Eric Pickles has been spotted in a variety of locations across the US, courtesy of an Oxford student and a friend attempting to spice up their road trip.
From the sunny beaches in Crowfordville, Florida, to the Olustee Battlefield, nestled in among the civil war artillery, Pickles has had a considerable presence in the States recently, albeit in cardboard cut-out form.
Oxford’s James Johnson and his friend from Nottingham, Daniel Flavey, took it upon themselves to spread Pickles’ image, if not his message, out of admiration for the Secretary of State for Local Communities and Government by carting his image along with them as they made their way across the country. Johnson told the Independent “He has a lot of gravitas, and he’s a funny man. What better way to spice up our American road trip than bringing along the man himself?”
On their blog, they write that, “We are two British undergraduates, currently both at university in the UK. This summer, we are taking a coast-to-coast road trip across the American South and felt that there was no one better to accompany us than the Secretary of State for Local Communities and Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP.
As Conservatives and huge fans of Mr. Pickles, his outlook and his work to modernise and maximise value in our public services, we hope this blog goes some way to document the great man’s adventures across the land of our great Atlantic neighbour.”
Johnson admitted that the campaign had been met with a certain level of bemusement across the pond, but insisted that the response had been positive, commenting, “All the Americans ask who it is, and, when they find out, some are a bit baffled and others find it hilarious. It’s a great way to bond with people. People want photos with it and want to know more. It’s a great way of getting us interacting with the locals. It’s a talking point.”
Although carrying Pickles around a country the size of the United States is an arduous task by any definition, the duo are adamant that they will pursue their mission to the very end, saying “We’re one week into five weeks, and he’s coming all the way. He’s coming to Vegas, which is our last stop.”
Their blog, documenting the politican’s movements, can be seen here. http://picklesroadtrip.com/