On 8 June I will be voting for my Labour candidate, Owen Smith, in the General Election in eager anticipation of Jeremy Corbyn being supported by the Westminster Parliament to lead the UK Government. This may not be ground breaking news; I have voted for Labour candidates in the twelve general elections since I was first able to vote in 1970.
Why am I so undiscerning, unable to respond to the merits of any particular candidate or campaign? It is because at all times the choice is between two unchanging philosophies.
There is the socialist philosophy which proclaims that we are social beings whose lives are always enhanced by the extent to which we cooperate in caring for each other particularly when we are at our most vulnerable, teaching and learning from other, building local communities alive with sociability, fostering economies which combine enterprise with security and equality. Socialist governments aim to nurture the support we freely give each other. It is an optimistic philosophy which offers hope and trust in each other. Socialists smile.
There is the alternative conservative philosophy which proclaims that we are competitive individuals hard wired to gain advantage over each other. For the conservative there is no such thing as society, only random collections of individuals seeking to maximise individual gain. A conservative economy is marked by ever increasing levels of gross inequality which must then be protected by a strong and repressive government. Conservatives are distrustful and fearful of their neighbours. They scowl.
Of course the Labour Party does not have a monopoly on socialist and progressive values. I am continuously challenging the Labour Party to be ever more imaginative in achieving its values. I have helped create coalitions with other parties such as Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats. But, for me, the choice is always between Labour and the Tories, hope and fear, equality and inequality, cooperation and competition, support and repression.