Let's forget the farce of Labour's selection of their candidate.
Let's forget that 13,000 votes have been wiped off their balance sheet.
Let's forget that Glasgow East is (or rather was) the 3rd safest Labour seat in Scotland.
What are the real reasons behind the demise? Could it be that in East Glasgow we have one of the most deprived areas in the country? A shocking life-expectancy figure, awful education records and an unemployment rate that would scandalise a Rio favella, nothing has changed in this area since New Labour rode to power in '97, their core constituency have been sold down the river, and the voters have finally woken up to this fact.
So just local problems then?
No. Not a bit of it. In 1997 I was 21, Brit-Pop, Cool Britannia, hip young Tony sticking it to the man for the kids. I was the generation that New Labour reached out to, I didn't buy it by the way, I was in Falmouth at the time and voted Mebyon Kernow in disgust at the whole bloody shower. Eleven years later, I'm looking for a way out of a country that has nothing to offer me and will not allow me to perform to my strengths.
I think everybody has been let down by New Labour, after so many years in the wilderness the party sold its soul to the devil just to get back into power and now they are paying for it with their dearest blood as their natural supporters desert them in droves. It is almost tragic, I never supported 'Old' Labour, but at least they had conviction, a message that reached out to a sizeable portion of the country, now they have nothing beyond bankruptcy, deceit and empty promises.
Is there a way back for Labour? I don't think so. If the party aren't totally finished, it will certainly take years and years for them to return as a credible force again. The problem is that not only have they divorced themselves from their traditional power base, they've destroyed all the individuals within the party that were able to connect with that traditional base.
Take the late heavyweights, Mowlam, Dewar and Cook. Yes, all flawed, but all with that 'X factor' that made it possible to connect with voters, all capable of winning elections, all banished to the fringes and frozen out. Wherefore now their replacements?
Brown is done, he's a busted flush before the game's really got going for him, he's the sub that comes on and then gets subbed off when the 'keeper is sent off. He'll dig his heels in, but there's no future there and everyone in the party knows it. Who takes over that can turn it around? Minibrain? Harperson? The Straw Man? Balls Up? No chance. Charlie Clarke? Blunkett? Reid? Reputations in tatters. There is no-one there to rescue this party, it will make the Foot/Kinnock years look like a golden era.
If Brown does fall on his sword, or is thrown out despite Labour's labyrinthine electoral process, they must go to the polls, surely not even Labour have the gall to have three leaders in one parliament, have they?
This obit may seem quite sad, but I'm making no value judgements here, this is merely an observation. One thing's for sure, the next election will be really close. For second place between Labour and the Lib Dems.
Al-Beeb show how wrong they can be when they really put their mind to it:
Of course, by-elections are not the same as general elections. Voters do feel they have a greater freedom to register a protest vote when they are choosing one MP rather than their next government.
Idiots. You always only ever vote for one MP, not a government. And what the hell does 'greater freedom' mean?