Jim Murphy has been raising the profile of the Labour party this week, at least according to an interview in the Guardian, a newspaper which sells only a handful of copies in Scotland, most of which are to people who like the crossword. This means that the Labour party’s profile has been successfully raised amongst people who like to do crosswords – but of course people who like to do crosswords also understand that ‘deluded Mr Hi Jumpy is very confused (3, 6)’.
Anyway, Mr Hi Jumpy has a very high opinion of himself and likes to remind everyone how hard it was for him when he was a baba. The Baby Hi Jumpy was born in a cutlery drawer in Arden under a star, or at least a disco ball, and was visited by the three kings from Labour party headquarters who presented him with the gifts of a brass neck, a press office, and an expenses claims form. Mainly in the hope it would make him go away and stop plotting against Ed Miliband.
However the media is determined to blur the distinction in the voter’s mind between Jim Murphy and the Baby Jesus, and over the coming holiday season BBC Scotland has lined up a Christmas special programme called Jim’s Nativity Miracle, during which he’ll be visited by a donkey, an ass, and some shepherds who’ve lost their sheep – that’ll be Ian Davidson and Dougie Alexander together with the management of BBC Scotland. Kezia Dugdale will play the role of an angel in a dufflecoat, who appears in a vision to the Daily Mail and complains about cybernats being nasty to her.
The Christmas message will be that Mr Hi Jumpy has come to redeem Labour from its sins, and seeks to achieve this by hoping that the rest of us will forget what Labour’s many sins are if we’re constantly bombarded with sycophantic interviews which go on about drawers in Arden like it makes Jim something special. It might spoil the infantile narrative to point out that Jim’s hardships largely took place during a time when Labour was in power, and the policies Jim and the rest of his misbegotten party have espoused ever since have done precious little to alleviate them for the rest of the residents of Arden. Labour, let us recall, refused to allow the devolution of minimum wage policy to the Scottish Parliament during the Smith commission negotiations.
Mr Hi Jumpy told the Guardian’s reporter that it was clear from the attacks on him that his opponents think he “isn’t shit”. And this would be true, Jim’s opponents don’t think he’s shit. But just stick an indefinite article in front of that last noun and you’ve got a very accurate assessment of what we do think he is. The chain is going to be pulled in May, and the 45 campaign is lining up to perform the role of the toilet duck of Scottish politics.
In his latest foray into lookitme politics, Mr Hi Jumpy has announced that he wants to end the ban on alcohol at fitba matches. He thinks it’s unfair that middle class yobs at rugby matches can imbibe some swally, but working class yobs at the real fitba can’t. Jim’s teetotal himself, but he’s drunk on the idea of cheap publicity, and he needs all the cheap publicity he can get, because according to the opinion polls Labour continues to look like a down and out alkie in the electoral gutter. The UK media kept telling us that Jim was going to turn around the fortunes of the Labour party, how a big hitter like him was exactly what the party needed to take on the supposedly provincial politicians of Holyrood, but it’s not working out according to plan, despite the hagiographies and near sainthood bestowed on a serial expenses claimant and apologist for Tony Blair’s war crimes.
But Jim is no longer an apologist – he thinks Labour needs to stop apologising and move on. Politicians always say this sort of thing when they desperately hope that the public will overlook their previous lies and misleading statements and will listen enthusiastically to the next lot of lies and misleading statements. Jim might be done apologising, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the public has forgiven him and the rest of his unapologetic elves and dwarves.
A sign that considerably more apologising and crawling will have to be done by Labour came in the latest Scottish opinion poll, fieldwork for which came after Jim was crowed about and crowned. The headline figures can be summarised as : Labour’s going to get a kicking that will make the massed ranks of the Can Can dancers at the Moulin Rouge look like they’re wearing shackles. Labour is going to get kicked from Caithness all the way to Jim’s holy Celtic park and from there to Galloway, then back again. Done apologising? If they had any sense they’d know they’ve not even started – but then when did Labour in Scotland ever have any sense? A sense of entitlement, certainly, common sense, not a bit of it.
In a statement that’s going to come back to haunt him, Mr Hi Jumpy keeps repeating his assertion that Labour won’t lose a single seat to the SNP in the Westminster General Election due in May. He’s almost certainly going to be proven right, Labour won’t lose a single seat to the SNP, it looks set to lose dozens.
But undaunted, Mr Hi Jumpy claims, “[Labour’s opponents] have got to work out how they deal with the argument we’re going to make, which is you can protest against Cameron by voting for the Greens or the Nats, but you can only replace him with one party.”
Well that’s easy isn’t it – we’ll deal with the argument by pointing out that how Scotland votes can’t replace the Tories anyway, as 50 useless Labour MPs have proven repeatedly. If voters in England want a Tory government, they’ll get a Tory government. But in Scotland we can vote SNP or Green and get MPs who won’t support Tory austerity policies and who will not go into coalition with or support the Tories at Westminster. MPs who will vote for what is in the best interests of Scotland. 50 Magrit Currans and Jim Murphies voting for austerity policies and what’s good for the banks – or 50 MPs working for Scotland and Scotland’s interests? Hardly a difficult choice, is it.
Mr Hi Jumpy’s for the high jump.
Well I’m still waiting to hear from The National … would be a lovely Christmas present to get a weekly column in the paper. I might have to start annoying them …