Ambition is a word bandied around fairly liberally these days. In the US, it's always been just about the best quality a person can possess. To quote Holly Johnson’s "Americanos", America became “a place where a kid without a cent / could grow up to be President”, and while that’s complete bullshit, it’s a handy guide to just how important ambition is to those across the Atlantic. But there never really was a British Dream, was there? We've always treated ambition with far more suspicion, associating it with the conniving lickspittle, the disloyal careerist, the mega-titted gold digger. We know it can help to be ambitious in life, but we also know that it's frowned upon and could potentially leave us isolated and scorned. Furthermore, would any of us go so far as to think that we could actually rule the world merely by dint of ambition?
One man does. His name is Tom Darwood, and he is a carpenter from Essex.
I discovered Tom when I was trying to tire myself out by watching footage of the results being read out at the South Shields by-election. The Lib Dems had bombed to seventh out of nine candidates. In at eight was nobody’s favourite political satirists, the Monster Raving Loonies, and ninth was Darwood, with a meagre 57 votes. He wasn’t attached to his own party, like the "Pirate Party" or the "Cider Coalition", or one of those pricks; he was just another Independent. I would have completely ignored him if it wasn’t for his bombastic two-tone suit. One half of it was plain dark grey, but the other was striped with turquoise and red, straight down from the blazer to the trousers – he was the Joseph of Essex and he had his own weird Dreamcoat.
I decided to search for him. After finding this video, eventually I tracked down his website – www.adam4humanity.com – at the arse end of Google. There I found a goldmine of pamphlets, open letters, policy pitches and seminars, and proceeded, like a sadcase, to read every last one of them. At first, I was impressed. Here’s a handful of Tom’s policies; let’s see whether you like them:
• Bring an end to hereditary monarchy
• Edit the Book of Common Prayer to allow gay marriage
• Get rid of the deficit and create more jobs
• Combine the three main parties to solve the nation’s problems
See what I mean? Sure, they're a bit "easier said than done", but at least they're not hopelessly niche or pure, unabashed evil, like the policies of most independent candidates tend to be. But then I dug a little deeper, and it turned out that Tom wanted to get rid of the heridatary monarchy so that he could become the King of England himself, while also simultaneously becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister. All this would of course be necessary if he were ever to achieve his true goal of becoming Pope.
I managed to find his personal email on the bottom of one of his six websites and got in touch with the world's most ambitious man.
Thomas (left) as a child with his family.
VICE: Hi, Tom. I’ve been reading all of your literature and one thing is clear; you're very ambitious. Is that what you’re driven by?
Thomas Darwood: Well, if you call it ambition, I can run along with that. I feel it’s rather the end of a very painful and personal journey to extricate the depth of sorrow towards my own mother’s death. She took her life when I was only 15, which was 52 years ago. It was precipitated by racial prejudice. As you can imagine, in the 60s, anyone suffering under prejudice suffered immensely and the cost of that was devastating for our family.
And that's how you developed some of your ideas?
To cut a very long story short, I have come to a very simple conclusion as to why this happened: The British felt a feeling of superiority, which was caused by the British Empire. So the conclusion I have come to is that this great era needs a symbolic conclusion to finalise all the values of Western culture, and the symbolic act is in the conclusion of the hereditary monarchy and the appointment of someone who has all the credentials to be King: myself.
Great. You’ve also mentioned a desire to take on the roles of Archbishop of Canterbury, Prime Minister and, later, the Pope. How are you going to manage that?
Well, we have to begin with theological thinking, which is the responsibility – as I see it – of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Once it filters into the Church of England, this is the theologically correct thing to do in God’s sight. It then gets fed into Parliament to debate the integrity of these arguments. When these two arguments are examined, Parliament can then decide whether or not they want to appoint me as a future monarch and future Archbishop of Canterbury.
Now, just imagine what that would do to the Vatican's authority if they saw me appointed to these roles. They would send for me. There won’t be a question of me being appointed into the roles consecutively – like one, two, three – it will have to be all three at one time.
You've said that you haven’t got many friends in the Church of England. Why is that?
I haven’t got a bad relationship with them. What I’ve got is no relationship with them, because they’re all too frightened to stick their necks out. I’ve sent them all my letters and I’ve only got one reply, from the Bishop of York, showing some compassion at last. My last batch of letters were sent on the 6th of April this year, to the Queen, to the Prime Minister and every bishop in the House of Lords. Now they know what I’m about. I know that. They’re too afraid because they can't see all the different arguments that need to be examined, and I can understand it from one perspective because it is highly, highly controversial.
You are talking about completely restructuring Western society, I suppose.
Oh, absolutely. I’m glad you’ve seen that. It's a huge packet that I’m bringing, but it’s also addressing a large amount of questions in society, and the Church can play a most powerful role once they prescribe to my arguments. I’m going to say to Parliament this: “I am the figure that God has chosen to do exactly the same for Britain now what William III – the Prince of Orange – did for Britain then." [Darwood had told me that William's appointment "drove the British Empire".] Can you imagine what that means to Britain if that message gets out? Now, that is the totality of where I find myself today, and I’m absolutely at peace that I can do this given a fair hearing. That is my only difficulty – that I am not being heard. It’s a huge, unbelievable ask to be the future king, archbishop and Pope.
Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking. (Photo via)
You describe yourself as a 21st century Joseph. Why's that?
Well, because I am the 21st century Joseph. I have all of the criteria to be the 21st century Joseph [click here to read Tom's CV]. I’ve sent this, as well as all of my books, to Margaret Hodge [a Labour MP], but concealing my identity as the next archbishop, king and Pope. I did this because, if she saw that, she would have thrown my letter in the bin. I had to explain to her why I was the 21st century Joseph first. The biblical Joseph overcame the economic tsunami of Egypt and turned it into the first biblical superstate. This recent economic tsunami has allowed me to say that I should take the roles of archbishop, king and Pope so that I can restore Britain.
So what would you actually do?
Well, firstly, I want to completely demolish the House of Lords and have it re-emerge as part of the Royal Court so that all of the wisdom and experience of the House of Lords can become the new "think tank" for my Britain. I also believe that the monarch should have no constitutional powers whatsoever. The monarch’s duty is to collate the territorial ambitions of the British people and place them in the line of sight for the Commons to debate. Rather than wasting time scrutinising law, which is the remit of the House of Lords, I can then act as a Prime Minister to my court, so that we can examine what is best for the British people in every way.
So there's going to be no royal family, except for you as the king?
I will appoint figures from society to represent the royal family in a timeshare capacity. For example, I won’t hesitate to appoint David Beckham because I think he’s a splendid chap. I will also appoint scientists, writers – journalists, even. I mean this, I absolutely mean this. They’ll go through a symbolic inauguration and it’ll be a splendid occasion. This will mean that every child can believe, really believe, that they can become royals. That is what I really want. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.
While it's easy to scoff at a man who believes he can be king, archbishop and Pope all at once, Harwood was eloquent and had ultimate conviction in his ideas. Yes, those ideas are a little leftfield and totally and utterly unattainable by any living entity ever, but it was refreshing to listen to a politician who wasn't skirting over his own beliefs to appeal to the masses.
Just before I left, I shook his hand and he said, "I really believe this is going to happen, Kieran. You're going to make history if you get my story across."
Then he bought me a Diet Coke, which was very nice of him.
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