Let me explain.
Whilst I do agree with most aspirations of the Green and Socialist Labour Parties and Plaid Cymru, I have not joined any party – because, were I to do so, it would imply that I disagreed with the others.
In practice, for the past quarter of a century I have worked with like-minded individuals of all parties – although, in 1992, I did contest in Torfaen as a joint candidate of the Green Party and Plaid Cymru (and I might well have done so again in 2015 had I been asked).
I had no plan to be a candidate this time round until, a few weeks ago, Torfaen Labour Party selected its candidate – a ‘safe hands’ choice who is not likely ever to oppose party policy. About the same time, I learnt that (for personal reasons) neither the Green Party nor the Plaid Cymru candidate would be active in Torfaen during the election. At that point I began to think about standing.
Initially I thought to stand as an independent “against austerity and Trident renewal”. But once I learnt that the “Socialist Labour Party” would back me, I thought this a better option (“Socialist Labour” is a fair description of my views). Moreover, those members of the “Socialist Labour Party” that I know all seem closer to the spirit of the post-war Labour Party than most of its current members.
The 40+ posts of this blog detail many of my political views. To appreciate all my politics you need to read all of these posts. But here’s a brief summary of relevance to why I am standing:
- I believe the 1945-51 Labour government did well to nationalise Britain’s basic industries, create the NHS and provide free education for everyone. This was not socialism but it laid the foundations for a more just society.
- The Tories have been destroying these foundations ever since 1951. They believe the function of economic activity is to profit the owners of capital. To them, peoples’ health and wellbeing, housing and education are little more than opportunities for rich people to get richer.
- The millionaire-owned mass media have been relentless in promoting Tory ideology since 1951 and, in response, Labour has moved so far that they are now more right-wing on most issues than Edward Heath’s Tory government. Nonetheless Labour remains the better option because, during this same period, the Tories have moved even further to the right.
- Meanwhile, most people have become generally more enlightened in respect to the environment, race relations, gays, religion, etc. and, in consequence, most people are noticeably more leftwards-looking than Labour.
- Labour’s rightwards drift is the underlying reason for the growing support for alternative parties of the left – all of whom have more in common with the post-war Labour Party than Labour’s present leadership.
- The Green Party, Plaid Cymru and various small socialist parties are the modern-day equivalent of the disparate socialist, nationalist and green-minded groups that founded the Labour Party over a century ago. That’s why I support them.
- The Labour Party, whilst still preferable to the Tories, needs to face challenges from the left. Many members of the Labour Party agree.
- That’s where I come in.