The trouble with shortlists ...
Safe Labour seats.
Jobs for life.
Shortlists in those safe seats.
What springs to mind?
Trouble - that's what. Just think Blaenau Gwent and you'll know what I mean.
Paul Flynn MP is sensing some of it over in Pontypridd after Kim Howells announced that he was off. He hasn't yet, as far as I can see, incurred the wrath of this fellow Labour blogger .. not yet.
Let me add to Labour woes.
I understand that four Labour Councillors and some individual members in Islwyn have resigned from the party, unhappy that they've had - they claim - no say in drawing up the shortlist of candidates to fill Don Touhig's shoes.
They've sent a resignation letter to Gordon Brown and here it is:
"We have become evermore disillusioned with the government over recent months. On the weekend we received news that the Party HQ has imposed a shortlist upon us to replace our outgoing MP Don Touhig, which contains no candidates from, or who live in Islwyn. This situation has occurred despite repeated calls for us to decide our own shortlist and has resulted in our continued membership of the Party becoming untenable".
"Islwyn neighbours Blaenau Gwent, where the Party refused to listen to local members before the last General Election and imposed an all woman shortlist. The action resulted in many members leaving the Party and contesting the Westminster seat against Labour".
"We will now select Cllr Dave Rees, a true democratic socialist to stand against the Labour Party and their list of Party clones in the coming General Election. Cllr Rees is a hugely popular Councillor in his Ward and has an excellent track record of delivery".
Transport House have said they'll send over the names on the shortlist this morning.
On it, I gather, is the name Tamsin Dunwoody - or "Tamsin Dunwoody ... again" as local sources put it, ever so slightly bitterly. A handful of others are London based. One currently works for outgoing MP Don Touhig.
"We told them we wanted a say in the shortlist" said one of the letter's authors, who himself went for the nomination but wasn't shortlisted. "They didn't listen".
Deja vu anyone?
The official Welsh Labour line:
"Nothing has been received by the party directly by the members concerned.
If it is the case that these councillors will be resigning their membership, then it is clearly disappointing news. However, after a strong Conference weekend and hugely positive recent polls, Welsh Labour is in great shape to fight the next election. The quality of the candidates applying for both Pontypridd and Islwyn merely underlined the fact that we have a deep reservoir of talent to draw on."
The unofficial Labour line:
Good riddance to difficult customers put out by Don Touhig's refusal to join a No campaign in the run up to a referendum.
The shortlisted candidates in Islwyn: Tamsin Dunwoody, Christopher Evans, Dan Jarvis, Melanie Smallman, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Angela Wilkins, Nathan Yeowell
and in Pontypridd: Jayne Brencher, Stephen Doughty, Delyth Evans, Bethan Roberts, Owen Smith.
More official responses. This from Harry Andrews, Labour group leader in Caerphilly council:
"I'm obviously very disappointed to hear this news - these are colleagues I have worked closely with in the past and I'm saddened by the position they have taken. However, their decision will in no way diminish Labour's commitment to the serious issues like fighting to improve public services in the Caerphilly County Borough."
And from outgoing Islwyn Assembly member Irene James:
"The important thing people need to remember is that it will be down to party members in Islwyn to have the final say on our next candidate. I think we have a great range of candidates to pick from and I look forward to campaigning alongside the eventual winner to keep Labour in power in Westminster."