Fringe Box



On The Campaigns: Peace Party ‘Prepared To Die Rather Than Kill’

Published on: 28 Nov, 2019
Updated on: 30 Nov, 2019

The Guildford Dragon NEWS is keeping eyes and ears on Guildford’s General Election candidates, staying with them on their campaigning to observe their reception.

We were with John Morris of the Peace Party as he handed out leaflets in Cranleigh and we had a frank and revealing discussion about his motives for standing for election every time since 1997.

By Hugh Coakley

You couldn’t hope to meet a gentler, more quietly-spoken chap than John Morris, the 81-year-old Quaker and Peace Party campaigner. I was with him in Cranleigh, on a cold day with a biting wind making it feel even colder, as he gave out his Peace leaflets and chatted to shoppers at Sainsbury’s.

John Morris of the Peace Party talking to shoppers in Cranleigh.

He said he had two or three supporters, all Quakers, who helped him. But largely, he works alone. He is out leafleting every day during the election lead-up. “But I’m not lonely. I feel I make connections talking to people in the street.”

He is nothing if not an optimist. “You have to be.” said John. When he first stood, he had roughly 300 votes, now he gets in the 200s. “I am still hopeful there will be a snowball effect and that Peace will become a vote-winner.”

He said he was disappointed (“Not quite the right word,” he added) that the support is not growing but: “I am absolutely against violence and that’s what sustains me.

“I am in favour of non-violent force, as used by Gandhi. He achieved his ends without using physical violence against others.

“I know I have not been tested but if my family was attacked, I would stand between them and the attacker and be prepared to die rather than kill. It took me a long time to reach that position.”

To trudge the villages and towns in the Guildford constituency seems a lonely task and John said that he felt a bit self-conscious in his tabard. But he is sustained by promoting peace.

He thinks this election is more open than before. He is getting more emails and website responses this time and more encouraging responses in the street as well.

“I love life,” he said. “Everyone is compassionate but, when we get together, that compassion is reduced. I am trying to get people to give up the crowd mentality and apply what they do in their individual lives.”

He looks and acts younger than his 81 years and he shows no sign of gently retiring. “I had said in 2017 that it would be my last election but now, here I am again. I feel there is still a job to do.”

If standing as a parliamentary candidate for peace has had any effect in Guildford is impossible to say. Not many have voted for his philosophy but, stout-hearted, John Morris continues to stand up for what he believes.

John Morris meeting Nik Huddy, the climate change hunger striker; both were cold but undaunted.

See also: Dragon Interview: John Morris, Peace Party Parliamentary Candidate

Below is the official list of all candidates standing for the Parliamentary seat of Guildford:


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