On 1 May this year, London holds its elections for Mayor and for the London Assembly. George Hargreaves and the Christian Party have plans to make an impact. Alan Craig is standing on a joint ticket for the Christian Party and the Christian People's Alliance. I was delighted to hear that Canning Town South ward of Newham council is represented by three CPA councillors. Apparently some of the majority Labour members have taken to quoting the bible in their arguments: not something commonly associated with politics in Britain.
Over dinner, George outlined the Christian Party's strategy for the mayoral and assembly elections. The voting system for these is more complicated than usual for elections in Britain. The mayoral election has a "supplementary vote" system whereby the voter has two choices. If there is no clear majority on of first choices, the top two go through and the second choice votes for the others are then counted. The Christian Party will be focussing on encouraging Christians who do not normally vote to go out to the booths and vote Christian. They have a good team of experienced volunteers to co-ordinate phone canvassing, leafleting, mailing and rallies. Since they are likely to get out a sizeable number of people who previously did not vote, the major candidates need to be interested if only to sweep up their second choices.
Voting for the London Assembly, we have one vote for a local candidate and one for a London wide candidate. In a form of proportional representation, candidates may be elected from the London wide "top up" list if they gain a certain proportion of the vote.
Along with his pro-life, pro-family policies, and promoting Christian social policy, Alan Craig has long been an opponent of the proposed Olympics Mega Mosque in West Ham on the grounds that Alan Craigs' Campaign for London '08 reports that he has received support in this from leading Muslim figures. The mosque is proposed by Tablighi Jamaat which Craig describes as
... a global and ambitious organisation with a secretive, separatist nature. Its narrow medieval form of Deobandi Islam is deliberately hostile to the modern and open democratic societies of the West. Its frequent claims to be non-political and non-violent are at best a superficial cloak that hides a deeper agenda."Known adherents to Tablighi Jamaat include Glasgow airport bomber Kafeel Ahmed, shoe bomber Richard Reid and the July 7 London bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer.
It was good to meet a number of the activists who will be supporting Alan's campaign and those standing for the London Assembly. I shall be following all this and George Hargreaves (below, centre) closely.