A simple idea, brilliantly executed.
Mark Thomas is currently touring his Manifesto, and it's a great show. The concept is simple. Each night members of the audience suggest policies they like, and then they choose between the submissions.
It's a "guided democracy", taking account of his preferences. All the ones about hanging go in the bin, apart from the Hanging Register. Only supporters of hanging are hanged when they screw up - ingenious.
He then campaigns on some of the policies his audiences pick. Some are semi-sensible: he's got a team from NEF working on a kind of SATs-type scoring system for MPs. Others seem absurd, but have a serious point. I'm annoyed about tax evasion, but not convinced that invading Jersey to go and get it back is the right answer. Still, protesting outside the MoD with INVADE JERSEY is certainly imaginative. Even making Parliament play the Benny Hill theme if it all kicks off has a kind of perverse sense to it.
We saw it last night, and tonight's was the final show in Edinburgh. Except for one more extra-special one - he's putting all thirteen submissions from Edinburgh to a cross-party panel of MSPs, including Patrick Harvie of this parish. It should be a good gig.
Personally I'd like to see him stand for election himself. If Al Franken can stand and win, so can Mark Thomas. He's swum Douglas Hogg's infamous moat. We've given him the policies. He's ready.