612,000 people are registered to vote for the next leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party. Now ballot papers have gone out in the fairly intense contest, we asked several well-known video game characters to tell us what they thought about the four applicants for “the worst job in British politics”.
This Handyman from Columbia is backing Jeremy Corbyn. “While I like Yvette’s plans for more science and technology investment to get me out of this enormous suit, I think it’s time we had a leader who’s really take the fight to the Tories over a public health service so that I don’t have to rely on shady private providers like Bettermen’s for my robotic bodies.
Dr. Ivo Robotnik, an entrepreneur from Mobius, is supporting Liz Kendall. “I think it’s time Labour stood up for the hard-press small businessman like me, and opposed all this unnecessary regulation of animal welfare. Plus, her pledge of 2% spending on defence means I’ll have lucrative contracts for my robot factories.”
Knuckles the Echidna has been a fan of Andy Burnham for a long time. “I sympathise with the Handyman and a lot of what he says about Jeremy Corbyn” he says. “But the fact is the only way we can get more support for floating island civilisations like ours is if we have Labour in government. I think Andy is the person best placed to punch the Tories in the face. Then climb up a wall and have a weird interspecies romance with a bat. He’s a bloke like me.”
Long-time villain Bowser is a Kendall fan, but not particularly for any of her policies. “She just seems bad. You know, might smile to your face but would claw your eyes out if you looked at her funny and had your guard down. As a practitioner of evil myself, it’s nice to have a candidate in the race who really understands the mind of the floating voter.”
Public sector worker Manny Calavera is worried about Tory rhetoric on immigrants, but also by the prospect of leaving the European Union, and supports Yvette Cooper as the person best placed to win an In vote in the referendum. “The souls I process towards the afterlife shouldn’t have extra barriers put in their way” he says “and I’m not certain on whether Jeremy Corbyn will vote to stay.” He adds that he hopes whichever candidate wins puts forward plans for road investment, “so I don’t have to walk for four years, hijole.”
Pikachu, although not allowed to vote, has convinced owner Ash Ketchum to cast a vote for Andy Burnham on his behalf. Speaking through a translator, he said: “While it’s clear that deficit reduction has to be a priority, rural crime and infrastructure are even more important. There is next to no policing near here, and the paths between towns are filled with hostile creatures and muggers. We need a leader who’ll put working class priorities first, not just bang on about Iraq.”
Shulk has seen the damage war can do to a civilisation, and doesn’t want the same thing to happen again. “Jeremy Corbyn has consistently supported the cause of peace” he says. “I live on the corpse of a giant robot soldier, so I know how damaging war can be. Why do we need Trident when we could just equip our troops with giant laser swords like mine?”
Self-employed plumber Mario thinks Andy Burnham has the best policies for small business. “It’s hard enough paying the bills and the National Insurance without being dragged off to save the royals every weekend” he says. “At least this bloke’s said he’ll cut taxes for new business. Then I could actually afford insurance in case a fireball goes astray.”
“I’m a turkey voting for Christmas really” said Mushroom “Toad” Retainer when we asked him for his thoughts. “I work for the royal family so if Corbyn gets in I might lose my job. But after the way they’ve treated me over the years – sending me into space, using me as a shield against projectiles – I’m not sure I really want it any more. And it’ll be amazing to watch them lose theirs. See Peach working in a pipe factory. Don’t tell her I said that.”
His employer, Princess “Peach” Toadstool took a different view when we found her at her private race track outside the castle. “For too long we’ve had a politics dominated by men, and it’s a travesty that our progressive party hasn’t had an elected female leader yet. I’ll be voting for Yvette first, and Liz Kendall second. Burnham won’t get a preference – he reminds me too much of that creepy plumber who follows me around because I gave him a kiss back in 1985.”