Defence and foreign policy
“Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able…”
“Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord” Genesis 10:9
The first principle and function of government is the defence and well-being of its citizens. It is essential to have a strong defence capability. It is a priority to have and maintain a well-resourced military.
The Christian Party supports the doctrine of a ‘just war’. This acknowledges limitations to the doctrine of war. The extent of a nation’s responsibilities needs careful assessment. Whilst we are “our brother’s keeper” Britain cannot act as a worldwide policeman. Even the USA is reassessing its role in this regard. However, Britain has a historic interest in worldwide affairs, and through the British Empire and now the British Commonwealth it is well suited to give a moral lead on the world stage. This is still recognised by many countries around the globe, expected by them, and we cannot renege on such a responsibility.
This moral leadership is being called into question by over-eager foreign military adventurism, where it is too easy for others to question whether the motives are altruistic or self-serving. Britain still has a legitimate strategic interest in many areas of the globe, not only historical but also through ethnic and business ties. Britain has become the home of many world ethnicities, with London as the most ethnically-diverse city in the world. This gives great scope for international and global leadership, and while Britain has demonstrated the capacity to downscale its former empire into a Commonwealth of nations, the recent debate and 4Referendum on Scottish Independence has demonstrated to the world the continuing capacity of the United Kingdom to lead on constitutional change without the necessity of resorting to violence. The threat from international islamic terrorism is another opportunity for Britain to lead in the subject of conflict resolution.
Scripture asks the rhetorical question, “Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?” To our shame in recent times British armed forces have been ill-equipped for conflict and some service personnel have equipped themselves for their safety. The Christian Party will care for our armed forces and their families and treat them with the honour and respect that they deserve. Falling pay scales in the Armed Forces will be addressed to make them properly comparable to their civilian counterparts. Support for ex-service personnel needs radical improvement. The Christian Party will fight for such improvement, just as our ex-service personnel have fought so bravely for us.
The politics of fear
It was fear which created unnecessary war aims in the Iraq war. It is fear which led to the unnecessary presence of armed police on the streets of Inverness.
The aim of terrorism is to create fear and panic, and the Christian Party will resist reactionary measures which are inimical to the public peace. The Christian Party promotes godly courage in the face of slavish fear engendered by faithless political leadership.
Conflict resolution is a necessary part of our national defence, civil defence, international relations and our Foreign Policy.
The Christian Party has a progressive policy on nuclear deterrence. It recognises the role of nuclear deterrence in ending WWII and in maintaining the peace during the escalating arms race during the Cold War. With increasing ethnic and ideological tensions in recent decades, this is not the time for unilateral nuclear disarmament.
Multilateral disarmament has proven to work, and with this continuing aim, the Christian Party is opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapon capability, while acknowledging the benefits of nuclear energy. We support research towards nuclear fusion technology to hasten the reduction in dependency on the more dangerous nuclear fission technology.
Consistent with these aims, the Christian Party believes in the retention of an adequate nuclear deterrent by those nations with proven responsibility in their maintenance. In pursuit of multilateral disarmament we propose the creation of an overarching body to begin the process of integrating the world’s nuclear arsenal in a multilateral manner for the common defence of the free nations of the world and the promotion of world peace. In pursuit of international cooperation, the cost of nuclear deterrence could be shared by those nations choosing to come under its umbrella.
Ex-servicemen and war veterans
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus Christ – the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 10.
Christian party members of parliament will:
- Maintain a well resourced military with a nuclear deterrent.
- Support the doctrine of a ‘just war’, but not military adventurism.
- Treat our armed forces with the honour and respect that they deserve.
- Fight for radical improvement in care and support for ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen.
You shall love your neighbour as yourself. Who is my neighbour ?
Mark 12:31 and Luke 10:29
The Christian Party’s foreign policy is an extension of its defence policy and should be read in conjunction with it. Its basic principle is to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Just as the abuse of the welfare culture has produced dependency, so there is ample evidence that foreign aid has created a dependency culture in many countries. In order to break this dependency, the Christian Party will not support financial or monetary aid to other countries, but aid will be in material goods, products, medicines and services produced in and provided by the UK.
Resources are limited, but our policy can stretch beyond our resources. The Christian Party has the added benefit of being able to pray to the Lord of heaven and earth to work in those areas of the world that we cannot reach. Thankfully there are Christians in most areas of the world with the same principles as the Christian Party – nor do we need to control them nor bribe them with western incentives, for they will respond with Christian goodwill to the needs of their neighbours. This is a useful resource, demonstrated by the large amount of charitable work and food banks run by Christians in the UK. Our foreign policy will utilise local Christian networks as a more reliable distributor of aid than corrupt governments that waste funds on financing presidential lifestyles and military weapons.
This useful resource is the fruit of the worldwide missionary activity promoted initially by the Christian church in the British Isles. The English Bible became the vehicle to educate millions of foreign nationals, to the extent that English is the world’s international language of communication. Christians missionaries instilled the principles of freedom, governance and social justice in the many countries and islands throughout the world. Christian principles of social justice still have the same power to free individuals and nations from domestic tyranny and international corruption and trafficking.
The limitations on foreign policy extend to political interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. We disagree with former Tory Prime Minister’s David Cameron’s attempt to link foreign aid to his view of homosexual partnerships, and with former Labour leader Ed Miliband’s stated aim to promote the LGBT agenda as a key point of his foreign policy. Foreign aid should be dependent upon need. This blatant social engineering is likely to be discredited and rejected as British colonialism and imposition of western values, a lesson too slowly learned from the Iraq war. Christianity has spread literacy and social justice for millennia into various cultures worldwide, and secular government would do well to learn lessons from it.
Of more urgent attention is the persecution of Christians in foreign countries and the Christian Party will continue to expose the barbarism practised in nations aspiring to first world status.
Intellectual aid should not extend to the training of foreign troops. Training in policing, municipal skills and good governance, along with the proper education of children are necessary and will be encouraged, but the funding, supplying and training of foreign troops, of regimes which are not properly accountable to their electorate, should be discouraged unless with clear objectives and in conjunction with wider stabilising activity.
The European union and the British commonwealth
The European Union is our nearest trading block and the Christian Party policy on the European Union is contained in the section on Government. We are thankful to the Most High for Brexit and continue to express concern for the nations of Europe at the democratic deficit in the European Union. This concern does not arise from xenophobia but from a Christian concern for our neighbour. The UK is part of Europe although not a member of the European Union.
Release from the European Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy will give our farmers and fishermen the opportunity to develop outside their constraints and we welcome the opportunity to make our own free trade deals, a skill that had been ceded to the EU and is being recovered.
We regret that in pursuing the European dream, our former global trade with the British Commonwealth suffered. The Christian Party hopes to redress this imbalance. We are glad that the Commonwealth Games remains a tangible expression of our links with the Commonwealth, and the Christian Party will promote trade with our former partners.
Trade with the Commonwealth
The Christian Party will encourage more trading and integrating the skills of the Commonwealth so that it becomes a Common Wealth to balance the deficit on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
There was a marked contrast between Britain’s trade with the EU, the Commonwealth, and the rest of the world. Britain had a positive balance of trade with other nations of the world, but the only exception is our trade deficit with Europe. It appears that Britain joined Europe largely for economic reasons as the European Economic Community (EEC) yet, for 37 of the first 38 years of membership of the EEC and EU, Britain put in more than it received. As Britain embraced Europe, she was persuaded to abandon the Commonwealth. Free trade with the Commonwealth was replaced by the European External Tariff. Brexit will help to address this disparity.
The focus on Europe had a detrimental effect on the Atlantic-facing ports of Glasgow, Bristol and Liverpool. With Brexit, there is opportunity for our maritime role to revive as most commerce still travels by sea, and for our decimated Fishing industry to recover. The European Common Fisheries Policy that was applied to the North Sea and not to the Mediterranean nor the Baltic demonstrated the injustice of Britain’s position in the EU.
Politicising international sport
The successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was abused to include a homosexual kiss in the opening ceremony, when most Commonwealth nations do not support homosexual promotion. We deplore the attempt to cajole Commonwealth nations into redefining marriage in order to participate in the Commonwealth Games, which is in the same disgraceful league as linking it to foreign aid. This inappropriate politicising of sport will spoil the useful role of sport in maintaining friendly relationships between nations.
The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of addressing global health. It is in the interests of all nations to improve global health. Sanitisation and the provision of clean water to third world countries is more cost effective to a local economy than providing medical clinics to deal with diseases arising from lack of sanitation. It also releases young girls from the drudgery and dangers of finding clean water and enables them to obtain education as the route out of poverty and improving standards in disadvantaged countries. British aid should be directed to such priorities.
The United States of America
The Christian Party supports and fosters the ‘unique relationship’ between the UK and the USA. We distance ourselves from the anti-Americanism too evident in British society, especially when there is a Republican President in the White House. However, the Christian Party will promote and support a review of the unequal extradition provisions between the UK and USA, as demonstrated by the different treatments of Julian Assange and Anne Sacoolas.
Conflict resolution and the middle east
Christian Party promotes conflict resolution based upon an understanding of the culture and the reality of life on the ground in the Middle East.
The ‘two-state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East is impractical and fails to acknowledge that Israel and Trans-Jordan was the two state solution of its time. The ‘land for peace’ debate has failed. The problem is the inability to live at peace with one another and the ideological aim ‘to wipe Israel off the face of the map’, based upon the mistaken religious belief that the land is sacred and cannot be occupied by ‘the infidel’. Similar concepts were present in the Northern Ireland conflict and the cessation of violence required changes in attitudes which may act as a road map to conflict resolution in the Middle East.
First, must be the commitment to peaceful co-existence with those of different opinions. The imposition of one set of values upon another has always been a source of discord, and the premature attempt to impose western democracy on Iraq and Afghanistan is one of the latest examples. The stalling of the Arab Spring and the emergence of Islamic State reminds us that it takes time to bring one culture into alignment with another, just as surely as it takes time to align currencies as has been shown by the eurozone experiment. The unequal imposition of Equalities legislation in Britain, through the dogma of positive discrimination, is creating social tensions even in the developed world, and the Christian Party is opposed to the emphasis by David Cameron and Ed Miliband to force developing third world countries to reform their ideas on gender issues in return for western aid. This is unequal charity in the name of equality as well as being a bridge too far in too short a time scale.
Secondly, and not least in conflict resolution, must be the readiness to forgive. There are multiple mistakes on both sides, and Christians in the Middle East are in a strong position to give a lead in forgiveness and reconciliation. Already some Palestinian and Israeli Arab Christians are giving a lead as peacemakers, which can and should be followed by others. Islam claims to be a religion of peace and therefore declarations of intent should be sought from the Arab League, influential Arab Nations, major international centres of islamic influence in the region and further afield. Influential muslim leaders should be expected to discourage suicide bombers who are misled into thinking that this is a short-cut to paradise, a very real incentive for some impressionable people and has been demonstrated in many cases, not least the 9/11 terrorists.
Christian Party policy on foreign aid will stop financial aid to Gaza which has led to grotesque salaries to fund the high lifestyle of Gaza’s political leadership. Aid should be in material goods rather than financial. We expect to see progress in educational and living standards for the poor in Gaza instead of funds used to promote conflict. Lebanon should be assisted to rid itself of the influence of Hezbollah and Iran in its government.
Thirdly, the United Nations needs to be reformed and the Christian Party will draw attention to its short-comings.
The Russian federation, China and emerging nations
The Christian Party welcomes the increasing international cooperation and discipline with the advent of the global village that the world has become. Transnational problems such as climate change, migration of infectious diseases through international travel, antibiotic resistance, diminishing traditional resources and ideological strife need supra-national and international cooperation for technological advances that benefit mankind collectively. The collective effort to find a vaccine against coronavirus is an example that may yet prove to be a model for future cooperation.
Russia’s historic pariah status is being replaced by North Korea and China in the League of Cruel and Dangerous Regimes, competing with Iran, Pakistan for attention on the world stage. We recall with gratitude the role of Russian servicemen in World War II and are glad to see the relative stability after the collapse of the USSR. However, there are manifest issues that need to be addressed and the Christian Party’s foreign policy is not confined to trade but includes the promotion of international peace and the welfare of the world’s citizens individually, based upon the value of every human being.
The Christian Party supports the global exposure of the control of Chinese business by the Chinese Communist Government. Under Chinese law all Chinese businesses are required to obey all the diktats of the Chinese Communist Government, brought to public attention by US President Donald Trump’s exposure of 5G network contracts with Huawei and the personal and national vulnerabilities through Chinese Apps such as Tiktok. At a time when personal data profiles are used in manipulating the electorate, telecommunications is the more sensitive both for the defence of the nation, securing its infrastructure, and for protecting the civil rights of the citizens of the world.
This exposure will do more to promote human rights in China than all the behind-the-scenes diplomacy of the past three or more decades. By forcing change at the level of corporate business, democratic change may be forced upon Chinese governance. This is important at this time when China is turning away from international law in favour of international bullying as seen in its unilateral breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UK-Chinese Accord concerning Hong Kong’s existing capitalist system and way of life remaining unchanged for 50 years until 2047.
Instead of increasing the prestige of this great nation with such a lengthy history, current policy is helping to fuel discord and history will consign this regime to another failed chapter in China’s long history. As much attention should be given to its policies as to its strong-arm tactics on weak and dependent third world countries.
The Chinese mis-treatment of the Falong Gong and its muslim citizens shows the ideological poverty of China’s communistic regime. Sanctions and freezing bank accounts of dictatorial leaders has proven effective and this should be considered in targeted measures.
North Korea continues to head the list of countries that persecute Christians. North Korea is a religious theocracy with Kim Jong-un regarded as their god. At the other end of the ideological spectrum, atheistic, communist China makes intense efforts to control the Christian church throughout China.
Persecution of Christians and minorities
One factor in the persecution of Christians and minorities is the stirring up of religious hatred among illiterate populations by religious leaders. It is important to influence foreign governments to raise the educational standards in such areas, and the Christian Party will make a point of publicising the failure of such foreign governments to educate their own people.
For example, it is deplorable that a country aspiring to first world status, with a space programme, has not addressed the caste system and its immoral breach of human rights. The Christian Party, consistent with its general foreign policy promoting equality of education and opportunity in other countries, will not give financial aid to India. India would better serve its citizens by addressing the unjust caste system instead of spending millions on a Space programme. With the growing Indian economy, ‘trade not aid’ is the best formula for helping other countries.
Some Christians are still persecuted in the UK. We support and promote initiatives such as ‘Safe Haven’, which offers advice and help for those who have converted from Islam to Christianity. We support the right for people to change their beliefs and values without the risk of harassment or persecution.