18 August 2008

Can Labour ever find a candidate?

With public mourning now over, serious thought can be given to the candidates to replace the late John MacDougall as MP for Glenrothes, and once again, Labour seem to be in a bit of a pickle. In fact, it may even be worse this time as there's no obvious choice. Not yet, anyway. Though to be honest, rumours kept darting about regarding the SNP candidate in Glasgow East: John Mason's name wasn't in any of them but when he was selected, he seemed like the obvious candidate, and he got a fair wind when Labour's obvious choice decided he didn't want the job after all. Perhaps the same thing will happen to Labour but that would require the Leader of Fife Council, Peter Grant, to fall down a hole somewhere.

But the list of potential names for Labour has been interesting. Alex Rowley seemed like a sensible choice: close to Brown, on the Council, and interested enough in the seat to have sought the selection for Central Fife when Henry McLeish stood down. But he's said no. Why? Because he's close enough to Brown that if he loses, it reflects horrendously on the PM. Now, that's true whoever the candidate is, but it's a mark of the Labour attitude now. Despite Andy Kerr's assurances on the Leadership campaign trail that, don't worry, it's just a blip, voters will come back to their senses and kiss and make up with Labour, people in the party are now thinking about the dire consequences of defeat rather than the prospects of victory. That tells you a lot about the party.

Henry McLeish's name popped up but appears to have gone back down again - too many enemies. And the two advantages cited for him aren't great: he's well known, but he's well known for resigning from public office in disgrace; he's close enough politically to the SNP for it to be impossible for the party to rubbish him, but that in turn means he's too close to the SNP to attack them effectively, and attacking the SNP is the only tactic Labour seem willing to use. Plus which, with more attention being paid to MPs' expenses and their office arrangements, how bone-headed would it be to choose a candidate who was hounded out of office over his expenses and his office arrangements?

Christine May's name keeps floating around but she carries the stigma of having lost her Holyrood seat to the SNP: not the sort fo publicity you want.

Regional List MSPs John Park and Claire Baker have been mentioned. Both are new to Holyrood, but both seem to be moving quickly, Regional MSPs are ideal candidates - in the area, in politics, but they can resign their Holyrood seat without triggering a By-Election if they win - and Park in particular may have good things ahead. He was touted as a possible Deputy Leader of the Holyrood Group until he decided not to do it, and I seem to recall that his most vocal cheerleaders came from Westminster. Could they, the electorate willing, be calling him southwards? And why turn down a chance to go for the Holyrood Deputy Leader's post at this stage, unless something better might come up soon after? Park is worth watching.

But the ideal candidate is staring them in the face. A man with Leadership experience, leading a Government since 1999. A man who is available. A man who the Government quite likes, who supports their stance on the "War on Terror" and is equally cack-handed in his approach to it. A man with suitable contempt for the judiciary and civil liberties to sit on the Labour benches:

Step forward, Pervez Musharraf!


David Farrer said...

And the Pakistanis like the bagpipes...

Mark McDonald said...

He isn't afraid to mount a coup against a weak leader either...

blagger1 said...

Plus, he could show certain SNP councillors how to really handle an AK-47!

Ted Harvey said...

Of course! Musharraf! The beauty is that once he got the leadership (possibly with the help of the ubiquitous ‘offshore’ Labour-friendly businessman contributions to his election fund?) the likes of Murray Elder etc. and the other members of that excellent and much admired Scottish Electoral Commission, given its track record on such matters, could import the handling of the inevitable enquiry that will be held in Pakistan onto this candidate’s behaviour in Office.

The result? Bingo! All past decisions will be found to be maybe a little bit erroneous, but no real harm done.

See that, Ah wish Ah hid thoat ae that.

See you Will, we come to this blog and it’s all sorted!

Anonymous said...

Well it's no Henry noo.

Maybe Margaret Curran will fill the breach.