seem to like it, which was so surprising. I'll probably just carry it on until it gets boring, I guess.
I definitely want to do something in politics eventually, but you don't have to be an MP to change things. I don't know, it's too early to say, but so many people have told me to actually run and become an MP.