Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Are Scottish Labour Stupid?

A bit of a rhetorical question you might think, but I'm just astounded by the moronic way Labour are handling this story from Scotland. Essentially, the marked electoral registers for the Glenrothes by-election - which Labour won - have gone missing. The sensible thing for every political party to do in this situation would be to express concern about the situation - nothing else. And if you look at the way the SNP, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have responded, that's actually all they've done. But Labour seem to have gone absolutely bonkers, saying they backed an investigation into why "an SNP government department lost confidential personal data again".

Two things here. First of all, for Labour to derride any other party for appearing to preside over the loss of private data is a bit like Gordon Brown complaining that nobody answers his questions. And secondly, why on earth are they trying to make political capital out of this? The nature of the missing information makes this more interesting from a procedural point of view, rather than a confidentiality one. Remember these aren't records of how people voted - just whether they voted. And there's no suggestion anywhere that these records have been lost somewhere in the public arena; they could just be sitting at the back of an office.

And then Labour gets even more loopy:

"Lindsay Roy won the by-election because of the incompetence of the SNP locally and nationally. The ballot papers were counted fair and square in front of the eyes of the world."

Doesn't this have a 'move along, nothing to see here' air about it? Jumping straight in with 'we won and it was fair' does nothing but create suspicion that they didn't and are now trying to hide something. Whether impropriety has taken place is not something I particularly want to speculate on, but denying accusations that haven't actually been put to you yet is an astoundingly bad political strategy, whichever way you look at it.

1 comment:

Bill Quango MP said...

Labour have been shocking on strategy since about 2003. They used to master it but somewhere along the way that special antennae has gone. Its probably the Campbell/Mandy/Brown axis being broken that let them down.
Last year they were pushing ahead with Post Office closures to save an almost derisory £250 million. No payrise for 3 years on only the most senior heads of local councils salaries would save that sum.
Now they want to expand the network into a bank!
Then the plan to increase car tax retrospectively,shattered used car prices.. quickly followed by the will we won't we reduce stamp duty, decision not to alter the fuel escalator when pump prices were crippling, insisting SATS were entirely necessary right up the point they suddenly scrapped them... suddenly they look very amateurish.

Don't know if you saw this piece on The Raven