Many thanks to Ed West for this in The Catholic Herald:
A Catholic former Labour Party member disillusioned by its perceived anti-life, anti-family stance is to stand against a Labour candidate selected as part of a women-only shortlist.
David Lindsay, a Lay Dominican and college tutor at Durham University, will stand as an Independent against Pat Glass in the Labour stronghold of North West Durham, and has urged Christians across the country to do likewise.
A practising Catholic, Mr Lindsay describes himself as "pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war, with a political philosophy derived from Catholic Social Teaching and heavily influenced by the Distributism of Chesterton, Belloc and their associates."
North West Durham is traditionally a strongly Catholic constituency, both Recusant and Irish, and is home to Ushaw College and close to the Passionist monastery at Minsteracres. Labour has won the seat at every Election since 1950 and has not fallen below 50 per cent since the Tory landslide of 1983.
But the party's decision to enforce an all-female shortlist caused an outcry. Constituency chairman Joe Armstrong said he refused to take part in the selection process because the National Executive Committee "held a gun to our heads".
For the record, I am still in formation as a Lay Dominican due to surgical interruptions, although I am certainly going to do it. This seat has only existed since 1987, so that it has only ever had one MP, who is now retiring and whose majority has gone down at every Election except the Labour landslide of 1997; in 2005, an Independent took more votes than that reduction.
By Monday morning, The Northern Cross will be aware that it has been completely bypassed on this matter at local level. We will also be watching that registered charity very closely where other candidates are concerned. Quite who at least one of those other candidates is going to be, remains to be seen: is the NEC really going to ratify a (presumably pro-life) Catholic included on an all-women shortlist against the party's own rules? If so, then why? Surely not "to stop David Lindsay"? As much as anything else, it would not have that effect.
Or does Pat not hold the pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war views that, as one practising Catholic to another, I had simply assumed that she did? Questions of public scandal and the Sacraments then arise. If she does hold orthodox Catholic views, then some Green or whatever will be put up as a radical feminist and militant homosexualist alternative; I know that for a fact. Over to the NEC, I feel.
There are no unassailable Labour areas any more. Last time, South Wales returned the late Peter Law in the old constituency of Bevan and Foot, where he has now been succeeded by Dai Davies, Campaign Group ally, veteran supporter of the ferociously Eurosceptical and Unionist left-winger Llew Smith, and champion of traditional Christian values, who has every expectation of being re-elected.
The East End returned George Galloway, whose radio programme tonight will be unmissable, and who may hang around with the wrong sort from time to time, but who is himself a pro-life Catholic of the Old Labour variety. Due to boundary changes, he will either take Attlee's old seat or give it to the Tories. Here's to the former.
If Liverpool does not send back Bob Wareing - Campaign Group opponent both of embryonic stem cell "research" and of the neoconservative war agenda going all the way back to Yugoslavia - then it will come very close to doing so, and may balk only at his age. I very much hope that that does not happen.
Where does that leave? Really only the North East, and especially County Durham.