HAPPY Mondays star Bez is living off grid in Wales and planning a move into politics.
Bez, the boggle-eyed freaky dancer from Happy Mondays, the band that defined the hedonistic ecstasy-fuelled 1990s, says he now lives an “organic life” and grows his own food, following his recent decision to launch an anti-fracking campaign.
The dance star plans to stand as a candidate in the UK for Salford and Eccles in their General Election next year.
Bez, real name Mark Berry, said: “I’ve been living in a thermal-cultural way. I’ve been growing my own food organically. I’ve been taking care of my own house. Getting my body into an alkaline state. I’ve been creating all my own energy, I’ve been living off grid and I’m a bee keeper.”
Bez said he is open to holding talks with the political party leaders if he is elected as an MP in 2015.
This is a remarkable transformation as the last time we saw Bez he had obviously had a few drinks, but then again so had everyone else. It was in Manchester’s Hacienda club during the heady Madchester days of 1991 and Bez was king of the 24-hour party people.
Since then, however, the Happy Mondays star has ditched his maracas and transformed his life.
Although he is now a beekeeper, he has no possessions and lives on “shared land”
“I’m going to call myself the Reality Party, I’m going to promote reality. Being an MP is not something I ever planned on doing. I said it in jest at first. But now the issues have become that important and I’ve got to use what I have in my toolbox to prevent what is happening.
“The main parties aren’t offering anything different. They are all banging along on the same f***ing dire path. That path is not working. My path is the path of the heart, truth and knowledge.”
But politics is not the only Party he is interested in. He says: “I am still into partying and I still use recreational drugs. But that doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m honest enough to say it and I’ve got absolutely no skeletons in my cupboard. I don’t do evil.”
Bez adds: “I’ve never voted in my life. I’ve never felt able to put my pen to a ballot paper because there was nobody I believed I could vote for. They were all working for the bankers. There was nobody for the people.”
His foray into politics was prompted by his opposition to fracking. He has been at a test drilling site at Barton Moss near Salford, protesting against the controversial method of shale gas extraction.
Between bites of cake, he explains: “It is about our future, our children, our grandchildren. Imagine if your grandchildren came to you and said ‘Mum, why didn’t you do anything about it?’. Imagine the horror you would feel.”
The energy companies are not the only ones in Bez’s bad books as he turns his attention to food manufacture.
He says he is promoting a “permacultural lifestyle” which seems to involve growing your own organic fruit and veg so you have a job as well as food.
“People have got to take responsibility back for themselves and start feeding themselves. I’ve started one on the top of the Printworks building in Manchester city centre. I’ve got a wild flower garden up there, chickens, beehives, and fruit and veg.
“These are the ideas I am promoting. Every office block in the city could be growing their own organic fruit and veg, keeping bees.”
And he has another kind of bee in his bonnet – bankers and bonuses.
So what does he plan to do about the issue? Well, it’s a bit of a mystery. “I have got great ideas on the banking system but I have been told to keep them close to my chest. The banking system is one of the biggest evils to walk the planet and it’s one of the evils I intend to end.
“I’ve got plans and I know how to do it. I know how to set up a whole economic system without them being in charge.”
He says he wants to alter the “social conditioning” we have all been subjected to, adding it’s all about “changing people’s reality”. Apparently, “people will then understand the power they have over the conscious universe”.
In the words of the Happy Mondays, all this is twisting my melons, man. And he’s not finished yet. “I am promoting love and forgiveness.
“First, you have to learn forgiveness and then the only weapon you have got to fight with in your tool box is love.”
Not content with spreading love around Britain, Bez has a plan for the whole world.
“First of all you have got to remove the world’s banking system, end all debt, give free energy, give free food.”
Bez, who has three sons and a grandson, says he gave up all his material possessions and splits his time between living with friends in Manchester and on the shared land in Wales. He says: “I share everything I’ve got. I’ve got a few lands where I can live. I’ve been making beehives.
“I am going about spreading love and social consciousness.
“I don’t really earn money for myself. I put it all back into my passions, what I believe in. I am putting it all into my perma-cultural ideas.”
Everything has a consciousness and when you wake up to it you can make the world a beautiful place,” he says.
The other members of Happy Mondays support his aspirations, he says. They have signed some artwork made out of his old castanets. This will be auctioned to pay for seeds and juicers to go into schools.
But, curiously, there is also a new Happy Mondays album in the works. And though he denies the internet rumour that its working title is Designer Vagina, it sounds a distraction from a possible Westminster career. “Whatever I do in life I have one goal. Destroy the matrix. Defeat the Fourth Reich. With my expanded consciousness I believe I can do that as a dancer, a bee-keeper or as an MP.”
He admits that being a member of the Happy Mondays – he is the indie band’s dancer – is the reason why he is able to spread these ideas.
He won Celebrity Big Brother in 2005 so he has proved he can get people to vote for him. But does that mean he has a chance in politics?
In Manchester, people love Bez. He doesn’t lack the common touch like most politicians. If anything it’s possible he has too much of it. “People shake my hand because to them I am the dancing, drugtaking t*** from Happy Mondays. Fair enough. But I am using that celebrity to show I have serious knowledge about how this country is run,” he says, as we take our seats in a pub.
However, its hgard to predict how voters will react to some of his wilder exploits.
For example, there is evidence he has not always listened to the health service. In 1992, when the Mondays were supposed to be recording an album in Barbados, Bez, under the influence of booze and cocaine, went for a spin in a hire car, somersaulted it over a hill and smashed one of his arms to bits. The doctors bolted it together and told him to rest. Three days later he broke it again in a speedboat accident.
Secondly, there is his dubious grasp of fiscal responsibility: He has been declared bankrupt twice (he won Celebrity Big Brother in 2005 and used his winnings to pay his tax bill).
If Bez’s policy of love wins Salford over, how will he fit in at Parliament? “I am not looking forward to coming face to face with full-on evil,” he admits. “But I have no fear. I will face them down.
WHAT BEZ BELIEVES IN
The end of fracking and free energy for all
Promoting organic food and a ‘perma-cultural’ lifestyle
Growing your own food
The end of banking and a new economic system
Love and forgiveness
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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