05 July 2008

Labour's no-choice candidate in Glasgow East

Don't you just love it? Well, if you're a Labour supporter, you won't. Before the selection meeting, all sorts of rumours abounded about who was in the running to be SNP Candidate in Glasgow East. These rumours - Elaine C. Smith, Lachie McNeill, Duncan Hamilton - were all presented as established truth: the subject would absolutely be the SNP candidate. They weren't established truth; they weren't any form of truth: just idle speculation or wishful thinking, turning into a rumour, turning into what was absolutely going to happen. Thing is, none of the "candidates" were even on the short leet. They weren't anyone's choice. Well, a couple have people might have really wanted them to be the candidate, but either their name didn't go forward, or the people who had an influence over the short leet thought that the alternatives were better.

Of course, that didn't stop Labour crowing about John Mason being the "fourth-choice" candidate. The fact that no-one was annointed as presumptive candidate for the By-Election, and he was the one selected at the first time of asking, making him the first-choice candidate in reality, doesn't seem to matter.

And, incidentally, it didn't stop Labour from saying that sitting in the Lord Provost's Chair to stage a protest is an equivalent or worse thing than actually breaking the law on donations to your campaign, being caught doing so, then only bothering to ask whether or not you should have put the donations on your Register of Interests after you should have done it. Apparently, in Labour's world, being banned from the Council Chamber for nine months for intentionally sitting in the wrong chair (when SSP MSPs only got a one month from Holyrood for bringing FMQs to a halt) shows that Councillor Mason and the entire SNP are plain evil while being banned from Holyrood for one day after taking illegal donations and not following proper, open, Parliamentary procedure to declare even the legit ones shows that Wendy Alexander is the victim of a cruel witch-hunt and that she and Scottish Labour are as pure as the driven snow. Which is why I'm re-naming Labour's world Planet Bullshit.

So my delight at most forms of irony kicked in last night, when the man who was certain to be candidate, who was being publicised as the candidate in the press, George Ryan, pulled out of the selection contest for family reasons. Turns out his partner wasn't overly thrilled with him standing, and there are rumours of a very large, ugly skeleton hanging around in a closet somewhere. Not sure what entirely the skeleton is, or even if it actualy exists, but the chatter has started.

Nevertheless, with the man they wanted to stand now out of the race, the whole process has been deferred until Monday night, by which point they'll have less than 48 hours to find someone. Labour opted not to choose at that point from the two remaining candidates: Irene Graham and Doug Maughan.

This puts Labour in a no-win situation: if they go for one of those two, it'll be seen as picking one of them only because they have to, because there's no time to find anyone else. It'll be suggested that George Ryan was going to gub them so heavily - and they knew it - that they must only have been paper candidates, there to present the illusion of a contest, willing to defer the process rather than insist that it continue and one of them be selected. I know that this will be suggested because I'm suggesting it now.

And if it's someone else - even Steven Purcell - they too will be seen as an emergency candidate, filling the void left by George Ryan. They'll be seen as either someone so unenthusiastic about standing that they didn't even bother to put their name forward the first time, or so untalented that they didn't even make the first shortlist. Again, I know that this will be suggested because I'm suggesting it now.

Meanwhile, it's alleged that Gordon Brown is ordering every Scottish Labour MP and MSP to Glasgow East to campaign. To campaign for nobody.


Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, it's alleged that Gordon Brown is ordering every Scottish Labour MP and MSP to Glasgow East to campaign. To campaign for nobody".

Aye, everyone but himself. He knows what a liability he is.

Anseo said...

And the latest chat has Margaret Curran being compelled to stand!

Mark McDonald said...

Guess you'd better remove Margaret Curran from your leadership sidebar, whatever happens she has now effectively ruled herself out.

Will said...

Yeah, though wouldn't you just love the chutzpah of her making a Leadership bid if she lost?

Mark McDonald said...

I have engaged in some speculation over at my blog about possible scenarios and predicaments for Labour if Curran is their candidate.

Another thought occurs. If Frances Curran is going to be on the ballot as well, then things could be very interesting, especially since Frances will be alphabetically first...