THE Regional Party of England advocates forward-thinking politics not charity or religion. We aim to put our humane, moral values into practise through politics and economics. We want to turn justified public sympathy, concern and anger at the state of our society into focused politics not charity.
England is now awash with charities operating in many areas of basic human need – food banks and homeless charities are two obvious examples. However these basic needs should be the responsibilities of government. The fact that food banks are needed, and so widespread, in the 21st century is a national disgrace.
We should not rely on charity donations, which are voluntary and unpredictable, to meet essential social needs. Structured, consistent and prolonged political and economic measures are needed to address theses issues at source, including decent pay, fair taxation and new affordable housing.
Charity work may be well-intentioned and supported by decent people but there is a risk that some charity attitudes and activities can hinder political progress, by not addressing the root causes of problems.
Many charities are non-judgemental and simply offer help. Charities are typically non-political and do not fight elections to gain power. However wealth, poverty, power or the lack of power are all ultimately made better or worse by political decisions.
Some mainstream political parties are increasingly getting involved with charity activities, locally and nationally, which risks blurring the distinction between structured, political intervention and voluntary giving.
In particular, the Labour Party has been at risk from this trend. The tone of language in speeches, websites and leaflets from many Labour MPs and grassroots members has often resembled the language and style of charities. This has played into the modern stereotype of Labour being a party of comfortable, middle class ‘do-gooders’ coming to assist the ‘poor, weak and needy’. None of these stereotypes are helpful.
Furthermore, political party members getting involved in activities such as litter-picking may seem worthwhile and make for quick photo-opportunities for social media. But there is a risk that these types of activities can trivialise local politics – and even expose the inability of activists or councillors to get the responsible authority to take proper responsibility and proper action?
A different approach to political thinking, language and activity is needed.
The Regional Party is a materialist party – it is concerned with the material world and environment in which we live in now and in the future. It is agnostic – meaning it cannot prove or disprove religions.
While we defend the rights of people to hold religious views, we do not advocate religion. Faith should be a matter for individuals, families and religious communities in keeping with national law. We would speak out and, if need be, legislate against any belief or practise we think is wrong, inhuman or illegal.
We also disagree with government policies supporting all faith schools, including Christian church schools. No faith schools should be allowed the financial privileges given to them through being classed as charities. (Similarly, private fee-paying schools should not be allowed any form of charitable status.)
The Regional Party is also critical of some aspects of official multi-culturalism which have ignored or tolerated outdated faith or traditional cultural views.
Official multi-culturalism, however well-intentioned, has given too much status to religious leaders, so-called ‘community elders’ and other socially-conservative figures while effectively ignoring non-religious white, black and Asian people.
Governments and mainstream political parties have promoted official multiculturalism for years while failing to help the public to engage in politics, economics and other aspects of non-religious democratic life. This imbalance must be changed.