A council candidate dressed as a penguin beat the Liberal Democrats in Edinburgh on Friday during an election that saw support melt away for the beleaguered party.
Professor Pongoo, whose real name is Mike Ferrigan, was an independent candidate who had pledged to go dressed as a 6ft penguin to every council meeting if he was elected.
Ferrigan told The Huffington Post UK that picking a penguin outfit was more than just an attention-grabbing bid for the Pentland Hills ward.
However he admits that it was was designed to "bring a bit of gaiety" to the proceedings.
"The character of Professor Pongoo came about when I was presenting to a scout group on climate change. I thought I needed to do something more interesting to maintain their attention.
"So I came up with Professor Pongoo, who is the cousin of Pingu but from another planet, and Pingu has invited me down to earth to try and sort things out, as things are in a mess.
"It was a way of symbolising climate change: the ice is melting, their habitat is being taken away. However from my personal experience people also feel disenfranchised. "
Professor Pongoo teaches children about climate change
Ferrigan, whose Facebook page shows a group of penguins with the headline "Occupy Antarctica" told The Huffington Post UK that it was "a much deeper, longer story" than a penguin beating the Lib Dems.
However he added he felt "quite proud to have taken the limelight away from self-serving politicians in their neat suits, ties, rosettes and self important posturing."
"I had predicted the night before that I would beat the Lib dems and the Greens, so it wasn’t a surprise to me. There was a round of applause when I walked in the hall after the count. I took a bow."
"It’s taken me a very long time to build up the support, and that's why I got the votes I did. My manifesto was very much about helping the community.
"I leafleted eight miles of the ward myself and spent all my own savings on the campaign. Too much of politics is dominated by short-terminism and self interest, it comes down to filling their own pockets with money."
"The Liberals don't walk the walk, or waddle the waddle as I do."
Professor Pongoo reads his mail
Professor Pongoo's manifesto is very much against party politics.
"Local politics should be about local people doing things for local people. Community politics is about creating a better quality of life.
"If Nick Clegg was sitting in my front room, I would say to him, 'I'm not doing this personally to you, Nick, I'm doing this to stand against party politics. Sadly Nick, you need a longer term vision for party politics and social justice. "
However being a 6ft penguin does have its disadvantages: "I have to time when I leave the house, and go out at certain times of day." he told The Huffington Post UK
"I've become a local and even a bit of national celebrity. Every time I go out the front door I'm accosted by all these children."
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