Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher

I first voted in a general election in 1970. Some have been closely fought, others were more predictable. As far as I can remember, every one has been proclaimed as the most important for a generation.

This one does feel different, as the growth of smaller parties represents disillusionment with the two big ones.

The main reasons for the disillusionment are well described by Who Is My Neighbour?, a letter from the Church of England’s House of Bishops in February. I commented on it here.

Ouija board

A few years ago in a local wine bar I found myself in unfamiliar company, sitting at a table next to a medium and opposite a committed member of the British Humanist Association.

I had not met either before, but this was the weekly local meeting of Philosophy in Pubs. The regulars knew each other’s views. Whenever religion got mentioned - almost always disparagingly – they would turn to the retired vicar in their midst to see how I would respond. These meetings remind me how marginal, or even absurd, Christianity and its institutions seem to many people. I often find myself the only one arguing that it is rational to believe in a spiritual being; but on this occasion it seemed important to set limits to the number I believed in.