None Of The Above.

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I’ve changed my mind about voting. Just like Russell.

Despite being thousands of miles away I made the effort to register to vote because, for all the credit they deserve (really) for Britain’s improved economic circumstances, these Tories are a nasty bunch (though I do have a sneaking, illogical regard for Gideon).

They can’t seem to stop themselves making life tougher at each turn for the already worst off.

I don’t think they have to be like that. I think there are other ways of going about things. I think they choose to be like that, knowing that they don’t have to be.

That makes them deeply unpleasant. Not the sort of people you would want living next door. Let alone running your country.

I believed I was going to vote Labour, despite my reservations about Miliband and his ‘team’ of second-raters, simply because of their policies on Europe and Scotland.

But In the last week Ed has shown himself up as such a dim-witted lightweight.

I can’t stomach spending the next five years being in any way responsible for having made him Prime Minister.

When he was bold enough to risk it with Brand but too timid, under-prepared and unable to control the conversation I wavered.

And now this business with the slab. The policy promises carved in stone and ‘destined for the Downing Street garden’ have tipped me over the edge.

Firstly because it’s the naffest of naff ideas and not rejecting it as such begs a huge question about Ed’s clarity of mind and judgement. What other stupid ideas might he be willing to go along with? He’s surrounded by people full of them.

Secondly because I really don’t like the unpleasant and UKIP provoked ‘CONTROLS ON IMMIGRATION’ policy promise. It reeks of mis-judged right-leaning populism.

Ed’s leadership of a party that should easily be streets ahead is a calamity. Not so much an accident waiting to happen as an in-progress, multiple vehicle rolling car crash.

Maybe he will become Prime Minister nevertheless. But not in my name. Maybe in Russell’s.

I won’t vote Labour. It makes no difference other than to me; I’m registered in a very safe Labour seat. That’s an easy cop-out I know, and a luxury I would most likely not allow myself in a marginal, but I didn’t invent our so-many-wasted-votes electoral system.

I won’t vote Conservative (see above), loony-tune Green or turncoat Lib-Dem. Or UKIP obviously.

Leaving me precisely no options.

If there were a box for it (and there should be; bring on PR) I’d be putting my cross next to None Of The Above.

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Wasted effort?

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A couple of days ago Ed Miliband tweeted that the Labour Party had achieved its goal of holding 4 million ‘doorstep’ conversations with voters.

Labour politicians I follow have been posting on social media about their interactions with the ordinary folk that they represent, conversations on the doorstep and elsewhere that have helped Ed meet this target.

To win this election Labour needs to beat the other parties, especially the Tories, in any of the seats where they can beat them.

It’s – only – the marginal seats that really count with our unfit for purpose first-past the-post electoral system.

The disappointing, undemocratic reality is that the result in a small number of constituencies with only a few hundred thousand voters between them will decide who forms the next government.

The most important conversations to be had by any party are with only the 40,000 or so undecided swing voters in those constituencies. That’s where Labour should be concentrating their efforts.

Lilian Greenwood* and Chris Leslie, traipsing around safe Nottingham seats is all very nice and worthy, respectful of their electorate and all that, but it’s not the best use of the energies Labour has available to it. The party has many more ‘boots on the ground’ than the Tories but they are not much use if they are going around preaching to the converted.

Ed says the party will hold another 1 million doorstep conversations before the ballot.

May I suggest knocking on the right doors.

And then bringing about proper electoral reform so that every doorstep conversation and every vote counts.

*That’s Lilian on the right in the photo (with the lovely Gill Haymes). The photo copyright and credit belongs to Councillor Michael Edwards who blogs about doorstep conversations here.

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Wait a minute …

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There has been all sorts of hysterical reaction in the papers to Ed Miliband’s decision to be ‘interviewed’ by Russell Brand on The Trews. Here’s mine.

First off what a dick David Cameron is – again – to dismiss it as a joke, something he does not have enough time for. That just shows – again – how out of touch he is, how stuck in an old-media rut the Tories are.

By this morning the full 15 minute interview had been viewed by more people than watch Newsnight. I’ll wager that by Sunday morning it will have been seen by more people than watch the Andrew Marr show that Cameron is happy enough to drag himself out of bed for.

Someone in the Labour war-room is switched on enough to know it’s worth Ed being on The Trews, on Vice, even on Buzzfeed (if they can think of twenty three things that make him interesting. Good luck with that). Brave enough even to let it happen in a kitchen. (But why in a suit?)

I thought it was not a bad performance. Way more focused and on the money than normal, demonstrating a real understanding of the alienation and frustration of younger (non) voters. Not overly aggressive. Listening and learning.

Unfortunately that’s my verdict on Russell.

Ed? OMG.

He didn’t even give a straight answer to the first question.

Russell says he “must be bloody worn out?” Ed replies, “No. Busy. But happy to be here”. A much better, and from the look of him more honest, reply would have been, “Yes. Knackered. But it will be worth it to kick the still-nasty party out of Downing Street next week”.

He went on not really to answer any of the questions. He seemed to have nothing scripted and punchy up his sleeve ready for any of Russell’s pretty predictable questions. He was always going to be in a fight for airtime. There was never going to be any time for waffle or preamble. He knew that.

He says things can be done – about banks, tax avoiders, Murdoch and the rest – but cannot say what. He thinks another Tory government would be a threat to the NHS but fails to mention Europe, the single issue on which he has most common ground with the age group The Trews reaches.

He thinks change comes from the people (that’s an Oxford PPE for you). And he’s not looking to create euphoria around his potential to create change (ditto).

He let’s Brand run the conversation, goes with his flow, plays it like Mourinho plays the big games. It’s not about possession. It’s about not making mistakes. Let the other guy make the mistakes. Win one-nil if you can. A draw will do.

But his number one failing is his tone. He sounds just nothing like a potential Prime Minister. Just like at PMQs he speaks as if time is running out from the moment he opens his mouth. He doesn’t expect to get to the end of the sentence. He knows he will soon be cut-off, shot-down or shut-up.

It must be a product of his upbringing. The story of his life. Picture the scene. The family dinner table. Politics – as ever presumably – the subject of discussion. There he is, hopping up and down on his chair, trying to get a word in edgeways.

And Ralph says, “Wait a minute Edward, David is talking”.

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Defence, Defence, Defence.

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The Tories are ahead in the Guardian (+3) and Ashcroft (+6) polls this morning. The voting public’s top four priorities are the NHS, jobs, prices and wages, immigration and education. Tackling the deficit comes fifth.

If only Labour were brave enough to ‘weaponise’ defence.

Leave aside for a moment the cost of engaging ISIS and dealing with the problems largely of our own making in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is probably no getting away from them.

But the ridiculous £100 billion plus cost of Trident, a nuclear deterrent that deters no-one and that we would never use is avoidable.

Maybe we want to maintain a deterrent of some sort, maybe not. That’s separate argument. But a submarine based system that requires a fleet of ships and planes that we no longer have to support and protect it is not the only option. Not the cheapest option. Maybe not the best option for a (small) nation like Britain.

Here’s an article from the Guardian (once great newspaper) from December 2014. It explains how even after spending £20 to £30 billion on the Eurofighter / Typhoon it’s unable to do any more than follow Russia’s bombers along the Channel. It could not ‘engage’ them as it can’t yet carry the latest Brimstone air to air missiles. This also means we are spending other billions to keep ageing Tornados in the air to fight ISIS. Whatever you call it, the Eurofighter / Typhoon is no bird of prey. It’s an expensive lame duck.

And then we have the aircraft carriers. Two of them at a cost of over £6 billion. Both of them pretty useless without any planes to fly from them. When they do get planes they will be American Joint Strike Fighters at a cost of £15 billion plus. That’s slightly cheaper than it would have been because we’ve opted for the vertical take-off version rather than the catapult version – because that would have added another £2bn to the cost of the ships. Unfortunately this version of the plane cannot fly so far or carry so many weapons. It’s wings are clipped.

Labour’s long been scared of talking itself into the corner where it can easily be painted as being soft on defence. The Tories and other voices on the right, in the military and its supply chain (no self interest there obviously) owned the debate throughout the Cold War and since. Here’s an example, an article from The Spectator (great magazine) from February of this year by an Air Chief Marshall and a Vice Admiral arguing for defence to be ‘weaponised’ in this election because they do not think we spend enough.

But what exactly is Labour scared of? It’s pretty clear (see above) that the Tories are proposing ongoing austerity whilst continuing to spend regularly and heavily on runaway-cost defence projects that don’t necessarily do much to meet our real defence needs.

Defence does not even make the top ten of voters’ concerns in this election. If we match NATO’s 2% of GDP target we will be spending 25p on defence for every £1 we spend on the NHS.

I don’t think an everything-including-Trident on the table defence review that defines this (small) country’s real, current and future defence needs and funds a military capability to meet them need scare the voters.

I think the idea that there might be significant savings to be made, money that could be spent on other things or used to reduce cuts elsewhere could be attractive to many voters. Many Green and Lib-Dem vote-wasters might be persuaded to support Labour on this promise alone.

Today’s polls suggest Ed needs all the votes he can get. He should weaponise defence. We spend – and waste – too much on it.

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The Immigration Question.

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Do you believe in the free movement of people?

We were all born in some country or other and thereby geographically-restrained-at-birth by history, international treaties, border controls, passports and visas.

Were you lucky enough to be born in a real-as-they-get democracy? Free from conscription and war at home? Free to travel? Most people economically advantaged and well fed? Wth access to – free to at least a degree – education and healthcare?

There are fewer than 750 million people that lucky, not even ten percent of the world’s population. We were born in the larger part of Western Europe, Canada or Australasia after 1945 or the United States after 1955. Everyone else, until only twenty-five years ago, had it rougher than us. Many still do.

Imagine having been born, when you were born, in the Soviet Union or countries it occupied, in China, India, large parts of South America, in most countries in Africa. How would you have felt about the cards life had dealt you?

What would you have done about it?

Imagine living now in any country affected by war, poverty, corruption, inequality, violent criminality, environmental degradation or religious extremism.

What would you do about it?

Would you want to live somewhere else? Would you try to get somewhere else? Whatever the cost? Whatever the risk?

Why should anyone have to stay where they were unlucky enough to have been born? Why should we all not be able to go anywhere we please, live anywhere we please, work anywhere we please?

I understand that allowing free movement of people will be hugely difficult for the countries to which very many people may choose to migrate. I think we would have been better off having allowed free movement a long time before now. The rate of flow would have been slower, easier to manage.

And to disincentivise.

To do that the world needs to become a more equal place where people have less reason to want to leave their nation of origin, many more reasons to stay.

Easier said than done. It will take time.

And hard work. Particularly on the part of the destination nations. As Frankie Boyle (it takes an outspoken comedian sometimes) points out in the Guardian today many of them have historic and current responsibility for creating the circumstances which are driving so many to risk death (and to die) seeking to leave Africa for a perhaps only marginally better life in Europe.

For many different reasons, some of them racist others sensible, many of us don’t want large numbers of Africans crossing freely to Europe each summer. Whoever they are. Whysoever they want to come.

But until a lot changes migrants will continue to try to come and, however many the Italian or other navies rescue, many will die as they do so.

Paddy Ashdown says the migrant boats should be sunk before they leave port. Whoever Katie Hopkins is says they should be sunk wherever they are found at sea. I’m guessing Paddy would rescue any survivors. Hopkins would let them drown. At the other end of the solution-spectrum we could provide free, safe boats with crews and life jackets.

Which way we each lean on the matter, however far we are prepared to go to help or to hinder migration is based on a simple issue of principle.

I believe in the free movement of people. It’s a right I think we all should have. Because it’s a right I want for myself.

Do you?

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I’m voting. I’m voting Labour. (No pun intended).

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April 20th is Hitler’s birthday and the last day you can register to vote. Sometime on May 8th, VE Day, we will find out which weakly cobbled together coalition of sorts is going to attempt to govern Britain for the next five years.

We have a ridiculously and evidently broken first past the post electoral system. Only a small number of marginal constituencies truly matter.

In each only a small number of swing-voters (surely the last people who should have such power) will determine the outcome of the national election.

I have a friend who tells a story of his grandfather shouting at the TV every time he heard someone urging people to vote because so many had lost their lives fighting the Nazis for the right to do so. He said that he had fought the Nazis just as much for our right not to vote.

I didn’t vote for Tony Blair in ’97 or any other time because he’s a wacko Christian. I didn’t vote in 2010 because in Gordon Brown Labour had the wrong leader.

It’s tempting to sit this one out too. Labour have the wrong leader again, a self-serving, second rate supporting cast, a limp set of timid, only marginally attractive policies and a new and unattractive tendency to pander to nationalist instincts that are not their own.

But I will be voting this time and I will be voting Labour.

Some things are more important than how many kitchens you have, whether or not you can eat a bacon sandwich and the horror of having to put up with seeing a lot more of Ed Balls on TV. Even more important than the deficit.

1. I believe Britain should stay in the EU.

I think Britain is better off in the EU than standing alone. We stood alone against Hitler and then the EU was created so that we would not find ourselves fighting our neighbours again. I also think the EU is better for Britain being in it; wiser, cooler, with better bands.

In a frantically changing world the idea that somehow our best interests are served by standing alone again is an idea for fools who should get out more, see something of Asia and South America. More than ever Europe needs to stick together if it’s not to fall behind.

Scared of UKIP and the euro-sceptics in his own party Cameron is committed to offering an in-out referendum. A Labour government will not take that risk. (And the SNP will back them).

2. I believe that Scotland and England should remain part of the same country.

I don’t think there is any reasonable case for the SNP to expect a second independence referendum anytime soon (they lost remember, it really doesn’t matter by how much) and no Labour government will offer them one.

If Labour is to have any hope of ever again forming a majority government it needs to play a long-game, take the hit this time and then get on with winning Scotland back. The SNP are an idea whose time has come. But that will pass.

The Conservatives on the other hand (despite the ‘and Unionists’ name) could govern England forever were the Scots to leave and, whatever they say now, the Tories may come round to that idea.

3. Labour losing could be a good thing.

The worst possible outcome is that a second Cameron-Clegg rose garden not-really-love-in ushers in a second Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

This would be the most depressing and undemocratic result.

It’s even possible that Cameron might stay as Prime Minister having won a lower share of the vote than Miliband.

It’s certain that for all their new MPs the SNP would be out of the loop, condemned to five impotent years as Her Majesty’s Disloyal Opposition.

Lib-Dem voters would be massively over-represented, in terms of their number of MPs and their influence. UKIP voters would be massively under-represented.

It’s an outcome up with which we should not put. (Churchill said something like that.)

I’m voting Labour because I believe in British membership of the EU, I believe the nations of Britain really are ‘better together’ and I believe that the more votes Labour gets if they lose, the more fuel to the fire of electoral reform.

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Glory Glory Me.

GV1 Two weeks ago I met a man in blue overalls outside a public toilet and the next day after a very fortuitous bit of hitch-hiking I spent the afternoon and night as a guest of New Zealand’s reclusive Gloriavale christian community.

Standing beside the road in Jacksons there did not seem much prospect of any traffic taking the turning towards Gloriavale but I scribbled out a sign anyway.  Just moments later a big truck turned off the main road and stopped  Big trucks never, hardly ever, stop for hitch-hikers these days. Peter did.

“What does your sign say?” Gloria Vale. “What are you going there for?” (Imagine a disbelieving kiwi accent). I was invited to stay. “Ha. Were you now? In that case it’s your lucky day. Truck’s full of cattle feed for one of their farms.  I’ll take you. Can’t promise they’ll let you go though”.

He was joking I think.

A few hours later after sharing dinner with over five hundred adults and children, all dressed in uniform blue, Hopeful Christian the community’s founder and leader invited my friend and I to join him in a room off to the side of the large hall where we had eaten.

I was taken by surprise as we entered the room because a life-size model of a woolly mammoth was filling a third of it. But that was not what Hopeful wanted us to see. On the wall he showed us a large group photo of a lot, but not all, of the Gloriavale community.

Hopeful explained that they are all those who are not first or second- born children, people he suggests would not exist were the community to use birth control or allow abortion. He considers both to amount to murder. And the god in which he believes will be in no mood to forgive either on the soon-coming judgement day.

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Now in his late eighties, Hopeful Christian is Neville Cooper who founded the community, previously known as the Cooperites, in the 1960s. In the 1990s he was convicted of the indecent assault of three girls aged 12-19 in the mid 1980’s on the evidence of his son and a number of young women from the community. He was sentenced to five years in jail, serving eleven months.

But there has been no consequent fall from grace for Neville at Gloriavale, the commune-campus named after his deceased wife, on New Zealand’s South Island.

Hopeful sits at the head of the dining table and leads the group of men known as ‘shepherds and servants’ who run the community and their various million-dollar business enterprises.

It’s his very literal interpretation of the King James Bible that defines the way of life and the life-choices of anyone unlucky enough to be born at Gloriavale.

Men make all the decisions. Wives may be consulted but husbands decide. All decisions are based entirely on guidance they seek and find in the bible. Whatever your personal point of view, even if everyone thinks the same way, if the bible has anything to say on the matter then the decision has already been made.

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Over half of the five hundred and forty strong community are under fifteen, not just because birth control is not used but also because sexual love, within marriage, is encouraged as a celebration of God’s love. And because the primary role of women is believed to be to produce children in his honour – one after another from the moment of marriage until their fertility is exhausted. Just like the poor cows on the community’s three dairy farms.

On reaching the age of sixteen a young man can choose to marry, because the bible says so. He will already have been working full time for at least two years on one of the dairy farms, the deer farm, in the on-site petfood ingredients factory, for the high-end hunting business or even in the light aircraft maintenance hangar. He might be a tradesman or ‘teacher’. The community has its own school and does all its own plumbing, electrical and construction work.

His wife-to-be will be chosen by him from a very small selection of women suggested to him by the ‘shepherds and servants’ who must take care to ensure that he chooses only from amongst women not closely related to him. The community has grown from just a small group of founding members and their offspring, with very few joining from ‘outside’. That does not leave the young man much choice.

The young woman, who probably works as a teacher, in the kitchen or sewing room gets no choice at all. We spoke with one lovely young woman in the kindergarten who at twenty-two is old to remain unmarried and desperate to find a husband before it’s too late for a sixteen year old boy to show any interest in her. She’s all-too-keen to start making babies for Jesus. Her friend was ‘so blessed’ to be chosen recently.  She prays that she will be chosen soon.

We slept in one of the four large hostels where families live communally, each having one or more modern but simply-furnished room with a large double bed for parents and bunks for their children. Large families are the norm. Twelve kids is common. I had dinner with a man of about fifty who already has fifty-six grandchildren.

GV4 The day starts early with anyone not already at work streaming in to the main hall for breakfast. With over five hundred people in the room, very many of them young children it’s surprisingly calm and ordered. It’s also slightly surreal since the walls are decorated with the very well executed jungle backdrops and disney castle scenery sets of the artistically ambitious annual show to which the community invites outsiders as part of its evangelical work.

The long neck of a large yellow and green furry dinosaur reaches out, over and across some of the long dining tables. Like the mamoth, it’s animatronic. Its neck sways from side to side as its mouth opens and closes in time to music.

One of the school teachers explains to me that dinosaurs roamed the earth after its creation 6000 years ago and that they survived the great flood of 4400 years ago because Noah took them onto his ark, two by two, along with all god’s other creatures. “Baby dinosaurs most likely” he said, as the ark might not have been big enough for full grown specimens. After the flood they were hunted to extinction by man. Dinosaur is a new word. We used to call them dragons.

Another tells me that he much prefers helping his students on their spiritual journey to ‘dealing with all that academic stuff’ which he thinks will be of less use to to them.

Young boys wander the hall with microphones passing them to a dozen or more men, women and children who offer up prayers for the community’s daily activities and also for the ‘lost souls’ in the outside world. I nearly choke on my toast when one man includes in his prayer the idea that it might be God’s will that christians captured by ISIS in Libya ‘forgo their lives’ (by beheading) as part of his grand plan for us all.

After we’ve eaten and the days transportation needs have been co-ordinated (the community runs a pool of Peugeot cars, otherwise quite rare in New Zealand) women attend to their children and men gather in groups for music practice before work. The night before at dinner sixty young adults had jumped up from the dinner table to sing beautifully for us.

That was just before Hopeful took us to the room with the elephant in it. Just before things got a bit tricky between us when he chose his moment to challenge aggressively my apparent lack of faith.

If I can’t see the literal truth of the bible I’m a fool (so is the Dalai Lama, the Pope’s pretty much the antichrist). If I’m not ready to account for my sins (and he takes me for a sinner for sure) on the coming judgement day then I’m self-regarding. If I don’t believe in the coming judgement day or the god that I’m supposed to be judged by then I’m the most arrogant man he’s ever met. Neville

He labours his point. He’s a close-stander. He shouts. He pokes me in the chest with his blunt finger. He splutters as he speaks so fast that he can’t keep up with himself and his wild imaginings of me. He hadn’t bothered to ask anything about me, other than what I don’t do for a living (which did not impress him), before he launched into this personally offensive tirade. Unusually for me (we were 40km up a dirt track without a car), I refrained from responding. Initially at least.

Luckily we were with the young man, one of nine brothers, already a father of four, who invited me to visit Gloria Vale – I think it’s an offer more often made than accepted – when we met the day before outside the toilets on Arthur’s Pass, high up where the road from Christchurch crosses the southern alps.  He was able to steer us to the safer ground of his hostel where we discuss his beliefs and our lack of them in friendly terms.

Like the elderly gent, hailing from the cottonfields of Mississippi, who had spent the afternoon showing us all around Gloriavale (the workshops, kitchen, school, milking parlour, hangar and hunting lodge), he is just as fervent in his beliefs, just as ardent in embracing the coming apocolypse (seeing it coming in ISIS moving towards Israel), just as completely delusional about the creation and everything since. They both know the scripture and quote it when they feel it fits what we are talking about. But they do not protest our not sharing their world view. They are welcoming, warm, concerned for us and our spiritual welfare. They are entirely convincing.

I learnt that as well as rejecting all organised religions as eagerly and completely as they reject atheism, condemning 99% of the world’s population to eternal damnation, they don’t agree with the look-alike Amish (way too liberal, yet stuck in the past) would not have agreed with the Shakers (did not do marriage, hence none of them left to disagree with), don’t hang with the Mennonites (some tolerance of gay people) but are not a million miles off sharing a world view with the Hutterites (who also do the communal living thing). They could maybe get along with the Jehovah’s Witnesses except for failing to agree on whether Jesus took on the sins of the world (they say he did, the JHs say not).

Heaven must be a very small place. Hardly anyone is going to make the judgement day cut.

Hopeful Neville, the surprisingly uncharismatic snake-oil salesman behind this amazing sham-spiritual enterpise, is possibly the least convincing christian I’ve ever met. At dinner and breakfast he peppers his remarks, tourettes-like, with “because God is real“. Having met him in the flesh, all worked up as he was, I’m not sure he believes it himself and in the end I told him so (I’ve got a tent, I can walk). He didn’t like that much but it did at least stop him banging on about abortion.

But it doesn’t really matter if he believes it or has just convinced himself to believe it because he’s acting as if he does and to be born into this community, despite the obviously strong sense of non-selfish love for each other, and a real common cause, is to have your life, your freedom of choice, stolen from you. Essentially by him.

A community member told me that I had not seen the best of Hopeful Christian during my visit. That he lives his life entirely in the interest and love of others. That there is a lot of rubbish about him on the internet (his sex-offending conviction?). Even that he was a WWII fighter pilot (I can’t find any record of that).

I hope no-one is at Gloriavale against their free will. Every now and then someone makes the break, leaves their family and friends, for good, and heads out to make their own way in the world. A family of fourteen did so just this week. Lucky, brave them.

I pity those left behind, however content and fulfilled they claim to be, even if as ‘happy in the love of the Lord’ as the ex-addict who kindly drove us back to the main road and the real world. There are small children everywhere at Gloriavale. Adults wake up every day and choose again the Gloriavale way of life. The kids don’t have a choice. My overwhelming reaction watching them at breakfast was sadness. They are so quiet. They will be denied a decent education. Denied the chance and choice to be whoever and whatever they are or turn out to be. GV2

They will be led in the way of their Lord towards a lifetime of living a lie, following exactly in their parents’ footsteps, bringing ever more children into their small, closed world, children they are going to struggle to feed and clothe, in a community that is going to struggle to maintain its way of life.

Anyone who believes Genesis ought to understand the resource implications of a population explosion. Three dairy farms and a rendering plant might bring in enough to feed them all now but relying on a combination of ‘the Lord will provide’ and the coming apocolypse removing the need for him to provide is not a viable strategy for even the medium term.

I hope Neville Cooper is long-dead before the community he’s mis-leading runs out of time and money. He’s the kind of a full-on nutter I could imagine doing a Jonestown. Gloriavale Community

The Gloriavale Christian community, despite often being described as reclusive, has an honest and open website which you can find at www.gloriavale.org.nz

I did not take any pictures while at Gloriavale It was not that sort of a trip. So I’ve borrowed the pictures used here from various sources via the wonders of the internet. If any of them are yours and you’re unhappy about me using them, please do get in touch.

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