SCP to field candidate in General Election

The Scottish Christian Party is hoping to field a candidate in the forthcoming general election and a contest is to held in the early new year to select a candidate.

murdomurray smallA £30,000 campaign war chest has been promised to the Scottish Christian Party (SCP) candidate fighting the Western Isles constituency in the forthcoming general election. The party’s political candidate will be chosen in February after a US-style Open Primary contest open to all islanders.

This is thought to be just the second time the American system of allow all voters in an area to select a prospective candidate for an election in the UK. The first was in August when the Sarah Wollaston was picked to fight the Totnes seat for the 2010 general election for the Conservatives.

The candidate selection will be conducted by a secure internet vote and via a computerised telephone poll. The primary will be organised and controlled by the Electoral Reform Service though its £30,000 cost will be borne by the party.

Voting in the Primary will be between Thursday 21 January and Thursday 11 February 2010.

George HargreavesChristian Party leader Rev. George Hargreaves who stood in the Western Isles as a SCP candidate for the Western Isles at the last general election pledged the campaign cash saying: “We are in it to win it. “Whoever wins the prize will be well resourced.”

“The £30,000 campaign fund is the maximum allowed under the law and we are spending a similar amount on the Primary."

The successful candidate will have  a rented campaign office at his disposal in a prime spot in Cromwell Street in Stornoway town centre. The party plans to fight the SNP after blaming the Nationalists for launching a controversial Sabbath ferry into Lewis this summer while Sabbath trading is another issue troubling the party. Rev. Hargreaves has stated: 


“In 2010 and 2011 the Scottish Christian Party shall run election campaigns based on building on the strengths of the Western Isles, not destroying them. We intend to see the people of the Western Isles united behind it uniqueness, not divided by its diversity.”


Mr. Hargreaves also believes that the Calman report could benefit the Scottish islands. He said that the 10 pence (income) tax should be used to advantage for the Western Isles and peripheral islands to attract new business and attract population to the islands

The presence of the Scottish Christian Party in the Western Isles election fight could well upset the two-horse race between the SNP and Labour. It will also impact on any opportunity or desire that there might be for a local Christian to stand as an independent.

murdomurray small1In the 2007 elections for the Scottish Parliament Mr. Murdo Murray, a former Technical Director with Western Isles Council stood as a List Candidate for the SCP.

Mr. Murray participated in a recent on-line discussion regarding the Sunday sailing issue and the wider subject of Christian representation in the political process.

Audio iconIn the course of the discussion Christians Together interviewed Mr. Murray on a range of issues affecting the Western Isles. It is understood that Mr. Murray was not present at a recent public meeting in Stornoway hosted by Rev. Hargreaves.

Christians Together, 24/12/2009

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Peter Carr 28/12/2009 13:55
Is it George? Or is it more to do with our doctrinal understanding of the 'church' and how it should operate biblically and be accountableto the 'whole body'?
Eddie Hallahan 28/12/2009 14:36
Well I know that when the disciples used the argument that instead of pouring expensive stuff over Jesus the money 'could have been better spent' it was the disciples that were rebuked - might be worth looking for the biblical doctrine contained there.
Peter Carr 28/12/2009 15:18
Sure, but it is better not to limit ourselves when it comes to the whole counsel of God. I maintain my post above, which is yet to be responded to...

...SCP claim to represent the wider constituancy of the Christian church, so it should be through the 'body of Christ with the mind of Christ' that we also seek discernment from God's Spirit. Which would suggest being open to the Lord speaking through His church, individually and collectively."
John Parker (Guest) 28/12/2009 18:13
".SCP claim to represent the wider constituancy of the Christian church"

I would hope that what the SCP claim to represent is Christ and Kingdom of God. And if this is indeed the party's emphasis I trust that it will not be deflected by 'every wind of personal opinion' that seeks to dictate how each penny should be spent (or not).
Peter Carr 28/12/2009 21:17

I am sure that we would at least agree that Christ cannot be seperated from His church!
George Orr 28/12/2009 22:50
"Or is it more to do with our doctrinal understanding of the 'church' and how it should operate biblically and be accountable to the 'whole body'?"

Peter: I don't see how any decision can be accountable to the whole body! We are accountable to God and have to give account to Him.

When we are operating as a group we are wise to follow biblical models, but to be accountable to the whole church; that's some size of committee!
Peter Carr 29/12/2009 08:19
I think that you are missing my point George. SCP by definition claim to represent the visible church, Christ's representation here on earth. They are not a church, but claim to represent Christ who is head of the church, and therefore are accountable to Him and His church.

There are plenty of examples of accountability for us all as individual Christians as well as groups when it comes to the bible. Yes, ultimately to the Lord, but also in the here and now to His visible presence on earth.

1 Pet 5: 1 - 4

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

I still maintain my OP, and look forward to progressing the debate once the declaration of the count is made in June 2010.
George Orr 29/12/2009 17:51
When you say that the SCP claim to represent the visible church, they do so as a para church organisation and will have their own structures including accountability.

They do not have a mandate from every Christian in the UK nor do they need one. We all have standing orders individually and as groups to 'Go' and get on with whatever we are called to.

If that's what they are doing, and are spending their own money on doing it, then what is the problem?

It's the easiest thing in the world to criticise others calling and efforts.

It all smacks of an unnecessary cheap shot to me.
Peter Carr 29/12/2009 19:15
"It all smacks of an unnecessary cheap shot to me."

Maybe George, maybe not. In order to be successful they will need a lot of votes from non-Christians. How will they (we collectively) come across to the voting public at large? How will Christianity, the Church and Christians be represented?

Having recently discovered real poverty at first hand in the east, and seeing the desperate need of financial help from the west there by Christians who are being used mightly by the Lord in their situation, I believe gives me the right to make observations (just like anyone else).

Also, I will be very interested to see the outcome of the general election in light of what I perceive as the current spiritual temprature here in Scotland.

"It all smacks of an unnecessary cheap shot to me."

I believe that free speech is still allowed!!
Rosemary Cameron 29/12/2009 22:43
I'm just bringing myself up to date with this latest development today after being away for Christmas. I would agree that the people in a constituency should be the ones to choose a candidate, however I am not sure that an expensive American-style primary is necessary to achieve that. I also have some questions:

Who is going to choose the candidates for the primary? Are the SCP going to vet them before the vote? Do they have to be members of the SCP?

Is it a good idea to have all the consituents voting for the SCP candidate in the primary even if they have no intention of voting SCP come the election?

I am also concerned that the SCP with their war-chest will push out any christian independents who were thinking of standing, therefore having the effect of becoming the only christian candidacy whether we like it or not. I am not sure that an SCP monopoly of the christian vote is a good thing. I see that they have published their draft manifesto so that we can scrutinise it and use it as a benchmark to assess the other parties. What is not so clear is whether individual christians, churches or indeed prospective SCP candidates can change what is in the manifesto.

The SCP is obviously trying to address concerns about a lack of democracy in the choice of candidates however I do not see any sign of them addressing the lack of democracy and accountability in the way that the party is run.
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Western Isles > SCP to field candidate in General Election