Ok I'd admit it's a convoluted title but last night Lindsay Roy secured the Labour nomination to be their candidate at the Glenrothes by election.
While Jeff may have speculated yesterday that fellow blogger Kezia Dugdale was in with a shout. However, personally like Scottish Politics pointed out to Jeff yesterday her place on the short list had nowt to do with gender balance and reeked of tokenism to me. No offence to Kez but I think that local councillor Kay Morrison from the long list would have been a far tougher test for Lindsay Roy. However, Kez did pick up 9 first preference votes. Jeff can just chalk that down to his first experience of the inner machinations of party politics not that he is a member of a party.
The thing about Mr Roy's selection is just where does this leave the old New Labour mantra of Education, education, education. He was tasked with restoring the standards of Gordon Brown's own Alma Mater Kirkcaldy High School not that long ago. So where does that leave Labour's education policy now. Sure taking a top educationalist into Westminster, should he win, does no harm to shaping policy once he gets there. But he has hardly been allowed to get to grips with a real task on the front line in turning around an ailing academical institution very close to the PM's heart. We read in today's Times (Scottish Edition) how proud he is that his old school's rugby team have re-entered the Scottish Schools' Cup competition even if he did lose the sight in one eye playing against the staff.
I'm not disputing Mr Roy's experience merely the timing of picking him as a Parliamentary candidate when he has so recently taken on an important task in his chosen field. Leaving a school possibly bereft of a key asset in such a key policy area over the last eleven years for the party he is standing for seems to counter any argument he may have for improving education during the campaign.
Jeff as ever was quick off the mark last night with some comments on Labour's selection procedure this time. I have to disagree with his conclusions to his first two points although as explained above agree with the latter three.
There is no partisan hypocrisy over the timing of the election being called late, it merely has to be called within 3 months of the seat being vacant, Labour have tried the fast approach recently in Crewe and Nantwich and Glasgow East and bobbled the ball completely, this is probably in response to take their time in Livingston, where they were scared entering the count hall and Dunfermline and West Fife where they were bamboozled leaving it. The fact that this time they are giving everyone amble opportunity to get their views across may well work in their favour, but equally can work for other parties as momentum building can happen unlike in Glasgow East recently.
Secondly I don't feel they're botched the selection process by taking longer than the other three main parties to select this time around. Yes in Glasgow East they botched it but in light of the possibly length of the election the party look they may have taken time to ensure no losing face or losing of candidates so publicly happened this time, as for people ruling themselves out that happens all the time especially when the media are trying to get a quick fix on who will stand.
However, we know have the main runners and riders and no doubt a few more may yet get saddled up:
Harry Wills (Lib Dem)
Dr Kris Seunarine (UKIP)
Lindsay Roy (Labour)
Maurice Golden (Conservatives)
Morag Balfour (Scottish Socialists)
Peter Grant (SNP)