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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Alec (Guest) 18/03/2010 18:57
Rosemary, "Co Leis Thu" does indeed mean who are you with, but has the broader meaning of "who are you descended from" - "who are your family" - sort of thing

Its the name of the genealogy service based in Northton, Harris, run by Bill Lawson , BTW.

Blood is most definitely thicker than water, and probably makes a huge difference when it comes to politics - esp in the W Isles.

Peter's point about the 2 horse race is probably depressingly spot on! Someone once told me that real political power in the UK hinges on the decisions of floating voters in certain Central England constituencies

I actually suspect that the person with his finger on the pulse of what Christians in the Western Isles really want is John Macleod himself. His knowledge of Scottish presbyterianism is second to none and when it comes to the Highland varieties, he is peerless in his knowledge

Read his book "No Great Mischief if you Fall" - its an absolute eye-opener.

Well recommended!
Rosemary Cameron 18/03/2010 21:07
Thanks Alec - good to know that at least I got the literal translation correct and also good to learn what it really means.

Have just been reading some of the letters on the Hebrides News website - very entertaining, however I feel sorry for Tom Selfridge coming into all that without any prior knowledge or background! I have a Highland, rather than Island, background but even there 'Co leis thu' matters.

Who is this John MacLeod? I used to have a minister in Oban Old Parish Church called John MacLeod but he is long gone now. He was a native Gaelic speaker from one of the islands.
Alec (Guest) 19/03/2010 01:30

John Macleod is the son of Prof Donald Macleod. He is a journalist. Known for his "robust" style, although it has to be said, even if you dont agree with him, his use of language, his wordcraft, is superb.

He does a column for the Daily Mail

I find him fascinating - I probably disagree with him on a lot of stuff, but his knowledge is immense, both of church history and of Gaelic culture.

He wrote the book "Banner in the West" which was published a year or so ago. Check this out:
Eddie Hallahan 19/03/2010 09:30

John MacLeod does not represent the majority of Christians in the Western Isles - regardless of how much he writes.

The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Christians in the Hebrides choose not to write in to the papers/websites even though they tend to disagree with the more extreme stances taken by those who do.

I would say though that most of the people on the western Isles aren't massively fussed about the coming election, or even the scottish ones as it doesn't tend to make much odds who we vote for. The only elections that really cause debate tend to be the local council ones. I think most people feel that the council election is the one that matters.
Rosemary Cameron 19/03/2010 22:33
Thanks Alec for some info on John Macleod. I've just read the Herald article. I hadn't heard of the guy, possibly because I never read the particular newspapers he contributes to.

There must be a lot of truth in what Eddie says because otherwise there would be a local christian candidate for the Westminster election instead of one from Motherwell!

Peter - what do you mean by 'another og for the SCP?'
Alec (Guest) 19/03/2010 23:06
Eddies comment suggests political apathy in the Western Isles which is a bit disappointing. It would actually be quite good to see the "little guys" upsetting the established order, but if there is no real stomach for it then thats a shame

Like politics, apathy in relgion is a bad thing. I think it may have been David Robertson who pointed out (probably on Dawkins' site!) that the worst enemy of Christianity is not atheism, or secularism or whatever. It is apathy

At least militant atheists have thought about what they believe and are prepared to argue. Same goes for politice - good robust debate whether in town halls, street corners or across the Dispatch boxes - thats the stuff of democracy

Shrugging the shoulders and saying "so what, its not going to make a difference" must be desperately dispiriting for candidates when you get that, doorstep to doorstep.

So were there no suitable local candidates for the SCP? Hard to believe, given that the SCp got a resepctable number of votes - or is that there are plenty of good people, its just that they dont want to run on a SCP ticket? A problem of SCP credibility maybe?

I still think a good, independent, LOCAL (Co leis thu again!)person would be best - someone who doesnt answer to party leaders or spin doctors. Someone who answers to the Father....
Rosemary Cameron 19/03/2010 23:12
Alec - I absolutely agree.
Peter Carr 20/03/2010 09:06
I said, "Yet another og for SCP on the near horizon!! (Yet more money down the tubes)."


An og is an own goal (scoring in ones own net instead of the oppositions)! What I mean is - with SCP here we are seeing more of the same, which will have the same predictable outcome.
Rosemary Cameron 20/03/2010 23:06
Now that I know what og means, I understand! (And probably agree!)
Alec (Guest) 21/03/2010 09:57
Rosemary, and of course, og (with an accent) is the Gaelic for "young", as in "Tir nan Og" - mythical Celtic "land of the ever young"

Maybe it should be "Land of the Own Goals....."

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Western Isles > SCP to field candidate in General Election