The return of Margaret Ferrier to the House of Commons strongly suggests that there is not going to be a by-election at Rutherglen and Hamilton West after all. Congratulations to the Labour Party in Scotland on being quite as useless as this.
But at least George Galloway, who has never said no to this, is now free to take the seat of the Leader of Durham County Council, on the night that Labour lost Overall Control after more than a century. That would be an unmistakable sign that Labour was being supplanted.
Roger Liddle is both an active Labour Peer and an active member of Cumbria County Council, so being both an MSP for South Scotland, and a County Councillor in Durham, would be perfectly feasible.
Some MSPs have been members of councils that were either further from Edinburgh than Durham was, or far harder to reach than a couple of hours down the East Coast Main Line. While the next elections to Durham County Council are due to be held on 6th May 2021, they are widely expected to be put back a year. The elections to the Scottish Parliament will have come and gone by then.
George would take more votes than the total number that had been cast in that Ward in 2017, and yes, you could say that about any Ward in the country, because he is George Galloway. But Durham County Council was the first council that Labour ever won, and the party has never lost it in more than a century since.
Not only that, but it is, so far as I can tell, unique along the Red Wall. It covers six parliamentary constituencies, of which three are now held by Conservatives, and two by members of the Socialist Campaign Group. Only one MP out of six is now allied to the Council Leadership.
If that still were the Council Leadership, then all the stops would be pulled out in order to remove the other five, one way or another. The same would be done across much of the country. The kind of people who run right-wing Democratic machines in America are the kind of people who run right-wing Labour machines in Britain.
Therefore, between now and 2024, it is absolutely imperative that Labour lose control of these councils, and nowhere more urgently than here. Ward by ward, vote for whoever was best-placed to defeat the Labour Party. In the Leader's Ward, let that be the guaranteed big news that is George Galloway. And I am a declared and active candidate for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham at the next General Election. Please give generously.