Martin Turner is a former chair of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum. He previously worked with Operation Mobilisation in Belgium, and is a member of Bidford Baptist Church (theBarn).

A ‘Christian’ party that Jesus would not have voted for

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Christianity is on party’s agenda

The (so-called) ‘Scottish Christian Party’ is contesting the Scottish elections with a mixture of old-fashioned Calvinism and modern right-of-centre politics. Great Britain — and especially Scotland — has a long and honourable tradition of Christians in public life, but, unlike much of mainland Europe, there is no tradition of ostensibly Christian political parties. It is true that some Christians — in common with many voters of all faiths and none — have lost confidence in mainstream political parties. But has the time come for specifically Christian parties to call on the support committed believers, or should Christians seek to involve themselves in mainstream parties? And what about this particular ‘Christian’ party?

Judgmentalism and sound judgement.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | North East/N Isles | Honours probe MP sorry for ‘romp’

SNP’s Angus McNeil, the Western Isles MP who demanded and vigorously promoted the Cash for Honours probe, has apologised for a ‘romp’ involving two teenage girls, half his age, just a few weeks before his wife gave birth, and two months after he was elected to parliament.

As a media story this has all the makings of a classic, offering equal amounts of prurience, bad judgment, and political hypocrisy. But it begs deeper and more serious questions about the nature of integrity in (post)modern British politics.

A shoddy compromise that does nobody any credit

Tony Blair has announced that there will be no opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies, but that there will be a 21 month delay in the introduction of the law to give them time to adjust.

In an ideal world, clashes of the kind we have witnessed between the government and the Catholic church could be resolved without violence to the law or to conscience. Let us accept that we do not live in an ideal world.

But even in this non-ideal world, the furore and its conclusion have been a shoddy episode that did nobody any credit.

Statement by the Chair of Liberal Democrat Christian Forum

BBC NEWS | Politics | Embattled Kennedy quits as leader
Martin Turner, Chair of Liberal-Democrat Christian Forum said today: “As LDCF, we deeply regret the chain of events which has led to the resignation of Charles Kennedy as party leader. Notwithstanding the personal problems that he recently made public, Charles has led our party well and ably since his election. Among his other achievements he has delivered our two greatest election successes in political living memory.

“We applaud his dignity over the last week. Although we regret the events which led to it, we recognise the imperatives which led him to step down, and applaud his dignity in doing so.

“We also recognise the strength of purpose of Menzies Campbell and Mark Oaten in their earlier declaration that they would not stand against Charles Kennedy. We particularly applaud the way in which Simon Hughes stuck to his guns, putting his role as party president above his personal aspirations, and providing a model for effective, principled service within the party.

“LDCF will not be giving its backing to any of the candidates who will now emerge. This would be completely outside our remit and would not assist the process. However, we will encourage our members to compare the track records and ambitions of all candidates from a Christian point of view.”

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