- It is distasteful if a close friend of a general secretary of a trade union that is Labour’s largest funder is vigorously promoted by that union as a potential candidate for a safe Labour seat.
- It is wrong if the promotion of that would-be candidate involves the union paying for large numbers of its members and people its organiser met down the pub to join the Labour Party solely to vote for the would-be candidate.
- It is worse still if that would-be candidate is employed by a Labour Party general election co-ordinator who is also a friend of the trade union general secretary.
- It becomes ridiculous if the trade union general secretary’s chief of staff is a member of the hard-line Stalinist Communist Party of Britain, if he himself was very close to the Trotskyist Militant Tendency, and if his union has openly adopted a policy of recruiting members in order to get hard-left candidates sympathetic to the Stalinists and Trots selected.
- It turns into farce if the main alternative "New Labour" candidate is the partner of an MP in the shadow defence secretary’s team and a major player in the Labour Party’s communications outfit.
- It becomes totally ludicrous if the alternative candidate also paid for people to join the constituency Labour Party in order to secure selection votes.
- It gets utterly barmy if the shadow defence secretary then has a go at the union general secretary…
- … and barmier if the union general secretary has a go back ...
- … and barmier still if the press gets involved, and then the leader of the Labour Party and everyone who has an opinion about politics take the bait and it’s all over the media.
- It is solved by various people leaving the scene.
5 July 2013
Some points about the great Falkirk controversy (I was going to write about it in my Tribune column next week, but forget that):
Posted by Paul Anderson at 23:57