I can remember back in the 1960s when the doom-mongers were heralding the start of another ice age! I have also lived through the panics of Aids and the Millennium Bug, both of which were supposed to ruin life as we know it but fizzled out as a major threat, so I am by nature and experience a sceptic. However, I am inclined to believe the graphs that show global temperatures have soared since 1980. Therefore, my proper answer to the question is yes, it is a threat.
1980? Hmm. The temperature rise seems to mirror the rise of industrialisation in China and India. Anyone who has travelled to these and similar countries will have witnessed the high levels of smog and pollution, far worse than we used to have in Britain when we were renowned for our ‘pea-soupers’. In short, we British are not the cause of the problem.
But should we be taking the lead in addressing it? In practical terms, it is a waste of time us ruining our economy to shave off a fraction of the 1% of carbon emissions that we generate. It is well documented that China can – and will – increase their output by this amount in a few weeks, if not days. So it is patently nuts for us to be spending billions of our taxpayers’ money on reducing our miniscule contribution to the problem.
Should we have a referendum on net zero targets?
No. That’s not how we do things in this country. Switzerland can have one as it is part of their democratic processes but there is virtually no precedent here. Referenda should be reserved for constitutional matters only. Anyway, the subject is too emotive and the general public would not be given the full range of facts to make an informed decision.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
Buy lots of sun block, nice shades and swimmies and sod the next generation…
Yes, that was a joke. That said, what we could and should do is pressure the worst polluting countries into reducing their emissions. How? Well, as a suggestion, we could put a ban (or very high tariffs) on imports from them until they address the problem. Of course, this would increase the cost of goods we buy but I suspect the total would be a mere fraction of what we are intending to spend on net zero. And it would stimulate our manufacturing base.
Finally, if we are intent on reducing our emissions, this would best be done through market forces rather than government diktats, artificial target dates and huge subsidies. Once electric cars are cheaper than petrol ones and heat pumps are cheaper than gas boilers, then we will naturally move towards lower emitting technologies.
‘I’m not going to replace the polyfoam with paper food trays until the government makes me.’ Said the chip-shop man nonchalantly. Not so long ago I got into an uncivilised wrangle over a chip tray. My teenager left the shop in horror at my indiscretion.
However unreasonable and hopeless it may seem, small changes will make a huge difference.
Is global warming a threat?
I believe global warming is a threat. However, as a Christian, my divine calling is unconditional advocacy for compassionate stewardship of the earth’s creatures and plants. Plus to foster equitable sharing of the earth’s resources.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
I think this would be a good idea as it will create awareness about the implications across the board. Open discussion and critique from a range of opposing positions will stir hearts into action. Assuming it is approved, it will strengthen the resolve and mandate of this movement. Unfortunately, there is so much ‘greenwashing’ at large, a person can be forgiven for thinking they are helping the planet by buying more plastic Petunias.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
Lifestyles: More cherished, forbearing and Godly. Less materialism, disposable and excess.
Plastic packaging: ‘I was shocked, when I came to the UK, there’s plastic wrappers on everything in the supermarket.’ (Confessions of my Kenyan friend in London).
We don’t need plastic packaging. We have paper, cardboard, tin, glass, compostable and natural fibres that are part of circular economies. Supermarkets are selling more and more items in plastic packaging. This is not acceptable. We can solve the plastic packaging problem simply by not producing it in the first place.
Moreover, we should be extending this to manufacturing by promoting ‘Cradle to Cradle’ type standards: healthy, socially just and authentically sustainable. Producing no waste and using natural energy flows that do not pollute.
Energy: We have been building wind turbines and paying for them to be switched off. There must be a better way to manage our sustainable energy assets so we can phase out fossil fuels.
Humans are exceptional. 200 years ago Global life expectancy was under 30, today life expectancy in the poorest counties is over 50, the global average is over 70. When I was at school people starved in many countries, today hunger has almost disappeared except where war or governments stop food supplies. Since the turn of the century the expanding economies of China and India mean China has a middle class the size of the population of Europe, with India only a few years behind.
Despite expanding populations and doomsday predictions the number of people dying from extreme weather events continues to collapse. Climate has changed for millennia before mankind, during our existence and will for many more to come without our interference. For over 30 years ‘experts’ on hefty grants have told us of impending doom from global warming, rising seas levels, agricultural failures, and a scorched planet. None of this has happened, and the planet is greening every year.
Is global warming a threat? Maybe, but human ingenuity will not just rise to any challenge, we will excel and overcome it.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
All of the major parties are in lockstep on Net Zero. For all of the challenges of a referendum, we have a situation where the political/media classes all agree they need to lower our standard of living, which I firmly believe people don’t want (note they don’t seem to want to lower theirs). Unless or until a party currently outside parliament makes a breakthrough, the people have no real choice. For all of the challenges off a Referendum on Net Zero, today we have the people pitted against parliament, and like Brexit, I can only see that a referendum will allow us to set parliament back on a path of striving to improve rather than diminish our lives.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
We should protect the environment we live in. In our borough, every small patch of land is being built on. New blocks of flats out of character of the area they are built in keep popping up. Council and government policies have made where we live a less pleasant environment, we need to change this.
Globally we should protect at risk species of animal and plant. I believe this is best achieved by balancing the environment concerns and economic concerns of the local populations. Chickens are not at risk of extinction because they are good source of food and economically useful. Horses are often well looked after because they work and are raced, so are economically useful. Dogs are not at risk of extinction because they work and provide companionship. There is no threat of extinction of lawn grass or corn. Whether through tourism, food, work or altruism, animals and plants that are economically viable thrive.
We can best protect the environment by making bio diversity an economic benefit. To achieve this we should focus on raising the standard of living of the poorest across the globe to the point that they have the capacity to choose to invest in, and protect their local environments.
This is the forth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1 and in Part 5.
The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire.
Carol Valinejad fought the seat for the Christian Peoples Alliance in 2019 more than doubling their vote from the previous election, and has been selected again to run for the party. We spoke with Carol about the upcoming campaign.
Carol thank-you for your time.
We’ve interviewed a number of members from your party, but for those not so familiar can you introduce the Christian Peoples Alliance, and yourself to our readers?
The Christian Peoples Alliance targets its politics to all individuals who hold Christ like values, including defence of disadvantaged groups such as the poor, widows, prisoners, and the fatherless. The basis of our manifesto has its roots in a biblical world view. This should not be unfamiliar to many as Britain was once called a Christian country which is confirmed by the scriptural verses that are engraved in the concrete tiling paved in the foyer of Parliament.
I joined the Christian Peoples Alliance because it is the only party in existence which has in its manifesto that it will seek to open the debate to bring creation science in schools. “When this nation returns to creation it will return to God”. This will have far reaching impact upon our nation’s children as it will satisfy their developing minds by allowing them to look at the evidence (which has been around for the past 17 years or so) which confirms the existence of a creator who developed the earth by Intelligent Design. It is only right that children be provided with the opportunity to decide for themselves what are their origins, via evolution or creation.
You stood in the GLA elections for the CPA and in the 2019 general election. What are some of your memories from those campaigns?
I enjoyed attending the hustings, where I had the opportunity to take questions from the electorate within Sidcup and Old Bexley. I remember speaking to a man who had about 3 children and his family were regular attenders to foodbanks. I was so sad to hear this as I had never heard of food banks when I was a child and I did not come from a rich family. I thought how low Britain has stooped that food banks have become the norm of our society. This is humiliating for Britain and it is not a position we should be content with.
You have lived in Sidcup for 15 years, what are the big issues and opportunities you see in the area?
I have enjoyed living in Sidcup. I am from a Caribbean background living within a population which is predominantly white middle class. My impression is that there is minimal appreciation amongst the electorate about the value that cultural diversity can bring to the community.
I would be interested in focussing on addressing the impact of poverty, family breakdown and criminality in the area.
If elected what would you want to focus on in office?
If elected, I would focus on bringing the creation/evolution debate back on the political agenda. I will of course spend some time to understand the needs of the local community and dutifully bring this back to parliament. I knew our previous MP Rt Honourable James Brokenshire personally and will seek to build on his legacy where I thought it overlapped with CPA policy.
As a clinical psychologist I am acutely aware of the lack of knowledge in our communities about how psychological therapies can assist with mental disorders. I hope to support such initiatives . In addition I would like to help support the reduction of long waiting lists for people to access psychological therapies.
I suffered physical consequences of covid-19 this year to such a severe degree I almost died and subsequently ended up being treated in ICU. I would like to support the development of breakthrough treatments that will bring an end to this pandemic.
Reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is enshrined in UK Law. With COP26 in Glasgow the news is full of stories about Climate Change and Global Warming. With all the main parties in agreement on the policy we have recently seen calls for the people of Britain to have a choice via a referendum on Net Zero. Nigel Farage has hinted he could campaign, articles have appeared in the Spectator, and Gaia Fawkes sums the position up brilliantly when they say:
“Politicians seem very keen to avoid a Net Zero Referendum. It’s a project without democratic legitimacy. Let the politicians who want us to eat bugs, have cold showers, lukewarm heat pumped houses, higher energy bills and far more expensive foreign holidays, make their case!”
As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.
Thanks to Peter Sonnex, Jeremy Wraith, Dr Tom Rogers, and Scott Neville for their responses.
Peter Sonnex, former Brexit Party candidate and political campaigner.
Is global warming a threat?
Global warming may be a threat to the planet, if only we knew! That the climate has always been in flux is true – so what is the ideal status quo or permanent reversal we are trying to engineer? And, at what cost, if our UK 1% contribution may amount to £1 Trillion to mitigate?
Climate and Covid catastrophists are one and the same – doing stuff just in case, if it saves just one ounce of carbon or one life. And, we know the government can’t do cost benefit analysis.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
Referenda are only offered when the establishment believes it can win. The Brexit result confirmed both arrogance and a lack of connection to the electorate. Neither the government, nor the opposition, will risk a climate referendum.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
Firstly, we must allow the developing world their industrial revolution. The world, where energy poverty is no longer a significant factor, will be in a better position to adapt to ever changing climactic conditions – perhaps even influence the most extreme effects.
Secondly, I think we should be pursuing nuclear power – capital plants, small modular nuclear reactors and fusion – with more vigour and investment. We should be emulating the example of our sun, not trying to fight against it.
With nuclear power comes the energy to desalinate and move water, ending the reality of water poverty and potential conflict. Hydrogen through electrolysis becomes entirely viable. Hydrogen can be stored, and with fossil fuels provide stored, potential energy and, therefore, energy security.
The CPA affirms that we have a duty to be the best possible custodians of God’s creation — our planet and its natural resources. We therefore have a developed programme of policies for greening the economy and transport, which you can find in our 2019 Manifesto (www.cpaparty.net).
Our approach to ‘climate change’ is a sensible and cautionary one. We have to be very careful about being panicked or coerced into measures that in themselves would be catastrophic to our industries, economy and human freedoms in response to alarmist claims of a ‘climate emergency’ and ‘climate extinction’. Contrary to the establishment narrative that ‘the science is settled’ (in itself an unscientific statement) the extent to which recent changes in temperatures are unnatural, dangerous to our survival and/or caused by human activity are questions still contested by many scientists, and which require much more open scientific freedom, investigation and debate than is currently being allowed. The earth’s climate after all has never been something static but has always been constantly changing and evolving in the absence of human presence or attempted control.
We would therefore implement effective but proportionate policies best in themselves for the environment and long-term provision for humanity, and not just because they reduce carbon omissions. It is right that we seek to eliminate pollution, continuously improve energy efficiency, increase recycling, and strive to further the use of renewable sources of energy, and we have detailed policies in all these areas which we would support also at a local level.
Potentially, it depends on how far it goes and I don’t believe we have sufficiently accurate data to know for sure. The important thing to consider is the word “threat”, is any of this a threat to the planet, no, the planet will be fine regardless. If the planet was going to boil away with a self-reinforcing loop of heating it would have done so millions of years ago. However any change is always a threat to some people (and potentially a benefit to others), so yes global warming or global cooling does pose a threat to some of humanity regardless how big or small. There could however be a big threat to humanity, I personally don’t believe all the doomsday predictions, but I accept I might be wrong, and I accept totalitarian government is a very big threat too.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
I am unsure. I don’t believe in enforcing many things is just, because the use of force against another is wrong, holding a referendum does not suddenly make me believe this is ok (as many found the presence of an EU referendum does not make their belief in themselves less European). I simply don’t agree with a tyranny of majority. Any referendum would be fought on religious grounds (the fastest growing religion of “the science”) and that will just lead to far more anger and fighting with everyone becoming more ideologically entrenched rather than trying to examine empirical fact and critically assess information presented.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
Waste is by far the biggest problem, filling up our landscapes with all this scrap, use once and throw away plastics. The debate is so skewed it’s all about paper vs plastic straws rather than “why do most people even need a straw?” or make sure that you put your plastic bottles in the correct bin rather than “you will be going back to the supermarket at some point, the lorry that delivers to the supermarket will go back to the factory, just take the damn bottles back and refill them”. Energy production needs to focus on nuclear, particularly research in nuclear fusion where the UK is already a world leader, bizarrely we don’t say much about our achievements despite our achievement in making Didcot the hottest place in the solar system (briefly) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/didcot-was-hottest-place-in-solar-system-gj9wg258f.
You can read more about Scott and the Hampshire Independents in his interview with us, or listen to him one of our recent Podcasts.
This is the first set of your responses, further responses can be found in Part 2
For those who might not know the CPA can you tell us a little about the party and your main policies?
The Christian Peoples Alliance seeks to bring integrity, truth and love to the governmental arena. We seek to demonstrate how God does politics! Our core values are promoting traditional marriage and family stability, upholding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, caring for the poor and needy, fighting crime and supporting persecuted Christians worldwide.
At a London level what would the CPA like to see change?
The London Assembly holds the Mayor accountable for his decisions in areas such as London transport, police and fire services, building affordable homes, protecting the environment and promoting London’s economy.
The Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) has manifesto policies which detail improvements for each area of Mayoral responsibility. This election, we would like to highlight tackling knife crime which shatters families and ruins lives. A number of city charities are already doing great work in tackling knife crime and we would enhance their reach with grants. We advocate for kinship mentors, supervised youth centres and mounted police presence. Kinship mentors because knife crime gangs often engender family-like loyalties; supervised youth centres because young men need properly supervised, safe spaces outside home to spend time with peers; mounted police presence as it’s believed that mounted police (compared with foot police) are more community friendly but deter crime.
Knife crime affects young people from broken homes disproportionately. In the long term, we need to reduce these inequalities by supporting marriages and creating stable homes so that all children can have the benefit of growing up with their mum and dad.
This brings me to our second key London wide policy. All women (and girls) deserve to be cherished for life by their peer group, siblings and partners. Sadly not all are. This year we have seen increases in domestic violence, abortion coercion, sexual harassment, rape culture in schools, objectification and human trafficking. The police emphasise consent in their training videos, but this is not enough. It gives the message that it’s ok to have sex with a female, just so long as she is 16+ and says yes.
CPA believes women and girls should be cherished for life not just objects of convenience. We believe men can be helped with self-control of libido. In addition, we will review agencies funded by the Mayor to ensure they do not promote pornography, violence or undermine the family. We need more women’s crisis centres and education that inspires boys to be faithful husbands and fathers that cherish their families
We will protect freedom of speech and stop the police investigating non-criminal ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate incidents’, so they can concentrate on real crime not thought crime. Plus no mandatory or coerced vaccination, including ‘covid passports’.
I would also like to mention our care for the poor policy. We will work in partnership with the city churches/charities to support foodbanks and address food insecurity.
We will guarantee night shelters for anyone not on drink or drugs, with a meal free of charge paid for by the Mayor of London. We don’t want anyone sleeping rough. Those with alcohol and drug problems will be given specialist help.
In terms of transport, we would make Transport for London more accountable to passengers for its spending. Fares have been going up year-on-year for decades despite TfL’s huge revenues from fares, advertising, tourism and property.
In terms of the environment, we believe the current incineration of non-mechanically-recyclable plastic is not environmentally friendly enough. We believe the Mayor should be investing in methods which make plastic recycling circular.
My current role as housing manager in London gives me first hand, daily experiences of the housing issues facing Londoners and how we can improve our systems to make things fairer and better for all.
The party isn’t running a mayoral candidate, are you recommending anyone to vote for, and if not how will you pick who to vote for?
We have been mayoral candidate watching and are on the lookout for a candidate that is able to uphold our values. Unashamedly pro family, pro-marriage and pro- life. We have been quite upfront with anyone with we have met with that they are clear about our core values in their role as Mayor for instance welcoming the annual March for Life. We are aware however that the reality is that the race will be between Shaun Bailey and Sidiq Khan. We have recommended that our members and supporters vote for Shaun Bailey as second choice.
In Croydon we have an epidemic of knife crime, a dying town centre and a bankrupt council. What are your thoughts on the issues facing the borough?
Detailed above are our policies on tackling knife crime. This is our no. 1 concern this election. In terms of reinvigorating town centres and supporting local businesses, we would use the proceeds from our *Turnover Tax to immediately half business rates with a view to phasing them out completely over time, in order to create a level playing field between online and shop retail.
*Our national manifesto policy: The CPA will introduce a Turnover Tax at a rate of 5% of company turnover, payable quarterly in arrears along with VAT. The threshold will be the same as the VAT threshold, currently £85,000. This is intended to ensure that appropriate tax is collected from those multi-national companies who make their money by selling in the UK but transfer their profits overseas by way of ‘licence’ and other ‘costs’ or ‘invoice’ addresses. This will be a fairer company tax system across the board and eventually make buying online taxed at the same level as buying in shops.
How much will this raise?
The total turnover of the UK economy in 2017 was £2.62 trillion 5 — 5% of which gives £106.5bn. The Turnover Tax would be offset against Corporation tax which raised £56.1bn in 2017/18 despite the rate being cut. Small companies would be exempt and we would look to introduce other fair exemptions which would take away about £20bn. Some Corporation Tax would be more than the Turnover Tax but we estimate that would generate at least £32bn which would be spent funding the following key manifesto pledges:
• £15bn on reducing Commercial Rates to help our city centres
• £12bn on restoring the Government benefit cuts, so we can make Universal Credit work
• £3bn on supporting marriage and the family through our grant system
If elected how would you use your role in the Greater London Authority and what would you like to achieve?
As a female, black Londoner, born and bred, I would like to offer a pro-family, pro-marriage and pro-life voice. I would raise the profile of the issues surrounding women’s inequalities and the vital importance of a biblical worldview being applied in a very practical real way to everyday life in the governmental political arena. In this cancel culture I will be championing free speech, particularly allowing our police force to police real crime and not tweets! I am not really about using my ethnicity to get votes what is more important to me is to represent all Londoners to create a city that is prosperous, and safe. Holding the mayor to account on the London Assembly would afford the CPA a wonderful opportunity to ensure that Christians are represented in GLA and have a voice where it matters!
How do people find out more and get in contact or involved?
Helen Spiby-Vann has stood 3 times (2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections) for the Christian Peoples Alliance party in the North London constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green. Vice President of the Party, in 2019 she doubled her votes from the previous election, had a great election video and good write up in the local press. We spoke with Helen about the constituency, London politics, her experiences as a candidate, and her challenges with the state school system.
Helen thank-you for your time.
You have stood 3 times in Hornsey and Wood Green. Can you tell us a bit about the constituency, what makes it special and why you want to represent the area?
Hornsey and Wood Green constituency is buzzing with different types of families from different backgrounds. Where else can you meet people from diverse cultures, age groups and attitudes whilst queueing for a mezze grill? Haringey is the hospitality borough of London.
Another great institution is Pray Haringey. Hearing from community leaders and praying for Haringey. I love the various facets of the local faith communities and I have a tangible affinity with them all. We love family, kids, mums & dads, siblings and grandparents. We empower young people and care for the elderly, infirm and dispossessed. We make sure we teach our children to respect others who are different from ourselves.
A stranger’s perspective can sometimes seem strange so it’s important to carry their burdens, to see through their eyes. In my capacity as a human being, I’ve been a carer, advocated for the elderly, I’ve partnered with Homes for Haringey and hosted a Syrian refugee. I’ve co-founded a food project, done pro-life pavement counselling and worked with children. I’m convinced that religious ethics can inform the common good and enable equality, justice and prosperity for all. When we apply Godly principles we see lives changed for the better.
Since becoming a regular candidate what’s surprised you most about getting involved in politics?
A couple of surprises. Firstly, I’m surprised at how emotionally driven voting has become. Voters are disillusioned by intellectual rationale and persuaded by emotional discernment. In other words, when the experts disagree, we lean on our feelings. People of faith seek God’s guidance.
Secondly, I’m always surprised by the depth of sincerity of candidates and their supporters. It’s inspiring to see how deeply people care about making the world a better place and fighting injustice. We all have this much in common – even if we disagree about how best to do it. In the words of Samwise Gamgee “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Do you have any fun or interesting stories from the campaign trail?
One of my first ever hustings turned out to be an epic event of Biblical magnitude. After having been declined a place on the panel, I was summoned from the back to sit on the top table after an unlikely episode which you couldn’t make up if you tried.
This turn of events happened when a burly Hoi Polloi1 with a battery pack, speaker and megaphone crashed his way to the front and demanded a place on the top table. The community were up in arms, some for and others against. The padre moderator swiftly called for the church steward to escort the strapping figure out. Then a diminutive lady appeared and it was clear that she was no match. This exacerbated the tension. Chaos, ensued, shouting, mobbing and whistle blowing.
In a stroke of divine intervention, the padre was able to take back control when another man loudly chastised the mob affirming rights of candidates to give representation. It all settled down and the Christian and the Hoi Polloi were accredited as official panelists.
One blogger who happened to be there wrote about my closing statement: ‘Spiby-Vann’s closing statement discussed the need for a “new moral vision” and to “promote godliness.” She said “marriage is the safest setting for sexual intercourse” and that “marriage demonstrates a man loves a woman – he pledges to remain faithful and she pledges to take care of him.” She then described how marriage protects women. I think this level of Christian fundamentalism managed to shock the relatively godless and liberal residents of Crouch End.’ Amen.
We have the London Mayoral elections coming up in May 2021. What are your thoughts on Mayor Khan and London’s politics more generally?
On a positive note, Mayor Khan is supportive of protecting the environment. However, this protection from pollution doesn’t stretch to in utero. I was disappointed that Mayor Khan didn’t attend the March for Life 2019. Accepted, for many, this would be the principled choice.
I love engaging with the various political perspectives in London. Respect is key and free speech is precious. By understanding other people’s viewpoints we may discover a dearly longed for solution. Sadly Janet Daby recently resigned as Labour’s shadow faith minister over comments she had made in support of freedom of conscience. It seems like an oxymoron that a shadow minister of faith would be fired for advocating for people of faith. It supports the rumour that Labour exploit the faithful, treating them as religious tokens.
Also close to my heart are women’s rights. My message to women and girls – our value comes from God not from our physical appearance – we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Negative thoughts tell us our identity is intertwined with what we do and who we look like. Comparing ourselves with others is a habit hard to ax.
Life is not straight forward. I know a lady who woke up one frozen December morning at the crack of dawn to take her dog for a walk. As she walked down the lane she saw a person lying lifeless at the side of the road in the snow. A thought passed through her pained mind – could this be the victim of a hit and run joy rider. Sadly she was right. A transient moment of irresponsible pleasure for one, turned into a tragedy for another. So it is with exploitation of women and girls and abortion.
There’s a reason why we have driving licenses, there’s a reason why we have marriage licenses. It’s to protect human rights, especially for the most vulnerable. There’s only one way into this world and for humans travelling on that path, their mother is dearly beloved. It’s an indictment on our society that mothers are encouraged to look upon the new person arriving with such contempt and lured into putting them down (mifepristone works by starving baby of nutrients and oxygen, misoprostol aborts the corpse).
For those who are still reading even though you disagree or find my opinion conceptually incomprehensible, thank you for persevering. You are great. It is concerning that people with very different views never get to meet their opposites. We only get exposed to one view and think the other is offensive, hateful, bigoted, right wing, Marxist, extremist or ridiculous. When I find myself saying ‘I just can’t understand why they think that’, it’s time to meet people who can help me understand. We may still disagree, but we find respect and dignity when we try to understand each other.
You have had some challenges as a parent with the teaching of Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) at your son’s school. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes it’s true – over the past decades of parenting, I have never been consulted properly regarding Relationship & Sex Education (RSE). And even now, when it’s mandatory, parents’ views are still being sidelined. Back in 2015 when my youngest was in year 5, I couldn’t make the once-per-year RSE content preview. Despite my requests, no other time or access was permitted.
In 2016 when my youngest was in year 6 parents were once again invited to the once-per-year RSE content preview. The (usually accommodating) headteacher explained she would only be showing samples as time permitted and would be able to show the materials in full, on request (despite requests, this never happened). Ahead of her presentation, she asked if there were any questions. I looked round at the 2 other mums and one dad in attendance and asked ‘Do you cover the importance of marriage and adult sexual relationships and if not, do you cover sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)?’
At this point the one dad walked out and the headteacher explained ‘We don’t stress marriage because our children come from many different families. But they do learn about sexual relationships but not about STI’s till much later.’ As if this rationale (on down-playing marriage) wasn’t spurious enough, the materials presented healthy sex as being a response to chemical sensations with no reference to commitment, risks, rights or responsibilities. In other words, schools have been acquiescing to fabricated ideas and ideology rather than following guidance, facts and best practice.
Autumn 2016, my son started secondary school. For the past 18 months, I have been submitting my parental feedback with respect to RSE from the protected characteristic of religious backgrounds. Under the new Regulations schools are required to consult with parents in planning the curriculum. This requirement is spotlighted in the Guidance issued 24th September 2020: ‘You must engage parents and carers about your relationships and sex education curriculum. It is important that you set out your approach to the subjects fully and clearly2.’
However, so far as I understand, none of my suggestions have been taken on board. I have removed my son from these classes until the school is able to make it inclusive for religious backgrounds and we are working together to resolve these issues.
More widely what are your thoughts on state education?
The most popular and successful state schools tend to have a few things in common: My no. 1 is encouraging parental involvement in the child’s education (parents checking homework timetables and being interested in weekly tests). And for parental involvement to be viable, we must support mum and dad and strengthen marriages. Children benefit from the joint resources, finances and shared experiences of married parents. This joint capacity enables parents to be involved in their child’s schooling.
When I was a single working mother, parental involvement in my child’s schooling was much harder. Too often children of single parent families get the short straw when it comes to educational outcomes3. Breakfast clubs offering healthy meals like porridge oats, Weetabix and fruit (rather than Rice Krispies or Cornflakes) and afterschool clubs with homework supervision or individual tuition, can bridge that gap.
One thing all pupils agree on is that disruptive classmates handicap their education. One radical panacea is to invite parents of distracting pupils to sit in one of their child’s classes and repeat the prescription when necessary.
Good classroom discipline is key. It improves student (and teacher) satisfaction, wellbeing and enables better academic, extra curricular and pastoral results.
Other methods which contribute to equality of educational outcomes include:
Streaming (with smaller class sizes at the lower end – and therefore more attention for struggling pupils)
STEM subjects taught in single sex classes
Speciality places offered for talent. This method works well because it attracts an array of pupils who raise aspirations across the school community.
Do you have any advice for anyone who has concerns about their children’s education?
For parents who are concerned about their child’s education, you are in good company. It’s important to be concerned. But what can we do with our concerns to generate positive change?
Firstly, keeping in touch with teachers is important (don’t wait till parents’ evening). Schools have homework diaries with space for parents to fill in. Your child may not thank you for it at the time but teachers will. It’s really important to be involved.
Choosing a school can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Everyone wants a good, safe and aspirational school for their children. Every child is different, whether they would benefit from cosy, big, academic, faith or disciplined, there’s lots of different types of schools and often they cater for different needs and talents. Visit as many as you can and throw the net wide. Private schools offer lots of scholarships and bursaries. They have a reputation for converting 6’ & 7’s into 9’s.
In addition, it’s important for children to be part of an activity based community outside the school (eg: sports, arts, technical, music or scouts). A serious friendship based hobby gives them confidence and stamina to embrace daily challenges at school.
Don’t be put off considering different schools, even if a child just wants to go to the same school as their friends. Trust your parental instinct. In year 5, children don’t want to leave their primary. But by Christmas in year 7, many can’t imagine going back.
We have had a second lockdown and gone into a Tier System. What are your thoughts on the government’s handling of Covid?
I believe the government has overstretched it’s reach. This is particularly apparent with churches. Early in April lockdown, it was considered safer to go to Poundshop than to church. By September, churches were open having invested greatly in risk assessments and adaptations. While Tier 2 was in place, they were still open but then downgraded with Tier 3. This was very unreasonable as churches had invested in the safety measures to prevent the spread.
State school children were short changed during school lockdown. While private schools worked hard to usher in remote classes on Teams and kept tabs on attendance, making sure IT was available for those without. State schools took the view that if one child doesn’t have IT, then the rest can’t use it (this is a common theme in state education). It would have been easier to source IT for those without than to deprive them all. State schools were thus handicapped4. Parents were juggling home schooling and home working. Teachers tried to keep connected with their increasingly remote pupils by uploading, downloading and emailing. Doing their best to help with academic as well as pastoral issues that arose because the kids were off school with no structure and no motivation.
It’s not accidental that kids are more motivated when they see other kids doing it. During school lockdown, digital classrooms enabled kids to hear and see other kids (or at least their avatars) and none could say ‘It’s not fair, I’m the only one doing this school work. Why should I?’
Exam classes could have continued in schools with social distancing, masks and santiser. Exams by nature are socially distanced and should have continued. This would have prevented the results injustices and uni places fiasco.
However, sometimes less government intervention is better. In April 2020, It was inspiring to see philanthropy thriving, nationwide encouragement of NHS and keyworkers, free public transport and handouts for food banks.
Other lessons in hindsight:
Covid testing with results ready in half an hour at airports, weddings, funerals, care homes and hospices. No-one should be prohibited from seeing their loved ones who are terminally ill.
Risk to different demographics issued in a form that the ordinary person can grasp: ‘1 in 30 people of this age group who contracts the virus, dies from it.’
On marriages: limiting attendance and social distancing is one thing, but banning marriages outright is a breach of human rights.
Earlier use of face masks, thermometers, testing, sanitizer rather than lockdowns.
More transparency about the demographic that’s allegedly spreading Covid-19. Focus on supporting this group rather than sweeping restrictions.
Pills-by-post home abortions: The government was misled by abortion providers regarding the significance of an in-person assessment to ascertain fetal age5. And
babies who were old enough to survive independently (and feel pain6), have been illegally killed7 by starvation.
Should you be returned at the next election to represent the good people of Hornsey and Wood Green, what’s one law you would like to benefit the nation, and something you would like to do to benefit your constituents?
This is a great question – my suggestion would benefit the UK both on a national level and a local level. If I was to say this policy would:
Save the nation £51Bn (for comparison we spent £87Bn on education and £37Bn on defence in 2017)8
Significantly reduce the number of people in trouble with police or in prison9
Improve the nation’s wellbeing and health10
Reduce (or eradicate) STIs which have been on the increase for decades11
Cut rates of exploitation of women and girls, prostitution and pornography
Improve children and young people’s mental health15
I could go on… The panacea for all these social woes can be summed up in 4 words ‘marriage as God intended’. Or as I like to call it, ‘the doting husband covenant’: to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part. And not forgetting men’s core need, marriage is the only relationship that recognises sex as central to the covenant (for cohabitees and civil partnerships it’s an added extra). How do we persuade the people of the UK to once again take advantage of this ancient covenant and unlock the full package of societal benefits?
I recommend the introduction of grants of £12,000 for first-time marriages on the condition couples attend marriage training (including conflict resolution and building resilient relationships). Faith communities have been taking Biblical marriage seriously for years and we see the majority of married couples staying together16.
Let’s hope that the new-found sobriety for family life, meaningful relationships, health and nature, can usher in a new era where marriage as God intended, is once again the rock upon which our nation is built.
Dr Tom Rogers has been a long standing supporter and party activist, and is the party’s Deputy Leader. He was also the party’s candidate in the 2019 Peterborough by-election and again, in the same year, in the General Election.
Tom thank-you for your time.
You’ve run twice in your home town for parliament, tell us a little about the campaigns and how you feel they went for the party?
Our policy as a party is to stand in every election that we can, as it’s a way of building the party, but especially promoting our deep conviction that Christian values and principles are crucial to us both surviving and then thriving as a nation.
I knew I had to stand when it looked like a by-election was coming up in Peterborough, where I live. The situation first arose when Fiona Onasanya, our sitting MP, was arrested in July 2018 for perverting the course of justice. However, we were on stand-by for nearly a year, unsure of whether the election was going to happen or not, and it finally took a recall petition for the election to be called and then we all went into an overdrive of activity. This was the first time we had stood a candidate in Peterborough and really wanted to establish ourselves in the city, and promote our Christian pro-life message. I had fantastic support from Sid Cordle, our party leader and also my agent in that election — he organised many supporters to come from all over the country to help campaign. We really put a lot of time and effort into personally making our party known to people – and undertook many hours of door-knocking, in order to explain who we were and what our policies are about. I had a certain apprehension, unsure of how people would take us — we of course met a certain amount of opposition, or people who were wedded to the main parties, but overall I was greatly encouraged by the level of support we received, as well as the number of people prepared to stand there and give us a hearing.
As you might expect we connected with a number of Christians, but also Muslims and people of other faiths, who were pleased we were making a stand particularly on the moral issues, for marriage and the family, and also in defence of parental rights over the new compulsory relationships and sex education, as government policy in that area had made many families anxious. People generally were also impressed, however, by our economy policies, and liked our idea of the Turnover Tax, which would ensure big multinational companies like Amazon and Google, who transfer their profits abroad, pay their fair share of tax here, and that’s how we would fund our financial support for marriage (£12,000 grant on getting married) and restoring the Tory’s £12 billion cuts to benefits.
In the by-election we were part of a very crowded field, but were encouraged to have come 7th place in the vote out of 15 candidates. For us, as a relatively new party, the election was largely about making our mark and getting our Christian message out there which we really did. For most people that by-election was really about Brexit, and there was a large protest vote for the Brexit Party, and, of course, the following General Election (just 6 months later) was also mainly about Brexit and there was a massive swing back to the Tories. We didn’t improve on our vote, which was disappointing, but on a personal level I had developed really as a candidate and was much stronger in debates, interviews and getting our message out in the local media. That was important as with the cold dark December evenings we didn’t have as much chance to do all the door-knocking that we did in the summer. Fighting two Parliamentary elections in the space of six months was certainly exhausting, and I was certainly ready for the Christmas break and to spend more time again with the family afterwards.
In the by-election you found yourself ‘cancelled’ from a hustings held in a church! Can you tell us about the events around that?
There were a number of hustings which took place during the by-election campaign — certain of which invited all standing candidates, which is the fairest and most democratic way, and others which just invited candidates from the “main parties”, and I could understand, even if I disagreed, that certain organisers would restrict things in that way given that there were 15 candidates. However, there was a large hustings organised at St John the Baptist CofE Church in the centre of Peterborough, where the criteria for who they invited was completely arbitrary and made no sense – they only allowed 8 candidates, which included the “main party” candidates, but also certain select and favoured smaller party candidates, including the newly reformed SDP and the unknown Renew Party, both of which had polled lower than CPA in previous elections. One would have thought that a Christian church would have actually wanted an openly Christian party candidate to participate at such an event. However, this “St John the Baptist” church certainly does not live up to name of the prophet they’ve adopted — they are a liberal, pro-LGBT ideology, so-called “inclusive” church who no doubt were uncomfortable with having faithful Christians on the platform who actually stick to the Biblical truth on issues like marriage and abortion, and other important issues of our day.
Anyway, we were not invited but Sid Cordle, acting as my agent, was determined that they should do the fair democratic thing and allow me onto the platform. We were in town on that evening for an earlier election-related event nearby, so we thought we’d go along to the St John hustings anyway. Sid tried to reason with the Chair, who was the vicar of the church, beforehand to allow me onto the platform, but we were again rebuffed. At the time I would have just left it, but Sid is a courageous man of God, on fire with the Sprit and he has no qualms whatsoever about taking his complaint to the audience. He therefore stood up before the start of the debate and addressed the audience, explaining that the selection of candidates for the debate was unfair and demanding that a vote should be taken on whether to allow me onto the platform. The Chair, Canon Black, would not allow such a vote to take place and stated the debate would go on with the chosen candidates as planned. Sid and I sat down. The first question was on Brexit and all the eight candidates had their say — I could see Sid next to me with his head in his hands deep in prayer through all this. The Brexit discussion was supposed to address the question of how each party would bring the country back together again after such a divisive debate. Sid was going to ensure the CPA had their say on this regardless — he stood up and again addressed the crowd, stating that only the CPA had the solution to this, as we would honour the result of the 2016 referendum and leave the EU, but guarantee another referendum 5 years after we’ve left so people can actually see and make up their own minds about how Brexit has worked out in reality. However, the Chair did not welcome this intervention and ordered security to remove Sid from the hall. So much for their “inclusive” church!
What does being deputy leader of the party mean in terms of a role, and what are you focused on?
Being deputy leader can mean different things in different parties. It does include being a stand-in for the leader, and sharing with certain frontline duties, such as media interviews and public speaking. However, in our party the deputy leader also has the very specific role of overseeing policy development and the manifesto, and that is what I am primarily focussed on at the moment. It’s very important for us that we have a manifesto that not only makes us distinct from the other parties, but also offers a positive vision and is unafraid of proclaiming real truthful solutions to our nation’s problems, no matter how “politically incorrect” they seem. We were very proud of our 2019 General Election Manifesto, not only of the strong pro-life and pro-family stance we adopted, but also the range of strong down-to-earth practical, fair and workable policies we have on a whole range of issues, from the economy to the environment. We are very blessed in our party to have many people with particular specialist knowledge and talents in many different areas, who were able to contribute strong policy ideas, for instance, in areas like social and health care. The development of policy is very much a collective exercise, in which those with a particular interest will want to contribute along the way, but it’s my role as deputy leader to ensure the process keeps moving and results in strong manifesto items to offer to the electorate at the end of it.
You’ve worked in Education for a number of years, what do you think of the impact of Covid on education and exams this year?
The impact of the Government’s totally erratic and disproportionate response to Covid-19 has been catastrophic across the board – to our economy, healthcare system, to most industries and countless businesses, to our education system, to people’s lives and livelihoods and, above all, to our basic human rights and civil liberties. Historians in future generations (as far as we have a future) will scratch their heads as to why we committed national economic suicide for the sake of a virus with a 99.9% survival rate, and which for most of the population results in an asymptomatic or relatively mild illness at worse. The Government actually had a very right and sensible approach to the ‘pandemic’ at the start of it all – which was to focus on safeguarding the elderly and other vulnerable groups at risk, whilst allowing normal life to carry on as far as possible, whilst natural herd immunity developed through the majority of the population. I guess there was no money in that approach though for Big Pharma and the vaccine-pushers, who just happen also to have the mainstream media in their pockets.
The education system is a case in point. The Government was rightly resisting shutting down the schools in early March, recognising the impact not only on children’s education, but on all the parents who would not be able to work because of new child care responsibilities. It was early recognised that Covid posed an incredibly low risk, if any, to children themselves. But the clamour of the lame-stream media’s cheerleading for school closures was quickly too much for them and the Goverenment buckled – to what end? Once they’d shut the schools for 3 months there was no easy solution to the problem of what to do about exams, etc. I don’t think going on predicted grades was necessarily the fairest thing to do, but was fairer than relying on some over-complicated algorithm and was probably the most practical.
Perhaps the one good thing about the school lockdown was that many parents got to try their hand at homeschooling for the first time. It may not work for everyone, but many found they were actually quite good at it, that they enjoyed the experience, and, most important of all, their kids made far greater educational progress in that time than they ever would have done at a conventional school. That was also our family experience and my wife decided to carry on homeschooling our 4 year-old as it worked so well for him. With the State having done so much to undermine the role of parents, particularly with the attack on their rights over relationships and sex education, then home-schooling during lockdown proved to be a very empowering experience for many parents.
Whilst on Covid how do you feel the established church and churches more generally have acted in lockdown?
It’s really been a tale of two churches.There have been many individual Christians, including brave clerics and pastors, and a number of Christian organisations and smaller churches, that have really discerned spiritually what is going on, and have raised a prophetic voice against the completely disproportionate and oppressive measures of the State. They have been in the minority though and in view of the catastrophic, Godless depravity into which our nation has descended in recent times, then it’s a spiritual no-brainer — if we’re taking the word of God seriously — that, as well as showing active compassion for those suffering, the Church should be declaring the reality of God’s judgement and calling for urgent national repentance.
Unfortunately, that urgent prophetic voice has been all but drowned out by the deafening silence we’ve heard from the established church and other main denominations — and that’s been a sad indictment of how compromised Christianity has become in the West. As a Catholic I was totally dismayed at the attitude of our Bishops which has throughout been one of total craven faithlessness. Their response to the Government has been not just one of total compliance — but, even worse, of over-compliance, to the extent that they have always gone even further than required — as if they believed they could earn extra brownie points from the State. For example, when announcing the national lockdown the Government initially wanted to ban collective worship but keep the churches open for private prayer. However, not content with those oppressive measures the Catholic bishops actually lobbied the Government to go the whole hog, persuading them to shut up the churches altogether! So not only were we denied Mass and the Sacraments (which are supposed to be very essentials of the Catholic faith) for over three months, but the Bishops also denied us entrance into the house of God. That has had a devastating effect on many of the faithful and has sent an appalling message to the world concerning what the Church actually stands for — or even whether it can still stand for anything at all. Look, if Jesus and countless of his faithful followers ever since could mix with lepers, and tend to desperate souls in some of the most dangerous situations on earth and in the history of mankind, how could the Church now simply shut up shop in response to a virus with a 99.9% survival rate? Take measures to protect the vulnerable yes (if they choose to be protected in that way), but give some hope and meaning, why don’t you, to what this life is all about.
Thankfully my faith in God, if not Church leaders, has only grown stronger through all this and I know He will use these events, and the tribulations and persecution that are likely to come, to purify His Church of all the dross so it will be more faithful, more prophetic, more full of the Spirit, so it will do what it was created to do — which is to save souls and represent Christ on earth until His coming.
The CPA works to protect the unborn child. Abortion isn’t an issue we’ve seen gain the same traction in the UK as say in the US. What is your party’s policy on abortion and what are one or two things you would you say to our readers who might be less familiar with the issue to persuade them to it?
We are a 100% pro-life party in that in our manifesto we pledge to protect the right to life (from intentional killing) of every innocent human being from conception until natural death. That is the only way for a Christian party to be. EVERY LIFE MATTERS for the CPA. So in practice that means complete repeal of the 1967 Abortion Act and 1990 Human Fertilisation Act so that all unborn children are legally protected from intentional destruction. We would also repeal the Northern Ireland Act 2018 which was so abused and hijacked in order to impose abortion on that very pro-life part of the UK, completely against the will of the electorate there. We would legislate for a new Offences Against the Person’s Act, if necessary, to prohibit abortion, embryo experimentation and all forms of euthanasia.
We do recognise, however, the difficulties often faced by those who turn to abortion. We would support the nationwide provision of pro-life pregnancy care services, including provision of accommodation for women made homeless by pregnancy, pregnant women with special needs and one-parent families. We would divert the over £200 million of UK taxpayers’ money spent each year on funding abortion here and abroad onto supporting any mother in a crisis pregnancy situation. We would also ensure recognition for the millions of women, and men, who have been deeply affected by abortion. Post-abortion trauma affecting many women must now be recognised and non-judgemental post-abortion counselling will be made available for any woman or man who wants it, no matter how long ago the abortion took place.
Surveys of public opinion still show that there is a general unease about abortion in the population, and most people in UK certainly don’t want an abortion free-for-all, or believe in a “woman’s right to choose” no matter what. For instance, a 2017 ComRes poll (the most extensive UK polling in last decade on abortion) showed only 1% of the population (and 1% of women) in favour of allowing abortion up to birth, and around 60% of women favoured a reduction in the current legal limit. So the abortion industry and it’s champions in Parliament, like Stella Creasy are clearly out of step with public opinion. I’m not saying public opinion is where we are at this stage, but it’s not where the abortion industry is either — probably somewhere in the middle. Most people know in their heart of hearts what abortion really is. The truth has always kept its foot in the door.
The pro-abortion lobby has naturally always tried to make the unborn child a complete irrelevance, to be discarded whenever him or her is inconvenient. So we have to keep reminding people of the complete humanity of every unborn child — who is not just a potential life but an actual human life just like each of us, with a lifetime of gifts and contributions to the world in front of them. Every abortion stops a beating heart — that’s a fact because the human heart is there and beating from just 21 days, that’s 3 weeks, from conception. In fact, some of the latest research from Oxford University suggests even earlier —that the heart could beat from just 16 days, or 2 weeks! Human life is so miraculous in its wonder and complexity that each and every human being can only be the beloved creation of God. Also we have to listen to the stories which demonstrate how abortion is never the right answer, even in response to sometimes very real and genuine difficulties — stories from the women and men who have not found abortion to be the solution to their problems, but something that just created a whole set of new and worse problems. And those who rejected or survived abortion, who were blessed by the choice of life, and now enjoy the gift of life which in so many ways conveys its own amazing answer.
We have seen an explosion of the culture wars in the UK during lockdown. What’s your take on the political climate?
The “culture wars” are something we’ve up to very recently regarded as a mainly American phenomenon, because there’s a more marked polarisation in mainstream politics in America than there is here — there’s a genuine choice, even if I’m over-generalising somewhat, in the USA between the Christian social values and free market capitalism of the Republican Party and the cultural-Marxist social values and increasing economic socialism of the Democratic Party. Whereas in Britain you’ve basically got a liberal and clueless one-party state characterised by cultural Marxism and a mixed market watered-down economic socialism. Despite what orchestrated pantomimes we witness between the establishment parties, they are starting now to fail to delude the electorate into thinking they offer some kind of choice.
The whole disproportionate and oppressive lockdown response to the paltry threat to humanity posed by Covid-19 has of course been the most striking and extensive power-grab of the liberal Deep State that we’ve seen yet. Taken by itself it’s very disturbing. However, even before Covid we saw great signs of a rising populist challenge to the Deep State, an uprising that was most visibly represented by the Brexit referendum and the Brexit party, and also an increasing resistance to and justifiable ridiculing of “woke culture” in all its grotesque forms, which was all very encouraging. There is a definite growing backlash against the attempted brainwashing of the population by the Deep State. The Keep Britain Free campaign, led by Simon Dolan, who is pursuing a legal challenge against the lockdown measures, and the wonderful well-attended anti-lockdown protests, featuring Piers Corbyn amongst others, have been inspirational and are conveying the important message that we need urgently now to stand up for these precious freedoms we hold so dear before it’s too late. I see such a massive threat of Deep State totalitarianism, but also so many green shoots of resistance. Where sin abounds grace abounds the more!
You plan to run candidates in the local elections in May. What would the CPA focus on in local government?
Most local issues are in fact inextricably connected to national issues, or at least decisions made at Westminster, now more so than ever. Many local councils, for instance, are left in the difficult position of having to make drastic cuts to local services and social provision because of sweeping funding cuts from central Government. However, there are still many priorities to be made. CPA local candidates stand, firstly, for the prioritising of the welfare of the most vulnerable and in need, so we will strive to ensure that the elderly, sick and disabled have essential social care provision in place. Actually, one of our signature policies in our forthcoming London Assembly Manifesto will be the provision of dedicated personal assistants to elderly and vulnerable people who would benefit from such help — particularly those who do not have the close support of relatives and family. It is also a manifesto pledge of ours to guarantee every homeless person a free night-shelter and affordable move-on accommodation as we help them back up into society.
We also believe in a zero tolerance approach to crime and the kind of genuine anti-social behaviour that blights many of our communities, and we want to see a far higher rate of reported crime being followed up. However, we are also pledged to provide greater support and practical assistance for those leaving prison — both because it’s the right thing to do and because that’s shown to cut reoffending rates drastically. We also believe in providing reliable and efficient public services and cutting down waste and pollution, creating a safe and clean environment for all local people. We also aim to help revitalise our city centres by a number of means, including the provision of more residential living accommodation – which helps retain local businesses and retail outlets, and reduces crime and depravation by reversing the ‘ghost town’ effect.
It goes without saying that we will also reverse the wasteful virtue-signalling and promotion of pro-LGBT ideology, BLM and other left-wing ideologies that so many councils occupy themselves with — forcing their employees to wear rainbow lanyards and festooning public spaces with Pride flags etc. We believe in safeguarding freedom of speech and belief, and creating a welcoming environment for all citizens. We will particularly safeguard the right to peaceful witness and to offer charitable help outside abortion facilities — as there is now a disturbing trend for left-wing councils to try to introduce censorship or “buffer” zones around abortion clinics — mostly based on completely distorted and uncorroborated allegations about those good people who provide essential pro-life witness. It’s very important that unborn children — the most helpless, voiceless and vulnerable of all — have someone there to peacefully advocate for them, and to offer women in difficult situation the choice and practical help to choose life that they’ll never receive from the abortion clinic.
What areas do you hope to run candidates in and what do you see as your party’s route to electoral success?
We will be concentrating our main efforts on the London Assembly elections, where we’ll be running a full list of candidates. There will be other candidates standing locally around the country, and we invite people to stand in their local areas, but London is where our most organised and concentrated efforts will be — to get, please God, a CPA member of the London Assembly. Our goal then is to aim to field a full list of candidates in every constituency for the 2024 General Election — we are praying both for the financial breakthrough and for many more people excited by our vision to come forward to stand as CPA candidates to enable that to happen.
How can people get involved?
The Christian Peoples Alliance party are online and you can sign up for membership or for further information on our website. You can also find CPA on Facebook and on Twitter. We can also be contacted at [email protected]
Here we are week 10 of the UK Covid 19, lock-down! We find ourselves as a nation being restructured even as I type. Looking back we can see that social distancing was and is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. It is also clear the Government was too slow in introducing the necessary measures. We have had more deaths per million population than most other countries. Provided we’re sensible though we can now begin to get back to normal.
Looking around us:-
Sweden instituted a more blended strategy: instead of drastically closing all businesses except essential services, most businesses stayed open with social distancing measures in place. The most vulnerable over 70’s and those with underlying conditions protected. As a result, the majority of the population developed herd immunity, they still have a vibrant economy and seem to have survived not much worse than other countries.
Brazil has taken the view it is all a hoax and carried on as normal but they are now the only country with cases and deaths rising. They are very clearly on the wrong path and will have to change tack soon, the sooner the better.
Singapore never had a lock down but did a drastic trace and test policy from the start isolating anyone with the virus and anyone they had contact with. This definitely worked best for sustaining the economy and reducing cases and deaths and really also for maintaining civil liberties unless you happened to be one who either got the virus or had contact with such.
Lessons are being learnt.
Government is able to quickly impose quite drastic laws when there is a danger of a pandemic. It seems this one almost certainly came from Wuhan in China. What we don’t know is whether it was some tragic accident or whether it was actually created deliberately for some reason such as to create the need for totalitarianism and one world Government. At the very least we need to be alert to the possibility.
Certain groups such as BPAS have been opportunistic, using the pandemic as an excuse to introduce DIY abortions which they are lobbying to make a permanent fixture in UK law. Abortion centres were always going to be in a challenging position. Are they an essential service? We would say most certainly not. Faced with just being closed down they fought back and demanded abortion pills be allowed to be taken at home. Government said “no” at first but then caved in unprepared for the onslaught. Sad. But this battle raged all over the world during the virus lockdowns
The push for a one world Government and probably with it a one world religion is now bound to continue in earnest with interestingly people like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at the forefront of trying to set it up. It is very dangerous for civil liberties.
What about the place of churches?
At the start of this pandemic most churches seemed to willingly give in to being closed down but was it necessary? The application of the Governments’ interpretation of essential activities lacks a holistic approach. I can go along with supermarkets and banks being essential services. This is taking care of our physical and financial needs, but what about our spiritual needs, especially at a potentially very distressing time such as this? If ever there was a necessity for individuals to stay connected to their faith, I think this would most definitely qualify as one of those occasions. Australia took a different approach and deemed houses of worship as essential activities, so churches were able to stay open applying social distancing. Individual States in the USA have made regional decisions on the matter. Of course, it is of no surprise that the more liberal states have taken a very harsh line on church activity and even arrested Pastors for supposedly violating state orders. Whilst States such as Texas have permitted church activity but with some restrictions.
Now it’s time to move on. We believe the process of moving on should have started much earlier. The CPA issued a press release on the 23rd April outlining a sensible strategy for the UK to reopen for business:
As the Coronavirus pandemic calms down in many areas and evidence comes to light the virus is most likely transmitted through the nose CPA calls for immediate action as follows: –
1. Compulsory wearing of masks in all areas where people come into contact with other members of the public like shops and shopping centres and places of work.
2. All shops allowed to re-open but applying social distancing rules.
3. All churches and other religious buildings allowed to re-open applying social distancing rules and reducing the maximum attendance to one third of the normal building capacity.
4. All offices allowed to re-open with everyone working from home where possible and office attendance to apply social distancing and no more than one third of normal capacity allowed inside office buildings.
5. Normal road travel allowed with care to be taken at petrol stations.
6. Social distancing to be applied on all public transport with capacity no more than one third of normal capacity on all buses and trains and flights.
This was only ever meant to be a first step with the next step being a test and tracing regime to be put in place so we can get back to normal. Even now though in retrospect this would have been a good move then for the economy on 23rd April and is unlikely to have altered the downward trend of cases provided people stay alert.
The government’s recent review of the situation is very puzzling to say the least; The diocese of Shrewsbury in a recent tweet put it in a nutshell – you can have an abortion but not a baptism, buy a car, but not a votive candle, go to the supermarket, but not a sanctuary, get a divorce, but not get married and break the law, but not receive absolution. It is time to re-open churches.
We can however through all this welcome the fact that families have spent more time together. We can welcome the fact that many businesses and Government institutions have been forced to adopt a home working model which will more than likely continue. Social media and video conferencing has come into its own, Zoom has become a household name overnight! The commercial properties market will have to become more creative as less commercial space will be required. High streets, already under pressure will look very different with much more residential space. The NHS has shown great resilience, the fallen heroes of which will not be forgotten. It will no doubt learn lessons from the stress it has been under. My greatest hope though is that our nation will return to its spiritual roots, we are a Christian nation and not forget that prayer has made all the difference in this global crisis much of it done on zoom. Long may the prayer continue! The church also is becoming a changed environment for the better.
Maureen Martin is (until they were postponed) a Greater London Assembly candidate for the Christian Parties Alliance (CPA). Maureen has run for parliament in Lewisham East in every election since 2015, which has included a by-election. The CPA is as you would suspect a Christian Party and also has a comprehensive manifesto that offers a full programme for Government. We have previously spoken with Candace Mitchell who stood for the CPA in Croydon North in GE2019. We spoke with Maureen about what led her to run or the CPA, her experiences running and their priorities for London.
Maureen thank-you for your time.
you tell us a little about your background?
a born and bred Londoner from South East London. I lived in Canada for 14
years between 1989-2003 where I became a born again Christian. It a very
valuable experience living in another culture who have a different world view
than most Europeans. North American’s are much more Patriotic on a whole.
I have been in property management/housing for the past 13 years which I
enjoy immensely. I am single with no children.
lead you to be a candidate in the Greater London Assembly elections?
I have been a member of the Christian Peoples Alliance since about 2009 an active member since 2015 when I ran in my constituency in the GE representing the CPA. I have, since voting age been a very conscientious voter seeing it as my civic duty. Especially as a person of colour I honour those who sacrificed for me on two counts, being an ethnic minority and a woman, for me to be able to vote. Britain needs Christian values again, the moral decline must be stemmed. When government legislation is a willing accomplice in the moral decline of our nation it is time to act.
Some of our readers might not be familiar with the CPA. At a national level what are you key priorities?
Our priorities are clear: Support Marriage and the family, Respect life from conception to natural death. Protecting unborn babies is one of our key objectives, Make tax fair and care for the poor. We would end the scandal of the multinational corporations such as Facebook and Google avoiding Corporation tax by moving their profits abroad with a turnover tax to offset corporation tax. Also provide free shelters for the homeless. Fight Crime: support people leaving prison to lower re-offending rates. Also empower the police to do their job concerning the knife crime epidemic.
You ran in Lewisham East by-election against David Kurten and Sean Finch who we have worked with. How did you find the experience?
It was a valuable experience I found David very friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation, in fact I agreed with just about everything he said. His focus the knife crime issue and how the current mayor had dealt with the growing problem. I like working with other candidates even if we have different views.
You were part of the by-election was the bazar and infamous hustings that the police closed down. (Watch on YouTube) What are you memories from that day?
This was quite bazaar. I had to be escorted into the building by two police persons because of the human blockade. There was a great deal of jostling, thankfully I was able to get into the building, some of my CPA party members did not gain access. The police should have arrested the protesters and allowed the Hustings to take place. Free speech was hindered that day!
The GLA and Mayor have key duties on Transport and Policing. What are your priorities for London?
The CPA priorities would be to tackle knife crime, this is a scourge in our communities and must be met head on with a comprehensive plan which this mayoral administration has failed to do. Another major issue being ignored by this administration is homelessness which in London is quite clearly on the increase and of course this links into the London Housing crisis, which again the CPA will address with a comprehensive housing policy outlined in our manifesto.
Any thoughts you would like to leave us with?
London needs a fresh approach, new ideas that are creative and innovative. If the same old parties are continually given the reigns of control in government the result for the electorate will be mush of the same, ineffective unproductive policies that often just waste money and yield very little results.
Always keen to support people in Croydon prepared to support Brexit. The Croydon Constitutionalists spoke to Candace Mitchell of the Christian Parties Alliance candidate in Croydon North.
Formed in 1999 the Christian Parties Alliance is a coming together of the Christian Party and the Christian Peoples Alliance. With members come from all backgrounds and church traditions. The 2017 Manifesto supported Brexit including “to be prepared to walk away from the EU”. They supported the end of fractional reserve banking to reduce debt and want to “rebuild favourable trading relationships with any country in the world that wants to join with us in doing so to our mutual benefit provided they do not have an unacceptable human rights record”. As you would expect from a Christian Party they have some more traditional policies including a plan to “Restore a pro-life ethic across the NHS so that every member of staff is doing their best to assist the healing of a patient and where life is coming to an end” and “to support marriage and family life to reverse the domestic de-population trend”.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what first got
you involved in politics?
I am a local resident in the Croydon North constituency (which includes Thornton Heath, Upper Norwood, South Norwood, Selhurst Norbury), a former school teacher, a Youth & Charity Worker, founder of RevolutionChange, an international speaker and a professional transformational life coach who is passionate and has a heart to see positive change impact this great nation. Over the years, I served as a Community change agent representing the youth and also where I campaigned for the homeless and anti-trafficking; standing up for families, single parents, mentoring young people and children. I fought for Change and my core belief is that “To make a difference, you must BE the difference. So change begins with me.”
I host workshops, conferences and seminars for the young to elderly, and to dynamically empower women. Strategy is important and with the right effective plan of action, every one, young and old, can affect change in their personal worlds. This is the change that will inherently change a nation and we need you all. Since 2015, more politically I have been interested in and standing up for things that are important to our community and country and it has been and continues to be an honour to do so! I’ve seen many great successes of lives been turned around and this is just the beginning! I look forward to all that’s to come and intend on giving my very best to my constituency.
How did you find yourself selected as the candidate for Croydon
In recent years, since 2016, I have linked and connected with the CPA Party Leader, Sid Cordle, a dynamic key politician, author & strategist determined to restore Britain. I was delighted to be selected to stand for Croydon North, a constituency that bustles with the heart of this nation, diversity! This resonates so deeply with me as it is my passion to see many peoples come together as one to live as a thriving community. And I believe this is the heartbeat of Croydon North. When people come together, we can change a community, a city, a nation!
How do you find the experience of the campaign trail (have you
run anywhere else)?
Walking around and getting to know one on one and hearing the hearts and views of you all in Croydon North has been such a great journey! We definitely are a people of diversity and a myriad of colours that bring culture and all things British into celebrating our nation. I’ve found many voters stick to conservative & labour because it’s the ones they know. Some don’t even know the underpinning views of the party or why they vote for them but because it’s the popular choice, they go with it. But look at the state of our nation being in the hands of these two parties. The time has come for a change. It’s going to take something different! Understandably the unknown is oftentimes scary. But we have come to a point in the political atmosphere where something’s got to give. A party that is brave and courageous enough to go against the political fear tactics and status quo! CPA is that party and I am that person to stand with you the people of Croydon North constituency. It’s time for change.
Any surprises you found running any stories from the campaign
Many surprises, yes! But the best stories so far, have been in just spending time with residents and hearing your views. I’ve been pleasantly and warmly invited in your homes to have a chat and just share and exchange views. This community of Croydon North has so much to offer and give not only locally but even by wider impact. We have so much to learn from each other and put all our thoughts together to affect positive change. We would love for more people to join and support however you can. You don’t have to disqualify yourself from politics any longer. We need real people with real hearts, stories and passion. If you are passionate about making a difference then please get in touch with us or myself directly at [email protected]
Manpower is always welcomed. Let’s increase our reach and get involved Croydon North. We are a open community. So, Let’s unite and stand together, stronger!
What are your thoughts on Croydon Politics?
With the many diverse issues in the constituency, for critical focus, Croydon has always been a hub of bustling youth & It is known for the elevated young offenders and knife crime. This is at the forefront of our focus and aim in fighting crime. With many years experience working with youth personally, I believe we the CPA can start to implement from foundation level and work on the family construct to get to the root of the issue. Youth crime is a by-product of family breakdown and seeing to this issue will undoubtedly affect positive change, reduce the young offending statistics and turn things around systemically. Things aren’t getting better because we’re so busy fire-fighting when we should be getting to the root of things and implementing forward-focus, motivation, goal direction workshops and courses for young people to engage in to find their purpose and fulfilment. I will be strategising and implementing such transformational avenues for the youth of our constituency, as I believe this will bring tangible results and reduce the youth & knife crime rates significantly.
What’s next for the Christian Parties Alliance, how do you see
them making a breakthrough?
We the CPA Party are committed and determined to be the voice for the voiceless. We fervently beleive that we have the best policies for the nation and that everyone in time will see this. Because we genuinely care about the wellbeing of a nation and not just fire-fighting issues but rather getting to the root of the problem, we are a party you can trust to have your best interest at heart. We are not a party of quick-fixes and minimal effort. We are a party that knows this is going to take hard work, strategic action, much heart, and incredible effort! We are ready! The good news is that as well as being committed, and determined, we are laser-focused in our mission and manifesto and most importantly, in what may seem a very bleak-looking atmosphere in our nation right now, we are filled with hope! Hope cannot be lost at this critical time. We are positive that with a solid, clear and strategically sound manifesto as ours, we will see breakthrough, positive change and a restoration of the heart and soul of Britain!
The issue of the day is Brexit. What are your personal
thoughts on the subject that divides Britain?
Great Britain has always been exactly that – a GREAT country of immeasurable honour and heritage, and we want to bring respect and honour back to our very strong nation. Our stance on Brexit is an Honour Democracy.
need to honour the democratic will of the British people and get Brexit done.
That means we must honour the 2016 Referendum result and leave the EU
completely. We will offer a second Brexit referendum five to ten years after
we’ve left completely when there is evidence of what has happened. I
believe we can make a success of leaving the EU. We can’t predict the future
but we can plan for it. Time will tell how this unfolds, and if needs be, there
must be a simple mechanism in place for returning (the referendum). This will
unite the nation.
We have faith in Britain’s ability to thrive as an independent
nation with new international trade deals. The referendum 5 – 10 years after
we’ve left completely is to ensure the country can be brought back together
when there is evidence of however performed outside the EU.
If you introduce or repeal 3 laws (other than for Brexit) what
would they be?
1. PROTECT UNBORN CHILDREN
We stand on strong pro-life platform and we pledge to restore full legal protection to unborn children while diverting more than £200 million of taxpayers’ money spent each year on funding abortions here and abroad into supporting any mother in a crisis pregnancy situation.
is painful to note that within election campaign period alone an average of 598
babies will lose their lives to abortion in the UK, with over 9 million lives
lost altogether as a result of the 1967 Abortion Act. This is a national
tragedy — we have to have the courage to face this issue and look for
2. MAKE TAX FAIR AND CARE FOR THE POOR
We’d end the scandal of big multi-national companies (eg. Facebook, Google, Starbucks) sending their UK profits abroad in order to avoid paying their fair share of tax.By introducing a Turnover Tax (of 5%), offset against Corporation Tax, we’d address the disadvantage faced by British businesses. This would raise an estimated £32bn, which we’d use to halve commercial rates to revive our city centres (£11.5bn), pay for our family policies (£4bn) and restore the £12bn in Tory benefit cuts by properly funding Universal Credit. We would help everyone sleeping rough with a free night shelter, meal and the right support to get back into society.
3. SUPPORT MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY
CPA will support marriage and the family with a £12,000 grant to first-time
married couples and £6,000 upon the birth of their first child, provided they
go for at last 5 marriage preparation sessions.
“Aside from the human cost, family breakdown has been estimated to cost the taxpayer £48 billion per year. No other party will address this issue’.” The CPA’s marriage and first-child grant (costing £4 billion) and other key policies would be funded by the introduction of a turnover tax of five per cent, offset against corporation tax, which is intended to stop big multinational companies sending their UK profits abroad in order to cut down their tax bill.This would raise an estimated £32 billion.
Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?
I am proudly British and a definition of diversity which is one of the striking characteristics of our constituency. I am approachable and a strong advocate for things I believe in. I want to continue fighting for our families and community as I did and continue to in London over the many years. I ask all residents to vote for me to be a strong voice for us all in Parliament.
I strongly believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. CPA is NOT exclusively for Christians. This is a core value and moral-standing issue and I believe that many people from different faiths or none at all can unite with me in our solid values and stand for the good of a nation. Thank you Croydon North! Align with the core values of our party and vote for us. We need you! There is HOPE, Britain! We can make a difference because we, Croydon north, are the difference!