In a rare moment whilst sitting in Sky News' Green Room I got a moment to have a look at today's Sun and read The Whip column. The Whip comes under quite a bit of flak for lifting stories from the 'blogosphere' but there was one in there that I had not read today that caught my eye.
According to the paper copy I read (The Whip does not seem to be available online), on the official Labour Party website there was a feature that allowed users to leave tributes to the late Gwyneth Dunwoody MP. The diary column noted however that when you left a tribute the site asked for your name, address and email contact details amongst others thing.
Far be it from me to suggest that they may have been surreptitiously canvassing, but when you put together the news that the by-election writ is going to be issued before she is even in the ground, and the other news that the by-election 'mastermind' Fraser Kemp MP has told the Labour Party to effectively "sod off" in terms of the job of running the show, you have to wonder what state they are really in, don't you?
As much as some people might say that linking these seemingly separate events together is nothing short of party political opportunism, it does seem in rather odd taste that a by-election is rushed through before the funeral of the previous incumbent and that the party should start, or at least appear to start - campaigning before they've even issued the writ?
I was rather hoping that Fraser Kemp's so-called protegé Tom Watson MP might shed some light on the 'fun and games' as it were. However, it appears his site is down at the moment. Another victim of the hacker that took out Harriet Harman perhaps? Probably not, but it still made me laugh when I discovered his site was b0rken as I was writing this post.