Labour will announce their candidate for Wansbeck constituency in Northumberland on Monday where they are defending a majority of 10,000. Favourite to win the nomination is National Union of Miners boss Ian Lavery. Given Mr Lavery's background, the Blairites must be turning, indeed spinning, in their graves. Mr Lavery, it turns out, has convictions for football hooliganism, according to the Mail and Times.
Mr Lavery's football related crime allegations go back to 1985 when he was successfully prosecuted. According to the Mail, he was also arrested 6 times for activities carried out during the failed and botched miners strike in 1984-5.
In 2005, according to the Mail, he claimed he had 'absolutely no respect for the police'. He also claims to be the 'natural successor to Arthur Scargill'.
And when Lady Thatcher went into hospital last year, apparently he said, 'I for one would not be sorry had Thatcher not been coming out of hospital.'
Mr Lavery seems to come from Labour's Jurassic era. Deep mining has gone from Wansbeck. The area is changing. Morpeth is the main town in the constituency and is full of residents who have never had anything to do with coal mining, or football hooliganism, who would be horrified with Mr Lavery's record. Morpeth is also a substantially Liberal Democrat town.
Ashington, one of the other towns in the constituency, has also seen the rise of the Lib Dems in recent years.
So, Wansbeck could make for an interesting battle in the general election.
Finally, I have experienced being in a meeting that has been addressed by Mr Lavery. It was on 19th January 2008. This is the tongue-in-cheek piece I wrote in my diary following the meeting:
Ian Lavery, big honcho in the NUM gave a presentation on "clean coal". ...
We heard an hour's rant about the failure of the government to back coal and how disgraceful was the decision of the government to build new nuclear power stations. (At last, something with which I could agree.)
And Mr Lavery's solution to global warming - errrr....build more coalfired power stations. After all, if the Chinese can do so, why not the Brits?
Mr Lavery's Old Labour bull in the New Labour chinashop style speech (hereafter refered to as a lot of old bull) even found time to hero worship St Arthur Scargill, saviour of the coal industry in the 1980s when evil Baroness Thatcher of Falkland Island attempted to boost the tourism industry of the UK by converting pits into museums.
Mind you, I have seen before Labour candidates indulging in pathetic political posturing to win selection as candidate. But once elected they turn into poodles, doing as they are told by the Labour whips, voting for privatisation, Trident, new nuclear power stations, higher taxes on the poor and so on. Everything they said they were against.
Meanwhile, the Lavery article in the Mail can be found at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250216/Football-hooligan-miners-union-hardman-run-Labour-seat-party-veers-Left-election.html