It’s Christmas Eve, and our three main Westminster party leaders have each released a message to the electorate. Here they are:
The Prime Minister is the only one of the three leaders who describes himself as Christian. He focuses on looking out for not only those at home, but also those suffering overseas:
This Christmas I think we can be very proud as a country at how we honour these values through helping those in need at home and around the world.
So this Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Christ with friends, families and neighbours, let us think about those in need at home and overseas, and of those extraordinary professionals and volunteers who help them.
One hundred years ago soldiers on the Western Front stopped their hostilities to cross no man’s land, to shake hands and – famously – to play football. In the midst of a tragic conflict the generosity, hope and sense of human solidarity that is characteristic of the Christian faith and culture came to the fore. What an extraordinary and unexpected event.
We need the same sense of compassion in the face of the suffering and hatred that afflicts parts of our world. And especially in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity. Let us remember those caught up in fighting and in fear of their lives.
I am proud that the Labour movement has such deep roots in the Christian tradition of social activism and solidarity in the United Kingdom. This Christmas, I want to pay tribute to all who spend time, effort and skill in serving the needs of their fellow citizens in a voluntary and professional capacity.
Our country faces a choice next year. Let’s choose generosity and inclusion. I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
The Labour leader has sent a message rather than a video. He concentrates on the First World War and the Christmas truce that took place a hundred years ago, and praises the “Christian tradition of social activism”. He calls on voters to choose “generosity and inclusion” next May.
The Deputy Prime Minister also refers to the Christmas truce, and extends this to an urge for us to remember those “who are caught up in conflict or who need our help”. He adds that the Christian values of Christmas are, “universal, speaking to and uniting people of all faiths and none”.