- George Hargreaves (politician)
James George Hargreaves (born 1958), [ [http://www.alba.org.uk/scot07constit/g00christ.html Glasgow Region - Christ candidates] , Scottish Politics] known as George Hargreaves or J. G. Hargreaves, is a
religious minister, political campaigner and former music producerand songwriter.
Hargreaves grew up in
Islington.George Hargreaves, " [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-414557/Gay-pop-anthem-writer-defends-firemen-snubbed-gay-rally.html Gay pop anthem writer defends firemen who snubbed gay rally] ", " Daily Mail", 5 November 2006] He has said that as a child his life was saved by a firefighterwho rescued him from his burning house.Auslan Cramb, " [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/migrationtemp/1532775/Pop-star-preacher-to-fund-firemen%27s-gay-pride-battle.html Pop star preacher to fund firemen's gay pride battle] ", " The Daily Telegraph", 1 November 2006]
Woolverstone Hall, a boarding schoolowned by the Inner London Education Authority. While still at school, he formed a band named "Snap" with Tony Ajai-Ajagbe. The duo were signed by a local studio and released a single in 1974, but were dropped when it proved unsuccessful. They were later employed as songwriters by Jobete Music, and Hargreaves moved in to producing.
In the 1980s, Hargreaves and Ajai-Ajagbe worked at
Magnet Records. They wrote the theme tune for Pebble Mill At Oneand Hargreaves promoted pop acts including Sinitta, Yazzand Five Star. He also wrote and produced several discorecords for Sinitta, including "So Macho" and "Cruising", which were popular in the gay community.Lucy Bannerman, " [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1637264.ece One of these men is a Bible-thumping moralist, the other a gay activist, but which one wrote the hit So Macho?] ", " The Times", 13 April 2007] He told " Scotland on Sunday" that "So Macho" was intended "...for women to dance round their handbags to and for the gay scene to go mad to on poppers" and that "I was never gay, but I had a lot of lovely friends in the gay scene."Kate Foster, " [http://news.scotsman.com/europeanunion/Reverends-disco-hit-funds-electoral.2534999.jp Reverend's disco hit funds electoral bid] ", "Scotland on Sunday", 6 June 2004]
Religious and political activities
Hargreaves later worked as a
DJbefore moving to the Isle of Manas a tax exile. While living there, he decided to devote his life to Christianity. He gained a place for a degree in theologyat Regent's Park College, Oxfordand subsequently moved to Glasgowand became a Pentecostalminister. [Andrew Pierce, " [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1547603/So-Macho-composer-to-fight-gay-campaigner.html So Macho composer to fight gay campaigner] ", " The Daily Telegraph", 5 April 2007]
1997 UK general election, Hargreaves stood as the Referendum Partycandidate for Walthamstow. In 2002, he was a founder member of the Christian Peoples Alliance(CPA) and served as Acting Chair of its Hackney branch. [ [http://christian-1.cust.host-it.co.uk/fed/?page=news&id=50 Ram Gidoomal To Launch Christian Peoples Alliance in Hackney] , Christian Peoples Alliance, 27 February 2002]
In 2004, Hargreaves was a founder of the East London Christian Choir School in Hackney, an independent school which used the
Accelerated Christian Educationprogramme. [Natasha Walter, " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/aug/27/religion.faithschools Divine and rule] ", " The Guardian", 27 August 2005] In the same year, he founded Operation Christian Voteas an alternative to the CPA.Terry Kirby, " [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/no-charges-for-advert-which-blamed-homophobic-attacks-on-religion-417988.html No charges for advert which blamed homophobic attacks on religion] ", " The Independent", 29 September 2006] The party stood in every British region at the European election, 2004, focussing its campaign on opposition to abortion.
Hargreaves then stood for the party at the
Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election, 2004, where he took only 90 votes. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,,-717,00.html Birmingham Hodge Hill | Aristotle] , guardian.co.uk] He fared better at the 2005 UK general electionin Na h-Eileanan an Iar, where he took 7.6% of the votes cast and beat the Conservative Party candidate. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,,-1433,00.html Na h-Eileanan an Iar | Aristotle] , guardian.co.uk] Hargreaves was also involved with Christian Voice.
In 2006, Hargreaves formed the
Scottish Christian Party," [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/scotland/6576677.stm Christianity is on party's agenda] ", BBC News, 20 April 2007] for which he stood in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, 2006, taking 1.2% of the vote. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,,-11119,00.html Hargreaves, George | Aristotle] , guardian.co.uk]
The Scottish Christian Party regards
homosexualityas a sin and campaigns against gay activism. Hargreaves personally funded the industrial tribunals of nine firefighters who were suspended after refusing to distribute leaflets at a gay pridemarch. He was involved in protests against , claiming that "Jerry Springer proved the greatest rallying point for Christian activism in the past 10 years".Stephen Armstrong, " [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/article689693.ece Putting the fun into fundamentalism] ", " Sunday Times", 23 July 2006] The party had many other policies, including a proposal that Scottish criminals should be placed in jails in developing countries.
The Scottish Christian Party put up candidates in every region in the
Scottish Parliament election, 2007. Hargreaves' movement was regarded by the rival Christian People's Allianceas a Pentecostal movement. [" [http://www.sundayherald.com/misc/print.php?artid=1329783 Is it time to put your cross by the cross?] ", " Sunday Herald", 14 April 2007] At the election, he headed the party's list in the Glasgow electoral region, [ [http://www.theherald.co.uk/nominations2007/constituencies/display.var.1319346.0.0.phplogo Glasgow: List candidates] , " The Herald"] aiming in particular to unseat openly bisexual Scottish Green Party Member of the Scottish Parliament Patrick Harvie. Harvie had recently asked the police to investigate allegedly homophobic comments by the Archbishop of Glasgowand was described by Hargreaves as a "gay fundamentalist".
Hargreaves also founded the
Welsh Christian Partyto contest the Welsh Assembly election, 2007, at which he campaigned to remove the dragonsymbol from the Welsh flag, claiming that it was "nothing less than the sign of Satan". [Molly Watson, " [http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/tm_headline=christian-group-wants--evil--welsh-flag-changed&method=full&objectid=18700606&siteid=50082-name_page.html Christian group wants 'evil' Welsh flag changed] " "Western Mail", 3 March 2007]
Hargreaves stood for the Christian Party at the
Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008, [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,,-11213,00.html Hargreaves, George | Aristotle] , guardian.co.uk] where he asked the Haltemprice and Howden electorate to use their vote to demand a referendum on the European Union, which he believes is the greatest threat to our civil liberties". [cite web|url=http://www.christianparty.org.uk/cmsparty/|title=Christian Party leader to stand in Haltemprice & Howden|last=Warren |first=Paula|date=2008-06-26|work=The Christian Party website|accessdate=2008-06-30] . He received 76 votes, coming 16th out of 26 candidates. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7501046.stm|title=Haltemprice and Howden: Result in full ]
In August 2008, Hargreaves recruitments techniques were shown in the Channel 4 programme [http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsites/C/can_you_believe_it/debates/makechristian.html Make Me a Christian] . Hargreaves methods in the programme have been strongly criticised by many, including New Humanist [http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2008/08/for-your-summer-viewing-make-me.html] , Charlie Brooker [http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2008/aug/09/television.television?gusrc=rss&feed=media] and Lucy Bannerman [url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1637264.ece]
* [http://www.discogs.com/artist/J.G.+Hargreaves J.G. Hargreaves discography]
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