Stepping Down And Moving On…

After a decade at the helm it’s time for me to step down as leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA).

The party is currently reviewing its way forward for the next few years and in my view my resignation is necessary so that new blood can come forward and a new vision develop, unimpeded by the past.

Furthermore since ceasing to be a Newham councillor in May 2010 many fascinating and hopefully useful new doors have opened, ranging from working in Baroness Caroline Cox’s parliamentary office to supporting the church against militant Islam in northern Nigeria and challenging the aggressive and culturally destructive gay political agenda here at home.

The role of national leader of our small party has proved fulfilling, but especially enjoyable were my eight years as CPA local councillor and leader of the Opposition on Newham Council and also the campaign as candidate for London mayor in May 2008.

Promoting CPA’s Christian democratic vision at national and local level is a tough call in our selfish materialistic society where money, power and now celebrity are the public measures of personal value and the elderly, the unemployed, the vulnerable, the inarticulate and the ugly are consigned to the margins. A sleek self-centred liberal individualism dominates all public life and, despite exciting bits of progress especially in the technical/scientific/medical arenas, our once-vibrant national culture is decaying, our social capital is dissipating, and our previously prosperous civilisation seems in terminal decline.

What’s more the current fashion- and arts-driven ‘Cool Britannia Mark 2’ and the capital’s Jubilee/Olympics feel-good froth have encouraged the complacent liberal media to salivate over the wonders of the UK’s politically correct multi-culturalism (necessarily only the polished version made visible on our screens by Team GB of course) and the undoubted creativity of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. But these enjoyable diversions are simply metropolitan mood music played by the orchestra on the deck of the stricken Titanic.

The nation’s underlying and intractable greed-fuelled debt-driven financial crisis continues to push us towards the economic precipice. This is but a deep symptom of an even deeper malaise caused by the loss of our civilisation’s foundations: integrity, self-restraint, public service, objectivity, responsibility, patience and commitment to family and community have all but disappeared as public values, with no adequate replacement.

As on the Titanic (here), the funereal ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ seems the appropriate national swansong as Britain and Europe steadily sink under a cynical secular public discourse, an indigenous birth-rate below replacement, widespread welfare-bred apathy, and the loss of hope, descendants and a future. The decline and fall of Roman civilisation took more than quarter of a millennium; ours looks to be much quicker. How urgently we need the rich revitalising truth-based love-your-neighbour teachings of Jesus Christ.

Despite (Sally reckons because of) the odds and Labour Party hostility, I hugely enjoyed pioneering Christian democracy at the local level in east London. There’s no doubt our CPA team usefully impacted the Newham agenda on a wide range of issues, including challenging the brutal Canning Town housing regeneration project, disputing the closure of local Post Offices, supporting a local UNISON trade union leader against Council persecution, exposing the separatist and sexist fundamentalism behind the proposed West Ham mega-mosque, defending the excellent Queens Street market at Upton Park from senseless redevelopment and opposing the massive biennial arms fair at ExCel exhibition centre.

In particular I enjoyed helping local people with their individual problems. Unlike the then-West Ham Labour MP Tony Banks, I received real satisfaction from serving constituents. It’s a mystery why Banks was idolised locally when he so publicly despised the lives of the people he represented (here). But his dismissive attitude was typical of Newham Labour Party and explains why I battled against them so much.

So I step down with great personal memories, no regrets and many thanks to my party colleagues and to the voters in Newham.

CPA now needs to move forward with optimism and expectation. I find myself doing just that in new pastures and at full speed by God’s grace.

The resignation takes place formally at the party’s AGM on 13th October, dv.

13 thoughts on “Stepping Down And Moving On…

  1. A good summary of our current state of affairs, thanks. Occasionally people come to see the light when we stand up for some basic freedoms as it sounds like you have done at Newham. Long may these freedoms be fought for by those paying attention, then even Charles (August 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm) might appreciate the freedoms that he has to say what he likes.

  2. He might not have got everything right by a long way, but come on Chas, his dedicated hard work does not deserve ‘Good Riddance”

  3. Alan Craig and the CPA has over the years ran a aggressive and systematic campaign of misleading the general public against the Mosque in West Ham, to which this very day Alan Craig does not refer the Mosques name properly and still calls it the Mega Mosque, which clearly shows how much respect he is prepared to give to the Muslim community in East London, the fact is Alan Craig has failed miserably in his misleading attempt to Shut down the Mosque in West ham and created fear, anxiety, suspicion against Muslims in East London, he then allowed the racist BNP and the EDL to jump on the band wagon and to steer up more division and racism in the community, after all this Alan Craig will go, but the Mosque will remain, I ask him all this for what?

  4. Can this be the same Tahire who The Guardian interviews in ‘Friendship across the religious divide’?

    Hi Tahire, surely you’re not still talking such knee-jerk nonsense about fear, racism and the BNP (who you well know I strongly and publicly oppose), and ignoring the number of community-minded Muslims who with us also oppose this massive fundamentalist mosque? I’m grateful you didn’t chuck out the usual untrue ‘Islamophobia’ charge this time, but I’d have hoped you’d moved on and got some roots in reality after all this time.


    Muslims = good people: Fundamentalist Islam = bad idea.

    Mosques = acceptable as churches: Separatist sexist mega-mosque = socially divisive and damaging.

    But good to hear from you. How about another cuppa once Ramadan is over?


  5. Yes its the same Tahire

    Its nothing personnel Alan Craig but i do sometimes feel you let yourself down when you get trapped in this idea that you think that the Mosque in West Ham is managed by fanatics. I go to this mosque on a regular basis and i haven’t seen any bombs there recently. I know that you get very annoyed that the Mosque ignored your many attempts to participate with them or correspond with them; however they clearly knew your intentions where never good. As a man Alan I respect many of your views however in this particular case I think your campaign was very misled.

    I have clearly explained to you on many occasions that Tabligui Jamaat is a franchise name anyone can adopt it, just because there is a group calling themselves Tabligui Jamaat in Pakistan or Indonesia does not effectively mean they are linked? Why? Because the meaning of Tabligui Jamaat means “spreading the word” anyone can adopt this, trying to knot different extremist organisation with this mosque illustrates a lack of understanding of general Islamic Politics.

    As for your love for Muslims is clearly summed up here on your own blog, a very misleading, uninformed, disregardful, disrespectful, irresponsible and just the type of thing the BNP and EDL jump upon, Alan you’re the fuel and the BNP and EDL are the fire.

    In many cases it’s clear that there is an issue with your acceptance with Islam, i don’t believe you will ever accept Islam in its entirely which is your right, however i believe you did have a responsibility when you was a Councillor to tackle Islamic Extremism in a constructive and effective way, i believe you could of achieved much greater acceptance and respect from the Muslim community and the general public if you took that route.

    Sure a Cuppa is nice? Same place?


  6. Hi Tahire,

    I’ve never suggested there are bomb-detonating fanatics at West Ham (although Tablighi Jamaat is closely associated with, and provides members of, violent Islamists in South Asia and elsewhere around the globe), but there are TJ Six-Point fundamentalists who teach socially-hostile isolationism and Islamic supremacism which is very damaging to the wider community.

    You’re right. By God’s grace I won’t ever accept Islam if by that you mean become a Muslim. Neither will I accept atheism on the same basis. But I do fully accept Muslims (and atheists) as fellow citizens with whom I engage on an equal basis. Jesus Christ said ‘Love your neighbours as you love yourself’ and He clearly meant ALL neighbours – and that’s good enough for me.

    I wish you’d lay off this tired old BNP-type stuff. I am not a racist nor have I ever had any contact with them – indeed my concern has always been to do what I can to keep them and their fellow-travellers away from the West Ham mega-mosque issue as they would cloud the issue and end rational discussion.

    Actually when it comes to creating fear I reckon you and your colleagues are far, far more culpable than I am. Tablighi Jamaat creates fear of and hostility to wider UK society, and by your deliberately misinformed criticism of mega-mosque opponents like me you are deliberately creating hostility towards us within sections of the local Muslim community. Fortunately I work closely with Muslims in other areas where we have full respect for each other as fellow human beings.

    But let’s have that cuppa soon. Yes, same cafe on Green Street opposite Queens Market. I’ll be in touch.


  7. You will be missed Alan. I wish you well in the next phase of your career whatever that may be. Thank you for all the work that you have done in highlighting the very real dangers of the Mosque proposed in West Ham. Any area dominated by Muslims poses a threat to those not of that faith plain and simple. This is clear – just look at any Muslim majority nation from so-called moderate Turkey to the brutal nation of Pakistan. Non- Muslims have a time of it. Closer to home try being a non Muslim woman in the evening in certain parts of Tower Hamlets. Furthermore, it is a mistake to equate a mosque with a church building. A church is used as a place of worship whereas it has been from the earliest days of Islam to the present perfectly acceptable to not only use mosques as a place of worship to their god but also as a place to plan wars and Jihad. The Arab winter evidenced this in that the end of Friday prayers would always act as a starting – pistol for political activity out on the streets. The proposed mosque in West Ham will indeed turn the area in to a fundamentalist ghetto.

  8. 8 years on Newham council, what did you achieve?

    You raked in close to £100,000 in allowances and expenses in that time, what did ordinary Newham people get for their money?

  9. Hello Alan

    Never heard of you untill today (6/10/12) when your leaflet about the relaunch of the Mega Mosque project and the pic of Battersea Power Station appeared on the ‘Gates of Vienna’ website. Found your site interesting reading. I used to be a member of UKIP so Baroness Cox is a name known to me. Also very interested in your comment about wanting to work helping Christians in Northern Nigeria against the attacks from the Islamic fundamentalists of Boko Harem. Small world isn’t it ! When I was a child we lived in Northern Nigeria (Zaria – before you ask. My Father worked on a project for the UN) and I witnessed the beginning of the Biafran Genocide. (It wasn’t a war as Harold Wilson and the BBC told us. It wasn’t about the Niger Delta Oil. It was genocide between Muslims and Christians).

    Rather nearer home (I live in Bradford West Yorks) the JT have their local Mega Mosque, the Markazi Mosque, in Dewsbury. If you have not already read it try ‘The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury’ by Danny Lockwood. Danny is a local newspaper owner. ISBN 978-0-9570964-0-0

    Ivan Winters

  10. Hi Alan interesting reading. the thing is, when it comes to real people, real christians, namely that a certain man who lived in Arklight when you were manager there saw you a couple of years ago, in Canning town and you virtually ignored him. real christianity means doing the right thing and talking to your ‘underlings.’Of course, not really that important are they.

  11. Hi Ara,

    I don’t recognise your name nor know who it is I apparently blanked. I’m sorry I did and it won’t have been at all intentional.

    If you are still in or around Canning Town I’d be pleased to meet up.


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