Fringe Box



Opinion: Peace Party Stands for ‘Positive Peace’ Locally and Internationally

Published on: 18 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2023

Over the next week, The Dragon will be publishing an opinion piece from each of the parties running in the GBC elections on May 4. As always, our intention is to give our readers the best opportunity to hear the views and the ideas from all the candidates and the parties.

This, the first of the articles, is from John Morris, the Peace Party candidate for Stoughton South.

I have lived with my wife in Guildford since 1987. I was a schoolmaster in secondary education before moving into school examination administration and, later, administration and teaching in adult education. I have dedicated over 40 years of my life to campaigning for peace, opposing the country’s possession of nuclear weapons and then opposing all weapons and militarism.

John Morris, Peace Party candidate for Stoughton South.

Since 1997, by standing in elections for parliaments and councils, I have presented the peaceful alternative to “negative peace” – the absence, or fear, of violence.

The Peace Party stands for “Positive Peace” – “the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies”.

Attitudes (sometimes referred to as “Universal Human Values”  or virtues or qualities of character) are beliefs about what is right and what is important in life.

Compassion, for example, underlies the golden rule – treating everyone as you would wish to be treated yourself. Tolerance is the acceptance of differences, with good grace, in the way others may think, look, speak or act.

The institutions and structures of “Positive Peace” include: well-functioning government, a sound business environment, acceptance of the rights of others, good relations with neighbours, free flow of information, high levels of human capital, confidence and trust in institutions and equitable distribution of resources.

I am informed by a burning desire for peace . . . within and between communities as well as within and between countries.

Locally, for this election, I say: Peace comes from everyone having a home of their own: Guildford needs its share of the UK’s 300,000 new homes needed every year for the foreseeable future.

Peace comes from everyone having access to current and future leisure and amenity facilities – at affordable prices, well-served by public transport.

Peace comes through ready access to Social Care – whenever it’s needed – for the elderly and for those suffering with physical and mental health problems.

Can these aspects of peace be afforded? I say, of course they can!

When the country has the material and human resources to do whatever is needed, the country can always afford to do it. There is no excuse therefore for not dealing with homelessness, mental health, inequality, pollution, climate change, or any other pressing national problem.

The War in Ukraine?

Most importantly, the slaughter must stop, perhaps by encouraging statesmen or stateswomen from neutral countries to organise a cease-fire. Then the warring parties should take part in detailed peace negotiations to resolve all underlying differences and conflicts. The Northern Ireland Peace Process completed 25 years ago shows what is possible.

The Cost-of-Living Crisis?

For workers in the public sector (civil service, health, education, transport), the government should set the best example by paying wages and salaries matching the knowledge and skills of employees – the private sector needs to follow suit.

The National Health Service?

Return the NHS wholly to fully-funded government control – eliminate all private profiteering. Rebuild the service to match everyone’s needs: neglect nobody.

Climate change?

Climate change is the result of the warming of the atmosphere from humanity polluting it with carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas. The government must provide alternatives to these. Now.

Share This Post

Responses to Opinion: Peace Party Stands for ‘Positive Peace’ Locally and Internationally

  1. Jeremy Holt Reply

    April 19, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Since Putin’s actions closely resemble those of Hitler in the 1930s would the Peace Party have advocated organising a ceasefire when most of Europe was invaded in 1933-1945, presumably allowing Hitler to keep some of his invaded territory?

    The paragraph about the war in Ukraine shows no understanding of reality – that there is evil in the world which needs to be opposed.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *