So why am I contesting? Frankly I would not have stood if Nick were like (say) Paul Flynn (in Newport West) or Jeremy Corbyn (Islington) and likely to campaign to reverse Tory spending cuts and oppose nuclear weapons.
I also would not be standing if either the Green Party or Plaid Cymru candidates were visible in Torfaen and campaigning against austerity and Trident renewal. But both, for personal reasons, have relied on TV appearances by their excellent leaders, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood.
So, rather than sit at home fretting, I decided to stand. Otherwise I would have not been able to write these posts arguing for more progressive policies. I have nothing against Nick personally. He is a loyal and capable Labour member and, if Labour decided to reverse Tory spending cuts and plans to renew Trident, he would be equally convincing in arguing for my preferred alternative policies. But unlike Paul Flynn and Jeremy Corbyn and other left Labour MPs, it’s not in his nature to argue for anything other than official party policy.
The point of voting for John Cox on May 7th is to tell the Labour Party to reject austerity and Trident renewal and to make a clean break with Tory policies (a clear “red line” – to quote our former First Minister).
That’s what I would be doing if (by a miracle) I were to be elected. So every vote cast for John Cox will message our new MP to respond to these demands. Far from being wasted (as adding one more vote to Nick’s huge majority will be), a good vote for John Cox (Socialist Labour) will send a very clear message to Labour to oppose austerity and Trident renewal.
PS If you wish to read more of my views on these topics, hit the Tag for Trident or Austerity or whatever and scroll down.