Another day, another gaffe by Margaret Curran.
This time its over fire service response times in the constituency.
Margaret Curran publicly backed a campaign to try and save Parkhead Fire Station from closure, saying that the station should not close unless fire service response times were bettered by its replacement.
But, oh dear.
It was Margaret Curran and the Labour Party who voted for the Fire Act (2005) which scrapped guaranteed response times.
A fact that was not lost on the firefighters.
“She seems to have forgotten that she is partly responsible. It really is hypocritical of her now to talk in this way.” one said.
Just why is Margaret Curran walking into gaffe after gaffe after gaffe in this campaign? Can’t someone in the Labour team – if they have anyone – stop her from injuring herself? She badly needs one of those medical collars you give to dogs to stop them opening their wounds…
She is an experienced politician, local MSP and at one time one of the frontrunners to lead the Scottish Labour group of MSPs.
Could it be that she just isn’t that good?
Many commentators have noted that there is no real political talent on the Labour benches at Holyrood. This became immediately apparent on Wendy Alexander’s resignation – there just wasn’t anyone who was immediately obvious who would lead the party; in the same way that Gordon Brown was the obvious choice when Tony Blair stood down.
Her television performances so far have been poor. In each one she looks nervous, rattling off 500 words to the minute and obscuring any points she has been trying to make.
In contrast, John Mason’s performances have been assured – even relaxed, to the point where Glenn Campbell’s trap of bringing out an old letter from an SNP adversary was so successfully brushed aside it made Glenn and the Newsnight team complete fools into the bargain.
There is no doubt in my mind that a neutral would have said that John Mason is the experienced politician, not Margaret Curran.
Is there any reason why the Labour campaign is so lacklustre? Why is it that journalists are asking why Margaret Curran is behaving like an underdog in the campaign?
Is it part of a strategy that people always support an underdog? Is it an attempt to win votes?
If so, it seems a dangerous strategy for Labour to take. They should by rights be the favourite in the seat – as mentioned before the Labour Party (and sometime Independent Labour) have held Glasgow East since 1922; it is one of their safest seats in the UK – a public image of being an underdog is one of their fortress stronghold constituencies is being projected around the UK, and around the world.
What sort of impression does that give of Gordon Brown’s Government? One that is deeply unpopular must be the answer; and hanging onto power by the skin of its teeth.
Although purposely planned as a short byelection campaign in an attempt to save the seat, Gordon Brown must be despairing over Labour’s chaotic campaign.
Because even if Labour do manage to hold the seat – and that is a big if – the perception is now reinforced around the country that this Labour Government is a dying government.
This Labour Government and the Glasgow East underdog campaign need to be taken to the vets to be put out of its misery. Its the kindest thing.