It was in the 1992 election that Neil Kinnock issued his famous warning to us all. "Don't fall ill in Britain", is what he said. I thought that he was referring to the dangers of electing a Tory government and what it might do to our NHS, but it seems from today's story that the Labour Party might equally have used it as a warning to their own candidates.
So desperate are they to improve the pool of 'talent' which they have inflicted on our National Assembly that they have started eyeing up the seat of a sick member in the hope of a by-election. And if they can't find one ill enough, then they'll 'honour' another Assembly member who they feel isn't really up to scratch by offering him or her a seat in the Lords.
It's an astounding admission from the unnamed "senior Labour figures" that with their party holding almost half the seats in the National Assembly, they consider that none of their AMs is up to the job of succeeding Rhodri Morgan. It suggests that the Labour Party has not really taken the Assembly seriously from the outset – 'serious' politicians go to Westminster or Brussels, apparently; those not good enough for that can be given nice little sinecures in the Assembly.
It probably helps to explain Don Touhig's little outburst a few months ago that Plaid have been running rings around Labour. What does he expect if his party has only fielded its 'B' team?
No doubt opponents of devolution will use Labour's admission to promote their agenda, and to argue against further powers. I think it actually suggests the opposite; only with adequate powers will the Assembly start to become the real focus of Welsh politics which it should be; only then will the Labour Party start to treat it seriously.