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Friday, February 12, 2010

Those same old dilemmas

This morning's Western Mail contains a familar front page story. Will a reasonably secure Labour seat in the South Wales Valleys have an all-women shortlist imposed on it, alienating half the activists and putting it at risk or will it be allowed to go its own way and choose the candidate it wants?

The current MP, Kim Howells is reported to have had a stand-up row with Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman in a House of Commons dining room on this issue. He denies this incident ever happened. Nevertheless there is no denying his strong view that Pontrypridd should be able to select its own balanced short list.

There is even a link to the last row as speculation is ripe that former Blaenau Gwent by-election candidate, Owen Smith is in the frame for the nomination, if he is allowed to stand that is. Already some activists are saying that they will not campaign for a candidate seleceted from an all-women list.

What adds interest to this is the identified beneficiary of this row. The paper says that it is unlikely that there will be an independent candidate to sweep up protest votes this time. However, some Labour activists have named Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Powell as the main threat to their holding the seat.

They say that he is a high profile and puts himself about a lot. That is the fairest description of Mike Powell I have seen for a long time and l look forward to seeing him on the green benches of the House of Commons where he will be an asset to the party, Wales and to Pontypridd.
My understanding is that the relevant Labour committee has failed to meet on at least one occasion in January and again on February 4th to select a shortlist, which would probably have included Owen Smith, and failed to do so with no explanation. It seems bizarre that they would try and shoehorn in an all-woman shortlist AFTER the start of the process.

It also shows how much Labour take the voters in Pontypridd for granted. Someone needs to shake Labour up.
Vote Tory then, and really shake up the New labour ideals.
Robert - I can't imagine that a Tory vote would shake up any new lab ideals. these days nu lab and mod con are the same sides of the same coin!
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