The Christian Peoples Alliance Is So Wrong on Europe
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 26th May, 2009
In various parts of East London, where I live, there are huge billboards proclaiming that voting for the tiny Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) in the European elections is the surest way of stopping the BNP getting seats in the European Parliament. Alas, exactly the opposite is the case. The CPA hasn’t a cat in heaven’s chance of winning a seat at the European level (in London, they would need up to 10% of the total vote share to do that). Moreover, because of the particular method of proportional representation in use in the UK, voting CPA would not only be throwing votes away, it could actually make it easier for the BNP to get in; what is crucial in the electoral mathematics is that the Liberal Democrats get at least twice as many votes as the BNP or any other fringe group. The CPA is also falling into the trap that Labour has engineered of ‘talking up’ the BNP, in the hope of boosting its own chances.
I received an election address from the CPA today. Their slogan ‘For Honesty and Integrity in Politics’ is both apt and timely. But I am horrified by the use of the Cross as their election symbol and that their most prominent policy commitment is to a ‘Christian Europe’, in which there should be a ‘recognition that Christianity brought Europe the freedom, the culture and the values that we must return to’. What about Ancient Greece and pre-Christian Rome? Moorish Andalucia? The cultural imput of the Jewish diaspora? Or the fact that London owes much of its current vibrancy to its religious and ethnic diversity, as well as to the important contribution of secularism? I am sure many CPA candidates and supporters are working from the purest of motives, but their message strikes me as way off the mark.