Friday, 25 July 2008

Glasgow East - the terrible twins are at it again

After every by-election, they say the same thing. And we get taken in, believing that they might just get better. But we are, of course, cruelly disappointed. To see such a bunch of losers wasting tax-payers' money.

Gordon Brown and the Government?
The BBC?

Actually, both.

After every election humiliation, the Government says that it will listen, learn and reflect on the message being sent to it by the voters. We heard it after Ken lost in London, after they lost Crewe and Nantwich, after they humiliatingly lost their deposit in Henley and again this morning after Glasgow.

But what has actually changed as a result of these election disasters for Labour? They may have had a U-turn on the 10p tax rate and on fuel duty, but those were actually election bribes delivered before polling. Nothing concrete has changed that I can see following the results.

Before each contest we also hear that a bad result will spell the end of Gordon Brown. Contests such as Eastbourne 1990 are mentioned. But he hangs on. It seems that no one in Labour is prepared to stick the knife in or to take on the job knowing that they will lose the election. Even the Jack Straw kamikaze act mooted in the papers recently doesn't seem to be coming off. Maybe the unions and activists meeting in Warwick will have more balls than the MPs.

But what of the Beeb?

Well, their by-election coverage was abysmal yet again last night. I won't bore you with the full list of reasons but...

It's all very well having John Curtice there as the elections expert. But it would help if someone involved in the programme had the first clue about electoral procedure instead of the inane crap we were given about recounts. Let's face it, elected politicians in general, and politicians from safe seats (as most of those on screen were) in particular, don't have a clue about the mechanics of elections and certainly not about recounts.

And why is the Beeb so suckered with the Labour spin machine?

Iain Dale has already noted John 'taxi-loving' Pienaar's comment: "Looks like the nationalists won by 400 votes, that's a lot less than they were hoping for."

But the whole discussion about all the voters for the Socialist Curran actually being people wanting to vote for the Labour Curran made me really hacked off. It was clearly based on a Labour briefing and was taken uber-seriously by the Beeb resulting in a full 20 minute debate. If Labour were worried about this problem (and I'm yet to be convinced it was much of a problem) then perhaps they shouldn't have picked a candidate called Curran knowing that the Socialists already had a candidate with that name who would appear higher on the ballot paper. Let's remember that Labour chose their candidate at the very last minute after the first 23 choices demonstrated that they had a clue what would happen and refused the stand.

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