Thursday, February 19, 2004

Local politics alert

Ths is something I find really interesting - This comes from "Black Country Churches Engaged" who describe themsleves as "the ecumenical body representing most of the sub-region's Christian denominations". Those of you who know me that I'm not a Christian at all, but I do have a lot of respect for the people involved in putting this together - it's in response to the growing threat of the BNP in local elections. The preamble says "The Churches of the Black Country encourage all to vote, and offer the following points to help voters decide how to cast their ballot. These questions are based on Christian values that are considered to be common to all people of good will. Christians believe that every person is created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore:

  • Do you, or does the candidate, recognise the innate dignity and equal value of all human persons?

  • Can you be confident that the person you vote for is able to respresent, and make judgements on behalf of, all the local community, regardless of their race, colour or faith?

  • Will the person elected work for the common good of all, not just one section of like-minded individuals?

  • Will his/her policies promote harmony, justice and cohesion within the community, so that no individual is marginalised, demonised or treated unjustly?

  • Do his/her policies feed on the fears of one group over another?

  • How will his/her policies promote the rich diversity of cultures living within the community?

  • Do his/her policies serve to promote good race relations, respecting the culture, language and faith of all?

  • This is all interesting stuff I think. I'm particularly interested in the question "Do his/her policies feed on the fears of one group over another?" Is that not, in some ways the essence of the hostile partisanship of a lot of mainstream politics - certainly it was normal political currency in the Thatcher era...Comments welcomed on this - I think it's nice to see the Churches standing up to the far-right - in the thirties, this was of course a big problem in Germany, with the catholic church not denouncing Hitler etc (I'm a bit short on facts for this argument!) The word interesting and it's derivatives appear a lot in this post!