Sunday, April 19, 2009

All that glistens isn't Gould

Before the Labour selection for Erith and Thamesmead was abandoned yesterday, I did look at the allegations against Georgia Gould and thought they were a bit thin. Basically, it looked like the whinging of people who thought their favoured local son should be given a nice cushie job which is about to be whisked away from underneath them by a better organised individual who has a well run campaign team behind her. The allegations of nepotism seem a bit far fetched. She has not been imposed on the constituency as a shortlist of one person. She has to run the gauntlet of a selection process in which the members vote to choose their new candidate. My suggestion to the other candidates would be (had the whole selection process not been halted) get out and engage the members.

But that sort of thing doesn't enter the mindset of so many in the Labour party. Engaging with people is not a priority. I have seen too many examples of Labour being fundamentally hostile to engagement with people once they are elected. It's simply not part of their culture. So when someone comes along and disturbs their cosy quiet life and attempts to take from a favoured son (or daughter) an elected position they believe is theirs by right (whether that be an opposition candidate or an outsider within their own local ranks) they don't know how to react.

Labour has, of course, since self-destructed in Erith. Trust Labour to screw up. It seems they have a remarkable willingness to drag all their squabbles and infighting into the open. Were Labour to lose the next general election, they will be free to let all their internal tensions rip. And if you think there is plenty of blood on the walls now, just wait til they enter the killing fields after defeat.

As for Georgia Gould, she is probably feeling rather sore at the moment. Today could have been the first day of her election campaign. Instead, it is just another day of bloodletting..

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