In the UK General Election 2010 I voted for UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) for the first time. I wanted to vote Conservative to get Labour out of government for a multitude of reasons, but having heard David Cameron, prior to the election, and the Tory party’s general renouncing of historical conservative values (The Times, 6 February 2010) my conscience simply would not let me.
The Liberal Democrats were no better, if not worse, than Labour as they have some of the most vehement anti-Christian and anti-patriotic MP’s e.g. Simon Hughes (GPU 2008), Dr Evans Harris (Dr Death) (Christianity Today, 7 May 2010) and Nick Clegg who wants faith schools to teach that homosexuality is normal and harmless (Telegraph, 13 January 2010).
UKIP’s Policies are fresh, progressive and challenging
UKIP’s policies make interesting reading and in many way are fresh, progressive and challenging to the new status quo on tax, business, the economy and of course the EU and UK sovereignty . On matters of particular relevance to Christians and their ability to practice their beliefs, here are a couple of quotes to consider from the full UKIP 2010 manifesto and related policy documents:
“UKIP opposes multiculturalism and political correctness, and promotes uniculturalism - aiming to create a single British culture embracing all races and religions. Religious school materials must not teach hatred of the western world and must be congruent with British values. Sharia courts must not override UK law.” (UKIP Manifesto, 2010)
“UKIP believes in freedom of speech as being one of the best guardians of a liberal democracy, as well as one of the British people’s most precious fundamental rights and freedoms.” (UKIP: Rebalancing Justice, 2010)
The best personal interpretation I can give to these statements is that Christians would be allowed the right to think and express their views openly and without fear of oppression and persecution from the state. Other religions would obviously also be given similar freedoms, but the equality-gagging and politically-correct constraining orders brought about by minority lobby groups and others would be repealed. Anything else would not be consistent with the above statements.
UKIP’s electoral performance is credible and respectable
When examining the post 2010 election results, UKIP’s performance is stronger than a quick read of the BBC’s election results table suggests. Firstly, they polled just below one million votes (919,546), which equates to 3.1% and puts them in 4th position in the total vote count, even though UKIP did not win any seats for MPs in the House of Commons. Secondly, UKIP had more votes as an individual party than any of the seven other minor parties that won seats and, collectively, they only obtained 1.3% more votes than UKIP. I was therefore pleasantly surprised at UKIP’s credible and respectable performance in the 2010 general election, especially given the small scale of resources in the UK (only six full-time staff).
UKIP Preparing for Government
In Issue 84 of ‘Independence’, the official magazine of UKIP, the main theme of the edition was the changing of the party from a perceived single issue, ‘Get out of EU’ lobby group, to a formidable political party and force that can win the trust of the British people at the next general election. The sense of a coming of age for UKIP is in the air. The joining of the multi-millionaire Stuart Wheeler as UKIP Treasurer in January 2011 a major positive strategic move in bringing credibility from the City of London into the heart of the party.
One of the main criticisms that could be levelled at UKIP is the need for more “big hitters”. Nigel Farage is known and admired by many for his straight talking, commonsense speeches, devoid of spin, and with a clear ‘I mean what I say’. But, who else is currently known as the persona of UKIP? I have no doubt that such persons, realising the time is up for the ‘big three’ parties and totalitarianism, will begin to come forward.
A UKIP ‘first eleven’, or shadow cabinet, needs to be formed and given the public visibility to answer questions relating to specific policy matters, just like the main opposition parties. This would then start to show the electorate a cohesive team-play on topical issues and give a presentation and performance that will establish additional credibility in the party. It would also change the UKIP brand perception to be the real alternative for disillusioned voters who want true, transparent change for the good of the British people… and the number of the disillusioned is growing fast!
Additionally, the ‘first eleven’, captained by Nigel Farage, should inoculate themselves publically with a written pledge not to enter into a coalition agreement with any party. Putting aside the Liberal Democrats’ policies, in my view, being in coalition has done irreparable damage to that party’s brand as their voters feel totally betrayed - they will never forgive them. The elixir of power for the Lib Dem’s (Fib Dems) has caused them to sacrifice any vestige of policy and principle in their pre-election pledges. UKIP must therefore prepare not to be seduced by a future opportunity of coalition, which would hamstring the team and destroy the hard-earned integrity of the party.
Politics Matter –get involved
At BTM, though our websites, for over a decade, we have published articles warning about the pending change and imminent persecution of Christians – today this is a reality with the arrest and successful prosecution of practising Christians… and it has only just begun.
The fear of man and apathy are stopping many Christians from doing their duty and standing up publically for what they believe in. UKIP is not a Christian party, but it has ordinary decent people with many shared and common values, principles and policies, that provide sufficient scope for Christians to join and be involved in achieving political aims and objectives. I even suggest that those currently voting for Christian parties should think again – there is no point in voting only for Christians. Rather, we should vote for the party that gives freedom of thought and a care for all people, not just ‘minorities’ who harm the rest of society. As Christians we are big enough to allow everyone a voice – but minorities are not.
My expectation is that contributing in politics as a Christian will be difficult, but there are many precedents in the Bible (e.g. Joseph, Daniel, etc.) of people with total faith in God making a huge positive contribution to their rulers and country. So what about you?
© 3 February 2011