Just heard that my planned trip to Gaza early in the New Year – during Christmas recess before you start – with some other Labour MPs has been cancelled. The plan was to fly into Cairo, travel through the Sinai desert and enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, so I’d been musing on fitting in a couple of days diving in Sharm-el-Sheikh before or after. Given the shark attacks this week, not sure which part of the trip would have been more dangerous!
Anyway, looks as if the only travelling I’ll be doing in January now is up to the frozen north, to Oldham + Saddleworth for the by-election campaign. Not quite as risky, though I suspect the animosity between the various camps will make the Middle East situation look like a picnic. It’s actually a three way marginal, with the Tories only a couple of thousand votes behind Labour and the Lib Dems at the General Election, and of course Nick Griffin has announced he intends to be the BNP candidate.
Hot on the heels of #RedTwistmas our comrades in the north (@KevPeel is the man) are planning a #Tweekender to coincide with the by-election campaign. It’s likely to be the weekend before polling day, and probably in Manchester, somewhere near Piccadilly station, rather than Oldham to make it easier for people who have travelled from further afield to get home afterwards. And going out on the campaign trail beforehand will be compulsory! We don’t have a date yet, but some time in January or maybe early February seems to be the consensus.