According to the Herald, Jim Murphy has promised that if he wins the election for manager of Labour’s Scottish dead meat counter he’s going to wrest power back from the London office. What he really means of course is that he’ll take what powers he can for himself, because this is Jim Murphy we’re talking about here. Whispering Jim’s ego is inversely proportional to the loudness of his voice. Jim Murphy has a vision for Scotland’s future, it’s a picture of him towering about his tiny little minions – the murphoids. Murphoids are small and narrow minded things that cling to Labour like haemorrhoids, only bloodless and drained of anything red. He fancies himself as a supervillain, but he’s sadly bereft of any superpowers, except the powers to schmooze with interviewers on the BBC, and the power to turn socialist policies into Tory ones.
Demoted from his defence brief in the shadow cabinet after the Brownite faction won the succession struggle and Jim had hitched his horse whispering to Tony Blair’s pony, the Smugurphy’s London career has gone the way of Ed Miliband’s re-election prospects, sidelined and forgotten like mention of the deficit in Ed’s keynote conference speech. The answer to what Jim sees as the greatest political crisis so far this century – the crisis of his own career vanishing more quickly than Magrit Curran being faced with an irate East End voter – is to build himself a new power base in Scotland. He’s done this because he still suffers from the delusion that the Labour party has a power base left in Scotland.
However Jim’s move does raise some interesting questions which he has shown no sign of answering and Andrew whitsisface with the prematurely white hair on the BBC’s excuse for a Scottish politics and news show showed no sign of asking. But that’s what happens when you have to work for Ken McQuarrie – you age unnaturally quickly. People born in the 1970s end up looking like they’re channelling the 1950s, which is where the BBC’s concept of news and current affairs in Scotland has remained stuck like a knob on a black and white telly. Or just a knob.
Anyway, there was a review of Labour policy and procedure carried out after the last time the Scottish electorate kicked the empty suits of Labour in the balls, or rather, kicked them where their balls would be if they possessed any balls in the first place. This was a review carried out by Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack, both of who are now standing for election as branch office manager. The review set up the office of Leader of Scottish Labour (sic – and sick was rarely more appropriate), and gave us the delights of the lovely Johann Lamont and her radiant smile. We were told at the time that the new leader would have all those powers that Jim Murphy now tells us he’s going to wrest from Labour’s London office.
So how come Jim Murphy is the guy to sort the problems in the Labour party in Scotland, when it was the failure of Jim Murphy’s own review that led to the problems that Labour is currently experiencing? Was this review of Jim’s not implemented then? If not, why not, and who is responsible for not implementing it? No one is asking Jim. Probably because Jim is one of those responsible for not implementing it. Jim never had any intention of allowing a Scottish branch of Labour to have any control at all. He’s only interested in the control he wields himself, and that’s why he’s spent the past six months briefing furiously against Johann and then sanctimoniously saying that the party must stop damaging itself. He’s one of the dinosaurs that Johann complained about in her bitter resignation letter. Getting the Smugurph in to sort the party out is like suffering a brain haemorrhage and deciding to treat it by slashing your wrists and leaping in front of an oncoming train.
The train is coming – there’s no light at the end of Labour’s tunnel, it’s the train. The Caledonian Express is going to plaster the Labour party’s electoral hopes in Scotland all over the tracks like the jam they always promised but never delivered. The train is powered by lies and deceit. It’s driven by the engine of deception, the promises that the Clyde yards would only be safe if Scotland voted No, promises delivered amidst po-faced assertions that the Royal Navy would never commission ships from a foreign land. And now the post-referendum reality where the MoD has admitted that it is considering pulling the Clyde contracts and buying French ships instead. The head of angry steam is building. It’s going to explode in a shower of votes in May next year.
A new UK wide poll from IPSOS Mori has shown that the SNP is on 8% – that’s 8% across the entire UK – just 1% behind the UK polling figure for the Lib Dems. There’s some serious rounding issues going on there, because the SNP only stand in Scotland and Scotland makes up just 8.5% of the UK electorate. A more detailed breakdown of the figures shows that in Scotland, the SNP has the support of 59% of voters against – wait for it – just 14% who back the murphoids. That would annihilate Labour in Scotland, and not even the blindly loyal Labour voters of Coatbridge would be left to them. If this latest poll is accurate – and it’s not wildly out of line with recent Scotland only polls – the SNP could easily become the third largest party in the next Westminster Parliament. Now that would be a laff. The SNP could hold the balance of power in the next Westminster Parliament. We might just get that devo max after all.
But what the polls do show is that without any doubt or quibbles about rounding, or the small sizes of Scottish subsample, or any of the other get-out clauses usually trotted out at these times – Labour in Scotland is gubbed. More gubbed than a gobstopper that’s evaded the Heimlich manoeuvre. Now you know why the party appears Tory blue in the face. Choke on that one Jim. Your career is about to hit the buffers. The party leader with no party to lead.