Friday, 17 July 2009

Nats Hobson's Choice for Glasgow North East

Well there is a new SNP short list for the candidate to contest the Glasgow North East by election and I list it below in full:

David Kerr

There you have it. The only name on the list is that of former BBC Scotland Journalist David Kerr.
However, the press do need to get their facts straight over this 4th candidate thing. Anne McLaughlin didn't so much step down as step aside while elevated to MSP. Don't forget she had been the de facto candidate for a replacement on the list since 2007 as well as PPC for Glasgow North East. Of course the fact that the SNP were the only of the big for Scottish parties to have a PPC to stand against the then speaker has added to their misery over this affair.
As for Grant Thoms who replaced Anne as PPC from what I understand the SNP party rules are very similar to those of the Lib Dems. In the event of a by election any PPC in place is able to apply for the position of by election candidate, he decided not to at this time. The Scotsman said he withdrew over unguarded comments on his blog which may be a far more accurate description than the Herald calling it a controversial blog. Tartan Hero was no more a controversial blog than any of the other partisan blogs in the Scottish Blogosphere, and the bloggers do, with the odd exceptions, tend to largely get on.
The only really controversial thing about this whole selection procedure is how James Dornan, the man who beat Kerr in the selection last week, expected to hide his financial issues in the full glare of a by election spot light. To be honest it makes Grant's decision not to stand for either the comments or his sexuality look mediocre in comparison, indeed in light of the current climate in Parliament such honesty in a politician would have been a refreshing asset.
Anyway as it stands the SNP members of Glasgow North East will this evening be more than likely endorsing the preferred candidate of Alex Salmond. That is unless there is another twist in the tale and he doesn't carry the room. Then what?


  1. "added to their misery". I'm not sure the SNP standing against The Speaker in past contests (quite fairly in my view) has hurt them.

    I liked the presentation of 'the shortlist' though. I guess the press will make a big deal out of it but if the contest really is going to be in November (?) then I would bet such a fuss would die down a good bit come then.

    I don't think we know for sure why Grant Thoms stood down incidentally. I had personally thought it was merely the media circus wasn't what he fancied for 4 long months but it may well have been blog comments or his sexuality for all I know...

    And interesting scenario with his name not being carried. Wouldn't it be ironic if the SNP challenged Michael Martin all those years but then didn't put someone forward to challenge in the subsequent by-election? Don't see it happening though.

  2. Jeff I was mnerely implying that having already had two PPCs for the seat since 2005 that 'the misery' being heaped on the SNP by the press has been exaserbated.

    As for Grant I agree with you we'll never really be sure. Indeed there may be something totally different and that like with me in 2007, 2009 may well just be for him just the wrong year for a whole host of reasons.

    Yeah the last point was made half tongue in cheek, but I have known sole options recieve a no vote in the past. Haven't had that much experience of a candidate rejected one week facing a sole nomination the following one though.

  3. I don't think anyone's honesty is in question Stephen. It would seem James Dornan's financial problems were well known and of course in the public domain. What was 'unfortunate' for him the matter of joining the committee. A gray area by all accounts.

    We'll have to wait and see what happens tonight and if the people accept David Kerr. I know nothing of the man so hopefully the media will enlighten me in the next few days if he is selected.

  4. Subrosa by his own admission after he resigned he had not told the charity of his position. If there is also a failing in the SNP candidate approval system as a result that is an issue.

    As a member of a party that learnt the hard way in 2003 in a council election about the financial disclaimer need to be included.

  5. Stephen James was appointed to Culture and Sport Glasgow by the Council. Culture and Sport is an arms length organisation which runs culture and leisure facilities owned by the Council. If James is to blame for accepting the appointment when he had a Trust Deed the Council is equally to blame for not advising him that he should not accept the appointment.

  6. Indy, I just think the SNP should have checked all this out before putting James in the position of having to withdraw. They also had the opportunity of standing behind their candidate and persuading him to stay on.

    It was in the end of the day a minor technicality and nobody is suggesting any impropriety on his behalf.

  7. Don't be naive Caron - it may have been a technicality but that wouldn't stop the Daily Record etc labelling him 'dosgraced bankrupt' James Dornan or implying impropriety.

    Why should he put himself and his family through that when there is someone who is perfectly well equipped and willing to step into place?