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     Elections and Money

 

 

Elections and Money

Millions of pounds are being spent once again in convincing the British electorate that they have a choice and that their votes really matter. Yet, the result is, as always, a for gone conclusion: Of which ever persuasion, we will get a government which will continue to please those who wield enough financial power to pull the strings, and it will ignore the interests and demands of ordinary people if they conflict with the plans and wishes of that financial and political oligarchy.

It is part of the game that an opposition critisises the policies of the government of the day, but never revokes them once having taken power off them, but happily continues them. Increasingly the difference between the main parliamentary parties is becoming more and more blurred. One consequence is political apathy within the population clearly noticeable from a low turn out at elections.

Then there are the alternatives, the protest movements, the one issue parties, and the loonies. All are attempts to declare that we are not happy with not having a say in the running of our affairs even though we may put a cross behind a choice of names. After the rise and fall of the Referendum Party, the latest such attempt is the Preferendum initiative, suggesting that voters tick one line policy statements instead of giving a blank cheque to a candidate. These various appeals highlight a problem, but they stand little chance of stemming the tide of Janus faced two party politics.

So what about the Islamic Party? We are no different in wanting to expose the present electoral system as a hoax, but we offer a real alternative, a change from the roots of society, beginning with a new orientation and philosophy. Modern society is in need of guidance, and only Islam is capable of fulfilling this need. We participated in elections not in the vain hope of receiving large numbers of votes or even being elected, but as a perfect propagandistic opportunity of doing Dawah: inviting those who worry about the country's future direction to the truth and the sensible programmes stemming from it. Our proposed solutions were, and still are, radical, both for the host society and the Muslims within it. We do not contend ourselves with a superficial, cultural Islam, halal meat and turbans... Muslims need to be at the forefront of changing our environment, politically, economically, socially. There is a need for this message to be taken to the country, and there are advantages in doing so during election time. Not the least of them is, that it saves a lot of money. You spend some money on printing leaflets, but you get them delivered free from house to house. You spend some money on posters and a few activities, and at the same time get free coverage in the papers.

However, this time round it was not to be. We do not have the funds to put up the deposits to place candidates, nor to print publicity material. For the last year, the Islamic Party had to operate on a budget not exceeding 1500, plus some generous help with upgrading our outdated computer system, so we could link up to the Internet, as well as somebody else's generous offer to take care of the printing of Common Sense for one issue. In addition, all the endless man hours put in by tireless workers for our cause are free, we don't charge for travel expenses, and we use our own office space. We save a multiple of the monies we receive from subscriptions, sales and donations, but just over a hundred pound a month does not permit the miracles everybody we encounter would like to see. So our envolvement had to be limited to researching, writing, and printing Common Sense, giving lectures when invited, answering letters and endless telephone queries from individuals as well as the media, and assisting other Muslim groups where possible in their activities. No chance, this time, to go and do dawah through the election process. Instead, when meeting the leader of the Canadian abolitionist party, John Turmel, we vowed to support any candidates who are willing to stand on a platform of abolishing interest. On this issue, we have the pleasure of reprinting a beautiful poem by Turmel, in which he petitions the Queen to put a stop to our ludicrous monetary system that causes so much unwarranted suffering. (cf. page 8 and 9 of this issue of Common Sense)

Back to the elections, and money. We ought to take the next opportunity after the general election to make a mark again. Some convenient bye election will evenutally come our way. We need to put the alternative to the British people. For this we need funds and supporters. We appreciate that there have been those who stood by us throughout the years, from the beginning when everybody got excited about this new venture, until now, when many drifted off after realising that it was quite an uphill struggle. But we need more subscribers, more readers of Common Sense, more standing orders, more donations. We know, for many it is hard to find spare cash, and there are many important causes to support. We therefore also encourage input of the non monetary kind. We need those who have sufficient initiative to start up local support groups and take on local issues on behalf of the Islamic Party. We need printers who are happy to sponsor the printing of an edition of Common Sense. We need every help we can get, from prayer to action. For the British people will get another government which won't make much difference, and the alternative still waits to be shown.

Author: Islamic Party of Britain
Date Published: Spring 1997

 

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