The Times: Religious issues will be a factor in 2019 General Election

UK General Election results 2017. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
UK General Election results 2017. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

For me, Brexit is not the biggest issue in this General Election. As tired as I am of hearing about Brexit (aren’t we all?), there are bigger issues at stake than whether, when and how the UK leaves the European Union.

An article yesterday in The Times, ‘How race and religion are testing party loyalties,’ acknowledged how religious issues — besides the obvious hot topic of Antisemitism — will play their part in this Election.

The article highlighted the race- and religion-focussed issues of voters in Leicester and Finchley.

“For Hindus in Leicester, a major issue affecting their voting intentions is the Labour Party’s stance on self-determination for Kashmir. The Sikh community, according to crossbench peer Lord Singh of Wimbledon, felt overlooked by a government for whom their issues are simply not on its radar.”

For Hindus in Leicester, a major issue affecting their voting intentions is the Labour Party’s stance on self-determination for Kashmir.

The Sikh community, according to crossbench peer Lord Singh of Wimbledon, felt overlooked by a government for whom their issues are simply not on its radar.

Meanwhile, Muslims in the Leicester East and Leicester South constituencies were being turned off the Conservatives by the recent charges of Islamophobia in the party.

The article goes on to discuss how the accusations of Antisemitism in the Labour Party are affecting voting intentions in the heavily Jewish-populated constituency of Finchley and Golders Green.

And finally, the effect of the parties’ manifesto policies on the Christian vote are discussed. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have both come out in their manifestos in support of removing the 24-week limit on abortions in England, Wales and Scotland.

The article also mentioned the Lib Dems’ recent deselection of candidate Rob Flello for expressing pro-life views and views in favour of traditional marriage on Twitter.

In a way, I wish this General Election for me could be first and foremost about the environment. Or even Brexit. But no — contrary to the popular media narrative that tends to assume everybody’s voting intentions are basically a matter of economics (whether you think the UK would sink outside the European Union, or thrive outside of it) — for me this Election is all about defending human rights. The right not to be on the receiving end of antisemitism. The right of a child not to be aborted after 24 weeks. The right to freedom of expression. The rights which people in the UK have been able to take for granted for decades but which now, it seems, large sections of our political class are determined to do away with.

 

 

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