Sunday, September 21, 2008

Has Labour given up on Glenrothes?

Tales of tension and woe in the Labour campaign in Glenrothes have been appearing in several newspapers over the last few days. Frank Roy, the MP charged with running the campaign has gone running for the hills. Apparently they are too scared to let their candidate Lindsay Roy within a million miles of a journalist cos he's a political novice and might make a gaffe. Why on earth did they let him on the shortlist then? The last time the Labour Party had to defend a seat, they looked around and the only person who could be pressganged into being their candidate was an extremely capable former Minister, Margaret Curran, and she couldn't win it for them. They might as well let Lindsay Roy face the press - he's a respected teacher and rector, and you don't get to be in that position if you can't keep your wits about you and think on your feet. What exactly do they think he's going to do wrong?

It's so typical of the Labour Party to be like that - they've picked their candidate, why can't they just trust the guy to do his job for goodness' sake.

Also mentioned in the press is the spectre of interference from number 10. Gordon, you know what happened the last time you stuck your nose into a by-election in Fife - Willie Rennie stormed to victory in Dunfermline. If you had any sense, you'd just butt out and let the people on the ground do their best. I can't imagine that happening any time soon, though.

Labour's own canvass returns apparently show that they are going to lose, and they seem to be so demotivated that they are just giving up. That's not the attitude they need to have. Someone, somewhere should find a backbone, tell Gordon and No 10 to get stuffed and start running a good local campaign. It's their only chance to avoid yet another humiliation.

In the meantime,the Liberal Democrats' Harry Wills and his energetic team have been working hard. New Scottish leader Tavish Scott has been several times, Nick Clegg has been up, People from all over Scotland have been coming to help. Vince Cable's wise words throughout this crisis have been respected by many and Tavish Scott's tax cut plan has seized the initiative.

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