05 July 2008

A Hand-y Alternative

In 1999, a crack Labour activist was sent to the Scottish Parliament to represent Glasgow Baillieston. This woman is attempting to escape from the Scottish Labour leadership battle to the Glasgow East candidate selection process. Today, not wanted by the electorate, her party survives as a lame-duck government. If you need a candidate, if no one else will stand, maybe you can hire... Margaret Curran.

Seems she has waltzed to the top of the Labour shortlist, killing off her Leadership bid and confirming Doug Maughan and Irene Graham's status as paper candidates.

Assuming she is the Labour candidate, what if she wins? Now, we know that Labour don't like Alex Salmond sitting in two parliaments - though they complain whichever one he goes to so we can only conclude that they don't want him sitting in any of them - but that George Foulkes can go to the unelected House of Lords and nothing gets said. Now, it's been argued in the past that the two situations are different - and I agree, as Alex Salmond has an elected mandate whereas Foulkes does not, so has no excuse to be heading down to London when that involves neglecting his elected mandate - but if Curran stands and wins, her situation and Alex Salmond's will be completely analogous. So given Labour's criticism, I'm sure we can expect a By-Election in Glasgow Baillieston to take place in August, as to do anything else would be an act of hypocrisy on the part of Labour. And they wouldn't do anything hypocritical, would they? Surely not!

Of course, that argument is predicated on her winning, which given that Labour have lost a whole weekend of campaigning, is far from set in stone. And there's another factor. If she wins, we'll have two Currans on the ballot paper. All it takes is for enough people not to be paying attention, and we have a surprisingly high vote for the SSP Candidate - former West of Scotland MSP Frances Curran, who if I remember rightly wanted to stand down from Holyrood, so her candidacy must be about 1) reminding people that her party still exists and 2) showing off the fact that she's now its joint leader - and John Mason elected to represent Glasgow East.

1 comment:

Ted Harvey said...

In all this ordure I just somehow suspect that in bumping aside Irene Graham, the Labour Party may just have lost a candidate who would have 'done the job' on the stump and who would have been a credible peoples' candidate with suitable form (and none of the baggage bthat Curran brings). Maybe Gordon Brown did not have her mobile phone to hand in his frantic phoning around session last Friday?