Operation Christian Vote: Wikis

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Christian Party
Leader George Hargreaves
Founded 2005
Ideology Christianity,
Euroscepticism,
Theoconservatism,
Christian right
Political position Right-wing
National affiliation Alliance for Democracy
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament Group None
Official colours Violet
Website
http://www.christianparty.org.uk/
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections

The Christian Party, also called the Scottish Christian Party and Welsh Christian Party,[1] is a minor political organisation in Great Britain. It is headed by the Reverend George Hargreaves, who claims he is one of the first Afro-Caribbean leaders of a British political party.[citation needed]

Contents

Operation Christian Vote

The party originated as Operation Christian Vote, which was founded by Hargreaves in May 2004. It was based in Ilford, Essex.[2] The party contested the 2004 European Elections in the Scotland constituency,[3] gaining 1.8% of the popular vote.

Hargreaves was a candidate for Operation Christian Vote in the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election, where he received 90 votes, last place in a field of seven candidates, and lost his deposit. In the 2005 general election, Hargreaves stood in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, where he placed fourth, ahead of the Conservatives, and retained his deposit with 1,048 votes, or 7.6%.

The group was involved in protests, such as at Glasgow.[4]

The party became known as the Christian Party at the end of 2005.

Policies

It aims to fill a void they say exists in the current political spectrum for the Christian Right in the UK. They are pro-life, have opposed moves towards legislation equalising the position of homosexual, bisexual and transgender people with heterosexual people and hold a sceptical view on the EU. Rev George Hargreaves was the party's candidate in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, where he received 411 votes.

The party claims to use the talents of Christians in different callings to bring the grace of the Gospel to bear upon the religious, spiritual, moral and social problems in society.[5]

At the time of the Scottish election in 2007, the Scottish Christian Party produced a manifesto[6] include the following:

  • a proposed referendum on the reinstitution of the death penalty for severe crimes, where two or three witnesses were present at the crime scene and forensic science confirms involvement.
  • legislation to ban abortion.
  • increased taxation on alcohol and tobacco.
  • initiatives to bring personal responsibility to bear upon "self-inflicted disease" (such as alcoholism).
  • Zero tolerance on drug possession.
  • curfews for under 11 year olds, with mandatory intervention of child protection agencies in relation to any child 10 years or younger that is found unaccompanied on the street after 9:00pm.
  • the reintroduction of the right of teachers to use corporal punishment in extreme circumstances.
  • greater observance of a weekly day of rest (Sunday).
  • limits around coastlines to preserve stocks of fish and sand eels.
  • promotion in school of chastity before marriage.
  • re-instatement of Section 2A (also known as Section 28), a law to guard against the promotion of homosexuality.
  • the re-introduction of corporate readings from the Bible in all Scottish state schools.
  • provision of Christian religious education on a mandatory basis, with no obligation to promote other faiths, regardless of the wishes of those being instructed or their parents. There currently exists a level of compulsory Christian observance in all British schools[7],[8][9] so these policies are calling for this to be increased.
  • a science curriculum which should "reflect the evidence of creation/design" in the universe (see Creation-evolution controversy).
  • public health campaigns to discourage homosexuality alongside excessive drinking and the use of addictive substances, whilst maintaining "God loves and we should love" such individuals.
  • the restoration of the right for parents to smack their children (as with prayer, this currently exists and the policy is a call for an increase).
  • "Mind Pollution Levy" on 18 Certificate Films, DVDs, CDs, Video Games and Top Shelf magazines.
  • a re-establishment of the principle of the innocent party in a divorce being acknowledged in any divorce settlement.
  • discouragement of the practice of addressing women as Ms..
  • opposition of the practice of altering birth certificates to reflect gender confirmation surgery.
  • promotion of Biblical alternatives to the current criminal justice system, including emphasis on the role of witnesses over forensic evidence.
  • that Mechanical Copyright Protection enjoyed by songwriters should be extended to featured recording artists and record producers.
  • that a minimum royalty percentage (the level of which should be decided through consultation with the music industry) should be paid to featured recording artists and producers on exactly the same basis as is currently paid to songwriters.

In Wales the party wants to change the Welsh flag, because it views the red dragon as a satanic symbol, they would replace it with the cross of Saint David.[10]

Electoral performance

Candidates from the party stood in Sedgefield by-election, 2007 and Ealing Southall by-election, 2007. The party got 26,575 votes (0.7%) in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election and 8,693 votes (0.9%) in the 2007 Welsh Assembly Election; it did not come close to winning any seats.

Hargreaves stood for the party at the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008 and got 76 votes or 0.3% of the total votes cast.

The party competed in the 2009 European elections winning one deposit in the London region through gaining 51,336 votes (2.9%).

"So Macho" and the gay community

The Rev Hargreaves (2nd from left in candidates line-up) and other candidates who contested the Glasgow Baillieston constituency in the Scottish Parliament election, 2007.

James George Hargreaves (party leader), whilst a DJ in London who shared a flat with his gay song-writing partner, wrote the gay anthem "So Macho" which was a hit in gay clubs in the United Kingdom in 1986.[11] Hargreaves' financial ability to launch a political party, therefore, is partly the product of support from the gay scene of the time. Since his policies include elements of opposition to lesbian and gay rights, it was reported that he had to "deny allegations of double standards" in relation to this; he claimed that his campaign was not against all homosexuals, and that he had not held the same religious beliefs when he wrote the song. Although his involvement in the music industry was as a writer, his party supports giving copyright protections to musical performers and producers that already exist for writers.

Registration as a party

The party was registered by the Electoral Commission on 29 April 2004, with the name "Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship!" ".[1] It has registered nine Party Descriptions, and two translations, to be used on ballot papers, namely:

  • Christian Party
  • Christian Party (Scotland)
  • Christian Party (Wales)
  • Scottish Christian Party
  • Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"
  • The Christian Party
  • The Scottish Christian Party
  • Welsh Christian Party
  • Welsh Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"
  • Plaid Gristionogol Cymru
  • Plaid Gristionogol Cymru "Datgan Arglwyddiaeth Crist"

See also

References

External links

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