Jim Murphy’s BOGOF

Less than two months after the referendum, you know, that vote that was supposed to establish the settled will of the Scottish people until the Sun expands in a ball of hot gas and consumes the Earth – or at least for the length of the career of the average Labour politician – a new poll from YouGov has discovered that a significant number of No voters have changed their minds and now want independence. The other significant development is that two months is now also about the average career life of a Labour politician in Scotland. Only may flies have a shorter life expectancy, but they don’t have any mouth parts. Sadly the same cannot be said for Jim Murphy. A male may fly is basically nothing more than a mobile reproductive organ – it’s just a dick sniffing for something to screw – which you can say for Jim Murphy, so order is restored to the universe.

Despite the oft repeated media message that the candidate most feared by “the nationalists” is Jim Murphy – a message largely put about by Jim Murphy and his supporters – it’s not. It’s Sarah Boyack. She is the only candidate with any chance at all of uniting the ragged remains of British Labour in Scotland, and putting an end to its knee-jerk circle-jerk. It’s not a big chance. It is a tiny wee chance, but it’s a chance nonetheless. Jim has nae chance. All Jim is capable of uniting is his bank balance and an expenses claim, or a Middle Eastern country and a Western invasion.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I knew Sarah Boyack at university – she was a Labour hack even then, and a protege of Magrit Curran and Johann. However people can and do change, all those years ago I had a whole lot more hair and a head that was very firmly lodged up my own arse, but Sarah is still a Labour hack. Even so, on a personal level she’s a decent human being. She is also the only one of the three candidates who does not automatically respond to all and any proposal from the SNP as though it was contaminated with the ebola virus. And this is why Sarah has no chance of getting elected.

Even Neil Findlay would make a better party branch manager than Jim. Neil’s idea of taking Labour back to the left is essentially the correct one – but it has precisely zero chance of ever being implemented. Westminster Labour is not going to permit its Scottish branch office to introduce left wing policies which would make it unelectable in England, and the Scottish electorate is not going to be fooled by a Labour party which preaches one thing in Scotland and something else in the rest of the UK. We get the English news on Scottish telly, thanks to the Unionists’ parties insistence that broadcasting is a reserved matter.

Not that either Sarah or Neil have much chance of success even if one of them were elected branch office manager. The truth is that even if British Labour possessed a candidate with the political guile of Machiavelli, the moral stature of Mahatma Gandhi, and the intelligence of Albert Einstein – the party would still be screwed. It’s far too late now, and a change of leadership isn’t nearly enough to turn Labour’s fortunes around. Labour in Scotland has been a long time dying, but it finally shuffled off into an irretrievable demise the day that Davie Cameron persuaded ASDA’s managing director to issue a scare about price rises after independence, and Johann and her wee bunch of minions stood outside a branch of the supermarket grinning like skulls. There is absolutely nothing left for Labour except to crawl under a rock and rot away, unmourned, and unloved, not even fit for the cut price shelf for items at their sell by date.

There’s now a full on media onslaught pushing the Smurph. Sarah Boyack and the other guy – the Ken MacIntosh of this branch manager campaign – have been sidelined and ignored. Other guy is likely to pick up some trade union support in the Byzantine system of elections used by Labour for its branch managers, but the party hierarchy has put its weight very firmly behind the Smugurph. Ed Miliband is very keen for him to get the job, because he hates Jim Murphy as much as anyone else and he’s hoping that the Smugurph will condescend his way to Embra and conveniently remove himself from Westminster. Ed views Jim candidacy as a sort of supermarket BOGOF offer.  He gets rid of a troublesome plotter who hates him, and at the same time gets a “big hitter” to rescue his arse in Scotland – or so he thinks.  Mostly he just wants Jim to BOGOF, a sentiment he shares with pretty much everyone else. Labour are the baked beans of politics, and just as likely to make you fart.

Meanwhile the Smugurph’s chances of being anything other than a long distance branch manager are receding faster than Ed Miliband’s chances of becoming the next prime minister. Ed may very well end up with the worst of all possible outcomes – he’ll have the odious Jim as Scottish branch manager, and Jim will still be in Westminster. At least until May next year. The Sunday Herald reports today that the three MSPs whose names have been suggested – by Jim’s pals, it has to be said – as willing to stand down in order to allow Jim to contest their seats in a by-election held on the same day as the Westminster General Election have all said that they intend to remain in Holyrood. So nae chance for Jim there then.

This gives Jim a big problem. If he can’t find a seat in Holyrood before the 2016 Scottish elections when he can sneak in as a list MSP, he’ll have to contest his Westminster seat in May 2015. This is because Labour’s rules state quite clearly that their Scottish branch manager has to be either an MP, an MSP or an MEP. And with the current mood of the Scottish electorate, it’s by no means certain that Jim would retain his seat in East Renfrewshire. If he fails to be re-elected, he’d have to stand down as party branch manager and it would be an ignominious end to a less than glorious career as well as an end to his expenses claims. You can be certain that the SNP and the other pro-independence parties will be doing all they can to ensure that Jim gets his jotters in May.



54 comments on “Jim Murphy’s BOGOF

  1. A delightful read as always, Paul. The word that jumped out at me was ODIOUS. And that’s what Death-head is. Odious. He’ll lie and squirm and tell huge porkies and be entertained by the MSM while he confabulates some form of psychotic reality that no one recognises as being true, not even Death -head himself. Odious. Yes, that’s the word.

  2. Capella says:

    “the political guile of Machiavelli, the moral stature of Mahatma Gandhi, and the intelligence of Albert Einstein”
    Brilliant. I would add – the sincerity of Hughie Green!

  3. Red Squirrel says:

    I generally feel it is unkind to enjoy the misfortune of others…but I’m also very interested in these mass extinction events. What to do? Get a good seat & enjoy the show!

  4. jimnarlene says:

    Smugurph’s a big hitter? I do believe, there is a S missing; from the last word.

  5. Fairliered says:

    A victory for Murphy would be a victory for the BBC. A pyrrhic victory.

  6. Lynne McGregor says:

    We have been referring to Jimbob as ‘The Odious Jim Murphy’ in this house for weeks now. It is a perfect description. We live in East Ren though and at least can personally contribute to efforts to ensure 2015 is not TOJM’s best year. What a pleasure it would be to boot him out and scupper his expense account forever!

  7. macart763m says:

    Oh, nice one Paul. ‘Smugurph’.😀

    You know of course that Smugurph and his pet meeja are going to be hammering out the the old trope of ‘if you want to keep the Tories out or prevent Tory policies from causing too much harm, vote Labour’? Most reasoning human beings would probably have noted by this time, that this hasn’t worked very well as a strategy in the past forty years. Simple reason being that you couldn’t put a fag paper between the two ugly sisters of politics when it comes to policy or ideology for the longest time. For proof of this you only have to look at how well they worked together throughout the referendum campaign. A touching sight, seeing Darling so well received at Tory conference wasn’t it?😀

    Anyroads, if people want WM to play nice with the neighbours, its going to come down to credible political threat. What does Westminster fear? Well they quite generously provided us with the answer over the past two years. They fear the break up of the UK political construct, they fear an economically and politically successful, independent Scotland. If people want representation in our WM contingent with teeth, a contingent that can hold WM to account and push WM to deliver on the pledges they made during the referendum campaign, then the only credible answer is for the Scottish electorate to send down pro indy MPs well into double digits.

    Better yet, think of such a large contingent led by an Alex Salmond with the breaks off. Without the office of FM restraining his words or actions and with say between twenty or thirty MPs at his back, just what do you think that would do to the balance of votes in the commons?


  8. For a Dancer says:

    Smugurph! Love it. Just as we are going to love watching him squirm around trying to endear himself to people who have completely got his measure. Once again he underestimates the Scottish people.

  9. gerry parker says:

    A good read paul.
    Meanwhile, here in the backwoods One of the 4 seats that would Still return a Labour MP is supposedly Coatbridge, Bellsill and Chryston.

    The electorate need reminded of a few things as we approach May 2015.

    1. Labour, despite a considerable time in power both at Westminster and Holyrood did nothing to help the people of Scotland so we have ATOS, PFI, the bedroom tax, and the continuance of the unfair grid connection charges for electricity generation.

    2. Weapons of mass destruction remain on the Clyde. Even though we don’t want them, don’t need them, and can’t use them as the US have the codes, nevertheless we have to pay for them with our taxes, and we are told that the money spent is actually part of the UK’s investment in Scotland.

    3. The Westminster system is still full of self serving greedy people who are economically illiterate. We can expect no change in how this country is governed while Westminster is in charge. Did the House of Lords get reorganised? Did the first past the post system get changed? Did anything that would change the balance of power away from the establishment change?

    I do hope the electorate is wakening up. The real test is can we mobilise people enough to make a difference when we have existing seats with a 20,000 labour majority in Scotland and the media part of the establishment.

  10. Davie Park says:

    Oh, Jim will unite Scottish Labour all right. This lily-livered bunch will be united in terror of Big Jim’s ire and united in the hope that a concerted establishment effort will keep them on the gravy train.

  11. aitchbee says:

    I have made a standing order for popcorn already – this one promises some good (schadenfreude-y) entertainment😉

  12. Scooter Girl says:

    ‘Westminster Labour is not going to permit its Scottish branch office to introduce left wing policies which would make it unelectable in England…’

    This comment exposes a gaping flaw in your analysis, I am afraid. The Labour Party’s rightward swing is all about appeasing corporate interests, not attracting votes – that is what makes them unelectable. I’m English and I know that there is a massive aspiration for anti-austerity pro-left wing policies in England but the Labour Party are just too cosy with big business these days and will instead perpetuate the Tory war against the poor and working class; just as in Scotland.

    Scottish folk and English folk are not as different as you might imagine – it’s just that Scottish folk have the opportunity to change the way things have been stacked against them by means of asserting their will for independence. There is no realistic left wing option on the menu for England. The nearest to it is a party led by the pro-unionist traitor, George Galloway.

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Whilst I don’t disagree with you ScooterGirl in the end of the day it’s people that vote for parties not businesses.

      • Scooter Girl says:

        Correct, that’s why the Labour Party is unelectable – they don’t have left wing policies for people to vote for, they were so busy chasing Tory votes that they lost their natural constituency. See my point?

        • Steve Asaneilean says:

          Kind of – but who do left wing voters in England vote for in that case? Or do they just not vote?

          • rabthecab says:

            Living in London as I do Steve, that’s a question I’ll face next May. Greens? NHA (If they put up a candidate against my local MP, the equally odious Harriet Harman)? Neither stand a snowball’s chance, but what other options are there?

            • Brian Fleming says:

              rab, what’s the NHA?

              • rabthecab says:

                National Health Action Party Brian. Only active south of Hadrian’s for obvious reasons.

                They exist basically to try & save what’s left of the NHS down here before Cameron et al sell too much of it. One of the only sane alternatives for a Jock in exile, but with no real chance of getting anywhere. Still, an unused vote is more of a waste than at least batting for an alternative IMO.

        • DR says:

          I do see your point, but it has to be said that political parties don’t fall from the sky – they have to be built from that “massive aspiration”. We did this with the SNP – and the independence issue followed, not the other way round!

          It’s *obvious* to voters in Scotland that the issue *isn’t* that most potential voters in England vote Tory, but that not enough come out to vote Labour (for the reasons you note). But, Scotland has exactly the same Labour party, with exactly the same policies, and until very recently, we managed to get plenty people to vote Labour. So it’s not impossible. And it is, in fact *voters in England* (in swing seats) not the corporate interests themselves, who mandate Labour’s behaviour. In addition, far from lacking an opportunity “to change the way things have been stacked against them”, it was the votes of people in England that *rejected exactly that* in the AV referendum.

          Virtually no-one (here) *does* imagine that English folk and Scottish folk are that different – noting that politics is different in different parts of (any) state is *not saying that*. It’s just that folk in Scotland have been working for generations on our political culture, on tactical voting, and on *putting* a realistic left-wing option on the table. None of this is ‘luck’, or ‘natural’ or was ‘given’ Scotland, or is a ‘chance’. Change only *ever* comes from hard graft, by dedicated people, in the teeth of overwhelming vested interests. The truth of democracy is that one gets the parties one forms and supports, and the choices one actually votes for – and in England, right now, whatever the aspirations might be, those are UKIP and Brexit. People in England are *not helpless*, or any more democratically disadvantaged than anyone else in the UK – it seems to me you are the one imagining differences where none exist!

    • john henry says:

      Please dont vote for Galloway, he’s as bad as any of them, reckon refusing to participate is best option, or greens.

  13. bjsalba says:

    One major thing to bear in mind about ASDA. They are owned by Walmart, a USA company which is best (or worst) known for the number of lawsuits taken out by women for discrimination against them. Does that sound familiar? This is a company we should boycott

    The simple way is to shop local. Unless you are the one of the “hard working families” (mom, pops and two kids, and your income is in the top 2%) you are being shafted by the Wastemonster crew. It might be a little more effort, but it doesn’t generally mean dearer as you put less in the bin, which is good for your local council.

    Let us screw the bastards!

  14. A Meringue says:

    I can’t hear or see anything about Murphy without imagining this dude.

  15. Was never a fan of Murphy. He makes me feel ill. Murphy’s campaign, and the wider changes around it, are being engineered by London Labour. Murphy has now resigned his shadow cabinet post. Interesting given that rumours have already been circulating about his successor – Mags Curran – before he had even vacated the seat. And Mags, if rumours be right, will be replaced by Sarwar as payment for demitting his office as deputy leader to leave the door open for an MSP, although this may not necessarily play out that way with the appearance of an MP on the scene.

    Surely the public must see this blatant manipulation of Labour in Scotland. Surely the public must condemn it. Opinion polls suggest they do, so hopefully feelings of annoyance and memories will not be short.

    As for MSPs and members of the party… A sizeable number of MSPs have surprisingly backed Murphy’s candidature, though they may have been promised sweeties in return. Trade Unions so far are indicating support for Finlay. It will be interesting to see who gets the backing of members as this could well be crucial in the vote. Will they be taken in by the ‘big name’ and promises of Murphy, or turned off by his right wing views, and playing of the expenses game? Perhaps it’s only amongst this group that Boyack might win support, but it seems unlikely it will be sufficient to counter Murphy’s stranglehold of London Labour backing and purse strings. Given that Milliband is now even less popular than Clegg, does what any of them think even matter?

  16. VikingsDottir says:

    I’ve said elsewhere, if there was a settled will of any people we wouldn’t need to have elections at all.
    I get the impression Jim Murphy sees himself as a hard man. Self-delusion I’d say.
    It is interesting to see some of the businesses that said they would ‘leave’ or ‘put their prices up’ if there was a Yes vote.
    The Clydesdale Bank is to be sold. Tesco’s, who threatened to raise their prices after a Yes vote, were really going to raise them because they are in financial trouble. Ms Mone’s company posted an eye watering loss etc. Then the sudden discovery of new oil fields in the North Sea shortly after permission was given for Fracking that you can do nothing to stop. The folk that voted No should have a lot on their consciences, if they have consciences that is.
    As for Labour, it is sad to see a once great party, founded to support the poor and the workers, turning into a rest home for retired New Labour luvvies, some of whom were once Marxists, all of whom now adore the Capitalist system they once abhorred. I won’t be crying to see them go.

  17. wee folding bike says:

    What have you got against Baked Beans?

  18. James says:

    Much as they deserve it, I’m not so sure about this imminent evaporation of the slp. Under the circumstances I believe the resignation of the slp leader was wholly expected and inevitable. the recent poll result can also be easily put down to ” a totally deserved backlash from us to westminster”

    You must also remember that the establishment (via the media) are always looking to pull the wool over our eyes, they’re past masters of untruths, biased propoganda and lulling us into a false sense of security. ie this “solitary” poll result might be misleading. You can almost see the smirk on the newscasters face’s when they’re delivering these poll results..

    I cannot see these people lying down and allowing or accepting defeat here. As usual the lab party will need to do well in Scotland to give them the key to downing street. At the moment the slp are in a torrid state, however the powers that be will be hell bent on having them reasonably ship shape for next year.

    From a personal point of view, I believe the label “pro-independence parties” doesn’t help the cause. the reason being that, anyone looking for independence will already be voting snp. However many voters might be put off with this label, And for the same reasons I think Nichola Sturgeon could play a blinder by shelving independence for a wee while. ie many of the voters your looking to win over are not pro-independent, hence one reason why 55% voted NO

    It’s nice to see one of our English allies in, hope you are well. Which begs the question that If the shelving of independence did come into play, would it then be a possibility to take the party across the border ? There is a great opportunity here and not beyond the bounds of possibilities that (probably a new name ) the snp could become a UK party ? see how quickly ukip has come to the fore, I’m sure the snp have more potential than them. Many of our Allies “up north” in England may be interested in joining, together with the Welsh and Northern Irish.

    Sadly asda is another “establishment” horror story,(not to mention tesco, macdonalds, starbucks, amazon and many others) but I believe that previous governments, including the snp could have done more in this area over the years.

    Our original “supermarket” was the co-op. I think the co-op should have been encouraged more, this was built up by Scots all over Scotland, and would have been the obvious choice for the people of Scotland to do their shopping. I suspect that the co-op could be past saving now, however that might not have been the case if the snp had been looking in this area over the past 5 years.

    Who knows if the co-op could be built up to it’s former glory ?, perhaps concentrating on selling home-grown produce and serving the Scotiish people, a shop with the Scottish people’s interests at heart, and of course with a more than helping hand from the Scottish government.

    I say again that alex salmond should step back now, he needs to give Nicola all possible time to get across her new ambitions, and directions. She has already suggested a new path, in my view these could and should be radical, lets face it her hard core voters are here to stay, she must go all out now to unite the whole country. Why stop at the border ? I believe under the right circumstances she could also make inroads into England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Who knows, maybe the 3 amigos will be on our side next time, they won’t be heading north up to Scotland, they’ll be heading south down to westminster. And our country will be rid of cameron, miliband and whatever his name is(can’t remember) thinks it’s a nasty wee beasty, oh aye clegg🙂

  19. Marian says:

    Sunny Jim Murphy has so much baggage and skeletons in the cupboard that he should be an absolute gift to the SNP and their 83,000 supporters to exploit and lampoon mercilessly at the run-up to the 2015 GE and Scottish Elections in 2016.

    As an added bonus we have all the videos and photos of Labour politicians hugging and high-fiving with Tories during the referendum to turn into party political posters and videos.

    • Steve Bowers says:

      Aye Marian but we need to get the message out there and the compliant media are not on our side. I’m hoping that “activists” can start gathering funds now for a full leafletting campaign, “This is your local Labour MP, this is his/her record as an MP, you don’t have to put up with this, why not vote for SNP, Green, SSP etc etc” kinda thing, we have enough people to put boots on the ground and the leaflets don’t need to come from a political party just an anti Labour coalition

      • Betty Craney says:

        I’ve been putting forward this idea about leafleting for a few weeks now on various YES pages on Facebook. Get facts about the local Labour MP ( voting history, expenses , etc ) and , also , what the Labour Party ,in general, have done ( or not done ) to help Scotland’s working class. After all, they’re supposed to be the party of the working man not the WM elite !

  20. begoniapink says:

    Brilliant as usual ..keep up the good work

  21. lastchancetoshine says:

    The labour party will change it’s rules if it has to in order to shoe him in. They aren’t going to waste the media effort to big him up by having it hindered by any silly rules that they thought were a good idea at the time.

  22. macart763m says:

    Why Labour are unfit to govern.


    Alistair Darling at his helpful best, underlining why Labour took the stance they did during the referendum.

  23. jdman says:

    Doctor, I’ve been suffering from depression since the referendum,

    Yes I know a lot of people have come in recently complaining of that,

    But what can I do doctor?

    Well I would like you to take one WEE GINGER DUG a day and see me in a week,

    A week later

    Well? did you do as I asked,?

    I did doctor and I cant thank you enough, I’m so much happier and for the first time in years I’ve laughed so hard, you know, a real belly laugh kind of laugh? I have laughed so hard I’ve even peed masel.

    Well that’s great just keep taking the WEE GINGER DUG once a day from now on.

    for all that ails you
    your a real tonic Paul.🙂

  24. Jim Arnott says:

    Every time I see Jim Murphy an image of the Rev IM Jolly springs to mind. That image of Murphy has to be banished as quickly as possible because I could never bring myself to insult the Rev IM Jolly. I am happy enough, however, to apply the word Skeletor.

    • JGedd says:

      Whenever I see Jim Murphy, I’m reminded of ” In the Thick of It ” when a politician is described as looking like ” a horse in a man costume “. Wonder if they were thinking of Murphy?

  25. Martin Wood says:

    “I suggest a new strategy R2….”

    The recent surge in the polls got me to thinking the last time this happened. “Los tres amigos” were stirred into action and the entire MSM, business community and Westminster went into misinformation overdrive, saturating the media with “Project Fear”
    As a result – we lost.
    The same might happen in GE 2015 – they won’t take a strong SNP/Greens, weak Labour lying down. We face a very large well-coordinated “enemy” and fighting them at their own game seems stupid. Guerrilla warfare is the best way to beat overwhelming strength – laced with a healthy dose of misinformation
    The media and MP’s use the polls to shape public opinion – so why don’t we turn this back on them. 1.6 million of us seem to be well connected on social media. We could spread the word to “misinform” our voting intentions.
    Instead of answering SNP etc. – say Labour, Lib Dem – Tories even.
    This will artificially inflate the labour vote and will probably be widely reported as a Labour recovery as often as the BBC can. This should hopefully calm the furrowed brow and lull them into a sense of security. A few things should fall out of this.
    Eggman may be tempted to stand in a less safe seat – making it easier to bounce him.
    Twopee will feel he can fight the Westminster election without worrying about North Britain and the Labour voters who would vote for a Chimp with a red rosette would be encourage to go back to sleep and they’re turnout drop back to the 30% of 2010 as they may think it’s in the bag.
    For the sheer amusement – if nothing else, the faces of SLAB in May when the actual results come in (hopefully reflecting the current level of distaste for labour) and the decimation of the seats they hold would be a fair shock to the system.
    The strategists in the main parties would be hung out to dry, pollsters would be dragged into various Whitehall offices, John Curtice, who’s face has become a bit too wearing on TV, would struggle to answer how this happened.
    Starved of accurate information – the run up to Holyrood 2016 should be chaotic for SLAB etc – they won’t know what to trust even if they do figure it out.
    For a bit of entertainment February 2015 could be “Tory” month, March “Lib dem”.


    • James says:

      would that no be a bit strange, going from 52% to 0% who would believe that slp were at 92% ? , apart from jim murphy (due to him being the new leader and everyone likes him)

  26. […] Less than two months after the referendum, you know, that vote that was supposed to establish the settled will of the Scottish people until the Sun expands in a ball of hot gas and consumes the Earth – or at least for the length of the career of the average Labour politician – a new poll from YouGov has discovered that a significant number of No voters have changed their minds and now want independence. The other significant development is that two months is now also about the average career life of a Labour politician in Scotland. Only may flies have a shorter life expectancy, but they don’t have any mouth parts. Sadly the same cannot be said for Jim Murphy. A male may fly is basically nothing more than a mobile reproductive organ – it’s just a dick sniffing for something to screw – which you can say for Jim Murphy, so order is restored to the universe.  […]

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