George Hargreaves (politician)

George Hargreaves (politician)

James George Hargreaves (born 1958), [ [ Glasgow Region - Christ candidates] , Scottish Politics] known as George Hargreaves or J. G. Hargreaves, is a religious minister, political campaigner and former music producer and songwriter.

Early life

Hargreaves grew up in Islington.George Hargreaves, " [ 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 firefighter who rescued him from his burning house.Auslan Cramb, " [ Pop star preacher to fund firemen's gay pride battle] ", "The Daily Telegraph", 1 November 2006]

Musical career

Hargreaves attended Woolverstone Hall, a boarding school owned 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 One and Hargreaves promoted pop acts including Sinitta, Yazz and Five Star. He also wrote and produced several disco records for Sinitta, including "So Macho" and "Cruising", which were popular in the gay community.Lucy Bannerman, " [ 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, " [ Reverend's disco hit funds electoral bid] ", "Scotland on Sunday", 6 June 2004]

Religious and political activities

Hargreaves later worked as a DJ before moving to the Isle of Man as a tax exile. While living there, he decided to devote his life to Christianity. He gained a place for a degree in theology at Regent's Park College, Oxford and subsequently moved to Glasgow and became a Pentecostal minister. [Andrew Pierce, " [ So Macho composer to fight gay campaigner] ", "The Daily Telegraph", 5 April 2007]

At the 1997 UK general election, Hargreaves stood as the Referendum Party candidate for Walthamstow. In 2002, he was a founder member of the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) and served as Acting Chair of its Hackney branch. [ [ 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 Education programme. [Natasha Walter, " [ Divine and rule] ", "The Guardian", 27 August 2005] In the same year, he founded Operation Christian Vote as an alternative to the CPA.Terry Kirby, " [ 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. [ [,,-717,00.html Birmingham Hodge Hill | Aristotle] ,] He fared better at the 2005 UK general election in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, where he took 7.6% of the votes cast and beat the Conservative Party candidate. [ [,,-1433,00.html Na h-Eileanan an Iar | Aristotle] ,] Hargreaves was also involved with Christian Voice.

In 2006, Hargreaves formed the Scottish Christian Party," [ 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. [ [,,-11119,00.html Hargreaves, George | Aristotle] ,]

The Scottish Christian Party regards homosexuality as 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 pride march. 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, " [ 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 Alliance as a Pentecostal movement. [" [ 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, [ [ 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 Glasgow and was described by Hargreaves as a "gay fundamentalist".

Hargreaves also founded the Welsh Christian Party to contest the Welsh Assembly election, 2007, at which he campaigned to remove the dragon symbol from the Welsh flag, claiming that it was "nothing less than the sign of Satan". [Molly Watson, " [ 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, [ [,,-11213,00.html Hargreaves, George | Aristotle] ,] 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=|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=|title=Haltemprice and Howden: Result in full ]

In August 2008, Hargreaves recruitments techniques were shown in the Channel 4 programme [ Make Me a Christian] . Hargreaves methods in the programme have been strongly criticised by many, including New Humanist [] , Charlie Brooker [] and Lucy Bannerman [url=]


External links

* [ J.G. Hargreaves discography]

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