Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Labour in Hurry Up Offence

Thanks to Peter Black who is in Britney Spears mode today for this one.

Apparently this week's polls in the same week as the death of Blaenau Gwent MP and MSP Peter Laws have made Labour whips lose all sence of decency. The day after Mr Laws died they are already talking about moving the writ for the by election next week in order to hold the by elections on 25 May. Because Mr Laws was an independent anyone can move the writ unlike a member of a party whose party has that right. It's like they are the quarterback running a hurry up offence in the last minutes of an American Football game.

The moving of quick by-elections has become Labour's tactics since losing Brent East and almost suffering the same result at Hartlepool, although it hasn't always allowed them to hold on to the seat. Apparently the Welsh Assembly's Presiding Officer, Lord Elis-Thomas, was approached yesterday, before the body was even cold, by Westminster whips to seek to move the two by-elections concurrently on that early date. Quite rightly Lord Ellis-Thomas was appalled as this should be a time fo mourning for Mr Laws family.

It is a sad reflection on any government that attempts to rush the electorate to make a decision about replacing a deceased MP. Clearly it is an indication that they have lost all faith in their own ability to get their agenda across to the people in a way that they will positively decide to support them. It is interesting that Labour seem to realise they can no longer win the debate on the doorsteps with any certainty. The fact they they are even worried about Blaenau Gwent (notionally one of the safest Labour seats) so much they they are actually seeking to take the unprecedented step of moving the writs before the deceased is buried shows signs of outright panic.

However, with Labour so worried about by-elections this early in their third term unless things change dramatically in their fortunes, you can expect us to next go to the polls for Westminster on 30 April 2010, the latest date the next General Election could be held.


At least North Wales AM Brynle Williams doesn't need to keep his eyes open for Labour hacks hovering near his bed after a mild heart attack last Friday. Being a list MSP Labour would not have any say in any sucessor. However, I'm wishing Mr Williams a speedy recovery as today you can never tell what Labour might try and do otherwise.

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