Both Iain Dale (http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/10/labour-selection-woes-in-barrow.html) and Alex Hilton (http://www.labourhome.org/?p=7875) are trying to throw dirt around regarding the likely selection of John Woodcock as PPC for Barrow-in-Furness.
This is somewhat bizarre as Barrow isn’t a last minute parachute exercise into a safe seat just before an election. It’s a relatively marginal seat and the selection is a full process with the local members in the driving seat making a democratic choice of Labour candidate.
Alex’s problem seems to be that John Woodcock is the runaway favourite and has won the support of every single ward party in the constituency. In the through-the-looking-glass world of metropolitan Labour hackery, John’s moderate politics and track record running Labour Students and working for sitting Barrow MP John Hutton and then for the PM are seen as handicaps and Alex can’t understand how such a candidate could win without jiggery-pokery. But in real world Barrow, outside the beltway, where the biggest local employer is the shipyard that builds Trident submarines, Labour people want a candidate with Woodcock’s politics and see his closeness to the MP they trust, Hutton, and to Gordon Brown, as endorsements worth something.
John Woodcock also happens to be an extremely able and intelligent young man. He will be a great asset to the PLP. It’s a shame that Alex can’t get over his jealousy and stop smearing someone who is winning on merit and because they are the right kind of candidate for that kind of seat.