With the Andy Burnham Show out of the way thoughts turn to the awful looming catastrophe of 8th June. Manchester Withington is all but irrelevant to the national outcome this time, where there is one mission and one mission only: to reduce the scale of the Tory victory. While it is a privilege to live in a constituency where the Tories don't stand a chance, it does render the local contest somehow a bit academic.
It goes without saying that Labour and the Lib Dems don't see it that way, and it's clear already that this election is going to be just as closely fought as 2015, even though it is nominally now a safe Labour seat. No complaints from me of course...
I'm not going to post every piece of literature I receive before the main event, not least as the exhausting Libdemalanche is continuing unabated, with yet another feature-packed South Manchester News arriving today (complaining about Labour's record on homelessness, on the same day the mayor announced a new homelessness fund). However, the personal letter addressed personally to Mrs Tomsk and me that we received yesterday from Tim Farron (for it is he) deserves a mention:
Now as far as I understand Labour's position on Brexit, it is indeed the case that they want to take us out of the single market. And I'm not sure I can in good conscience vote for them as a result. On the other hand, Jeff Smith rebelled against the leadership on Article 50 (despite being a whip at the time) and by all accounts has done a good job as MP, so it seems a little mean to kick him out after only two years.
Yes, it's party vs candidate all over again. If anything this time I'm even more undecided.