Friday, July 25, 2008
No, I don't mean Margaret Curran, the fifth choice candidate, admittedly, but experienced and relatively capable MSP who stood as the Labour Party candidate for Glasgow East. She did the best job should could with the very limited political capital inherited from the previous MP David Marshall who retired on "health grounds".
But it turns out that it's actually all Margaret Thatcher's fault. Why am I not surprised given the Labour Party's propensity to re-write the history of the 1980s and still deny the favourable economic legacy they were left by the Conservatives in the 1990s?
That much vaunted, but economically illiterate, Labour blogger Tom Harris MP, Minister for Transport has been writing in the New Statesman about what caused his party's rout by the SNP in this particular by-election. True to form, as a loyal and unreconstructable Labour 'droid he has put his finger on the 'real' reason why a 13,500 majority at the last general election in 2005 was over turned with a 22.5% swing.
" ....there’s no doubt that the SNP played a clever card by publicising the government’s apparent willingness to grant Baroness Thatcher a state funeral; memories are long in Glasgow and she remains a hate figure without rival for almost everyone over the age of 35."
So Maggie Thatcher won it for the SNP. That's the reason why the Labour Party lost its third safest seat in Scotland (and its 25th safest seat in Great Britain). You couldn't make it up! But Tom did. What an arse!