THEY used to say that you could pin a red ribbon to a donkey in Glasgow and it would be elected for the Labour Party.

Well, now it seems like the branch office are all out of donkeys.

The most damning thing about the news the party that once dominated Scotland cannot find people willing to contest constituency seats in May?

That it’s not even much of a surprise.

OK, so we all know that going up against the likes of Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside is thankless task, but surely there must be some young activist out there looking to cut his or her teeth in a first campaign.

Even the LibDems can usually drudge up poor soul.

The party’s "grandees", meanwhile, are too busy scuffling over who sits where on the Holyrood lists. We’ve had our issues with some of the nonsense deposed MP Tom Harris has been spouting in recent months, but his tweet the other day was unusually perceptive.

“BREAKING: Tom Harris to announce he is to become the only Labour Party member in Glasgow not standing as a candidate for the Glasgow list,” he wrote.

We doubt they’d have him, anyway, not after the dog dragging incident, but that’s not the point.

The point is that one of the most coveted positions in politics – the chance to campaign for a safe seat in Labour Scotland – has become so toxic that local Labour branches are struggling to convince their members to go for it.

And, if nothing else, it suggests much about the quality of the candidates who will be on the paper, if they are being selected from a narrow field – or indeed the only ones up for the job.

It’s hardly a ringing endorsement, is it?

Perhaps Labour should introduce a new rule: if you want a place on the list, then you will have to fight for a constituency as well.

To the likes of Anas Sarwar, who hopes to parachute from Westminster failure to a Holyrood seat via a cushy list position, we say: get some backbone, get yourself out on your local streets and fight for one.

Scottish Labour struggle to find constituency candidates for 'losing battle' against SNP