I’ve tried to avoid posting on the Glasgow East by-election having found many of the yah-boo entries in the Scottish blogosphere a little depressing, despite the best endeavours of Jeff to persuade me otherwise.
However, I couldn’t let one post today go without comment. Kezia Dugdale is a Scottish Labour party blogger and it appears that she was stung by a journalist from the Sunday Times. The journalist aided the Labour campaign before writing an expose of the campaign under the headline “They would have employed a monkey”.
The journalist wrote.
“An air of desperation was apparent as soon as I went to offer my services at the Shandwick Centre, the drab campaign office of the Labour candidate, Margaret Curran, in the centre of the constituency. As I walked in unannounced, I was braced for a battery of cross-examination. Who was I? Where was I from? Was I a member of the Labour party? What were my views on Scottish independence?
“None of these questions were asked. Instead I was welcomed into the open arms of the handful of volunteers and immediately sent out canvassing.
“There’s an oft-repeated dictum that if you were to pin a red rosette to a monkey, it would get elected in Glasgow. I suspect that, had I been a monkey, I’d have been handed a pile of leaflets and pressed into action. “
Kezia Dugdale was one of the activists who campaigned alongside the journalist and has posted her reply today. She writes,
“He then writes in his Sunday Times article that he was never once asked whether he was a party member (lies) and that Labour can’t afford to be choosy about who campaigns for them (why would you?).He goes one to complain that he was never once asked for his Party card.
[editorial interjection - he doesn't actually say this in his article. He seems to say that he wasn't asked when he first arrived at the constituency office, but anyway...]
“But I tell you something for nothing, it will be an incredibly sad day if you ever have to do that in the Labour party because we still believe people do things in good faith and for a common purpose.”
And I thought, you know how this should be resolved? The Labour party should support the introduction of a little card that has someone’s identity on it so that an attendee at a Labour party group could use this to establish his identity. That way fraudsters and rogues would be caught out and this sort of embarrassment avoided.
But, of course, if it’s not good enough to use within the Labour party then clearly a little card with our identity emblazoned on it shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of us.