James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed)’s sharply honed political instincts are being borne out. He told us there would be a late surge in Labour’s vote, and he’s right. There is indeed a late surge in the Labour vote, it’s just the surge is in the opposite direction from the one he was hoping for. On Monday another Scottish opinion poll was published, showing that the SNP are on 52%, yes you did read that right, and the Greens on 3%. That’s an increase of 6% in the SNP’s vote share, and a corresponding drop of 6% in Labour’s. Some projections based on these figures would leave Labour with just two seats in Scotland, neither of which would be Jim Murphy’s. Fears and smears end in tears Jim, and now all your base are belong to us.
If this poll is right, then 55% of the Scottish vote is going to pro-independence parties. But evil cybernats and those who would do ill to Wee Dougie Alexander’s career shouldn’t get too excited. Some of the fieldwork was carried out before the hauf-arsed attempt to smear Nicla as a Tory lover, and all of it was before Sunday’s hammy rammy ding dong when Jim Murphy made a complete and utter arse out himself, schmoozed up to the Action Krankie, and pissed off more than half the women in the country and a sizeable chunk of the men. There could be more Scottish surginess yet to come. It looks like Jim’s going to be joining Wee Wullie Rennie on the number 19 to Kelty, via Cowdenbeath and extinction.
Yesterday I saw a wee forlorn group of Labour canvassers. There were four of them, and they didn’t look like they were wildly enthusiastic about their task. At least one of them was a local cooncillor. They’re hopelessly outnumbered by the SNP canvassers locally, and the official campaign has only just got started. The SNP seem to outnumber Labour on the ground by about ten to one, and this time Labour can’t bus supporters up from dahn sarf to boost their numbers.
Also on Monday Labour unveiled its manifesto for the General Election. It was a “let’s not scare off potential Tory voters” kind of manifesto. Jim Murphy was hoping that buried somewhere in the fine print there was a wee proviso stating “except for viewers in Scotland”, because for the past couple of months he has been telling anyone who would listen that there won’t be any cuts in Scotland. We can grow the economy, Jim said, no need for cuts, he said. While slagging off Nicla Sturgeon for saying remarkably similar things.
Unfortunately for Jim Ed Baws rummaged around in his chancellorial bawsbag and stated that Scotland can’t be exempt from spending cuts under a Labour government. Jim’s leadership of the Scottish accounting unit has been turned into a yolk by his own party leadership.
Being exhausted after his recent media performances, Jim didn’t make it to the manifesto launch, all that patronising takes it out of him. It was left to Ed Miliband to look snide instead, which he achieved by imagining he was confronted with a bacon sandwich and a press photographer. Desperate to avoid looking like a suicide bomber with a pointy finger, Ed did his wavy superglued hand thing, and promised voters that he could be as nasty as any Tory could. But he’d do it with a sad face, because Labour’s the caring cuts, austerity, and sooking up to bankers party. The manifesto itself was an exercise in management wankspeak, full of words like synergy, proactive, and going forward into blandness.
Chuka Umunna – Labour’s business and pensions spokesperson – was interviewed by the assembled reporters while he was standing in front of a Labour campaign coach plastered in progressive Labour slogans like “Foreigners are bad”, and “We promise to look sad when we cut your benefit.” Pointedly, with a sharp stick he was poking in the ribs of the Scottish branch office, Chuka tossed a few more eggs at Jim and said, “The leader of the Scottish party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”
And if you looked very carefully you could see Jim’s legs poking out from beneath the wheels of the bus, along with the splattered hopes of Labour saving its Scottish seats and a pile of broken eggshells.
Clearly, the Labour leadership – that will be the real Labour leadership and not Jim’s imaginary branch office variety – have decided that the party in Scotland is a lost cause. They can only lose 41 seats in Scotland, but many more seats are at play in England. Since the only way they can save any seats in Scotland is to adopt policies that will make them lose the support of the Tory press in England, and they crave Tory media approval like an SNPout zoomer craves a smear, Jim gets the off. So Chuka chucks Jim under the battlebus in return for a sympathetic story in the Express about how the Labour candidate in some marginal seat in Toryshireland is distantly related to Princess Di. And order and balance is restored to the universe.
Jim sees Labour’s private polling and their canvass returns. This may be the reason for his increasingly hysterical public performances. Jim’s day starts with a look at the figures showing his career prospects are plummeting faster than Jackie Baillie in pursuit of an NHS scare story, and that’s distressing for him since his career is the only principle he’s ever stuck firm to. In fact it’s the only principle he’s ever known. It’s why he went into politics in the first place. Without his political career Jim has got nothing left. He could try to make folksy railway documentaries like Michael Portillo. But Jim touring the country on an Irn Bru crate batting away eggs with a Bradshaw guide has already been done. Besides, the Caledonian Express has already left the station and left Jim behind, shouting angrily at pensioners.
Jim’s assured himself a place in the history books. It’s just not the place he wanted. He’ll be remembered as the man who killed the Labour party in Scotland, sacrificed on the altar of Jim’s career. Only he won’t save his career either. All your base are belong to us Jim.
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