This morning, a flyer came through my door from the Christian Party/ Christian Peoples Alliance (no apostrophe.) It claims that a vote for them is the 'surest way to stop the BNP.' On what basis?
There's a lot of guff in the leaflet but it basically comes down to the fact that they were sixth in the GLA elections. Put aside the fact that this is a different set of elections so their vote might not translate, how does the claim stack up?
Now, in the last european elections, a party would have needed 155,528 votes for a seat. The CPA or whatever they called themselves then won 45,038. That increased to 65,357 in the London Assembly elections last year. The leaflet states:
"The joint Christian Party/ Christian Peoples Alliance [no apostrophe] came sixth in last year's Greater London Assembly election"
There are eight seats so they are the chosen ones, right? No, because it doesn't matter what rank you are. The determinant is the number of votes that you receive. In the last euros they were about 110,000 short of a seat. We don't know how the votes are going to distribute in these elections in London. What we do know, is that the bar will again be around 150,000. There is no way that these guys are going to get anywhere near that.
So what of their claims? Well, they are either self-servingly ignorant or they are deliberately mendacious and self-serving in the process. Does that sound particularly Christian to you? Of course it's not. What's worse is that if it serves to divert votes away from the four parties who do have a chance of stopping the BNP- Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, or Green- then it could actually help the BNP. The BNP stands in direct opposition to the values of any Christian hence the brave and articulate statement from Rowan Williams and John Sentamu yesterday (and the silly separation of church and religion point from Nick Clegg in criticism of them.)
I would say unforgivable but Christianity believes in forgiveness. So the disgracefully misleading nature of this flyer should be confessed. But what penance should be served? Well, instead of spending their money on expensive and pointless billboards, they should send leaflets round to every household they have misled. Moreover, their party should go door to door to fight the BNP either by working on the Hope not Hate campaign or by encouraging people to vote Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, or Green.
Shame on you.