Schrodinger’s Labour

We’re in that period before Christmas when the prezzies have already been wrapped up in an Ashcroft poll and put under the tree. Have we got that Murph E Coyote doll we asked for? The one that runs off the canyon edge keeping aloft on its own frantic spinning, only to fall and land with a resounding splat in a dustcloud of McTernans. The special edition Scottish Labour model, the one that comes with additional features, like extra hubris and a smug look that can be wiped off its face. It’s one of those toys that are only fun when you smash them.

There’s a Murph E Coyote shaped package under the tree, and when you shake it it’s got that reassuring death rattle. It’s certainly looking good, for those who want substantial more power for Scotland if not for James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed). But is it really the prezzie we long for, or will we be disappointed and only get a pair of hand knitted Westminster featherbedders. The signs are good, but we won’t know for sure until we open the prezzie on May 7. In the meantime we’ve got a Schrodinger’s Murph – Labour in Scotland is quantum, neither alive nor dead but in both states simultaneously.

The living death of zombie Labour was illustrated in the obsessive knee jerking of Kezia Dugdale when interviewed on Sunday’s BBC Politics show. She was asked about the manifesto that Labour launched on Friday. The Dugless one was asked by Gordon Brewer about the cuts that Labour has said they’ll have to introduce. No matter how he phrased the question, no matter what he asked or how he asked it, her answer to every question about Labour policy was, “The SNP is really bad and have bad questions to answer badly. The bad bad SNP are really bad. The SNP want Full Fiscal Autonomy and that’s bad. The bad SNP have bad questions to answer. The SNP want another referendum and that’s bad. Did I say that the SNP are really badly bad and have to answer bad questions, because the SNP are really bad. That’s how bad they are, really bad, SNP bad. And finally, because this is an important point, I’d just like to mention that the SNP are really bad. I have so answered your question Gordon.” Badly.

Kezia and the Labour party are too dense to realise that answering criticisms of their party with attacks on another party is an implicit acceptance on the proposition. When the only answer to the question – “Just how rubbish is your party?” is “But the SNP are more rubbish.” You are accepting that your own party is rubbish and expecting people to listen to an attack originating from a party which tacitly acknowledges that it’s rubbish. But then we already know that Labour is rubbish. That’s why they’re doing so poorly in the polls.

A woman who couldn’t answer demanded that others answer so no one would notice she had no answers of her own. But we did notice, we do notice. We notice how bad Labour is. They don’t stand for anything except keeping their careers, and hating the SNP. And they only hate the SNP because the SNP threatens their careers. It’s not even a principled hatred.

In a desperate attempt to gain some purchase, Labour churns out policies from John McTernan’s ACME catalog of spin, but it makes no difference. The reason is that Labour doesn’t have a policy problem. It has a trust problem. It doesn’t matter what policies you have if no one believes a word you say. And that lack of trust isn’t down to the Murphoid one, although having a man who is a serial political cross dresser in charge really isn’t helping Labour’s bid for believability any.

It doesn’t matter how many easy rides Jim gets in the media, no one will trust Labour until the party reforms itself. Labour has already been given numerous chances to reform itself, 2007, 2011, 2014 – and Labour’s “reform” was to give us Jim Murphy. Jim Murphy is the Stars in their Political Eyes addict who wowed the metrocommentariat with his impressions. Today Matthew, Jim has painted his face blue and is wearing a Scotland shirt, next week he’s donned a frock and is channelling Rosa Luxemburg. The week after that he’ll be manning the barricades in the Paris Commune with a pile of Irn Bru crates. The week before the election he’ll be camped out in a battery farm in the hope that someone throws an egg at him. But when you remove the hastily applied make up and the costumes, underneath Jim is still the Blairite chancer that he’s always been. I know that, you know that, the dug knows that, we all know that.

It’s so bad for Labour that the Sunday Herald has reported that Jim Murphy has sought legal advice on whether he can remain as leader of the tattered remnants of Labour in Scotland if he loses his own seat. The Smugurphy one denies that he’s asked for legal advice on the issue. But then he would, wouldn’t he. There have been rumours of wriggle room in the clause in the constitution that says that a candidate for election to leadership must be an elected politician, but the rules are silent on what happens if a successful candidate loses their seat afterwards. In Jim’s world it would be perfectly acceptable for a totally discredited leader to retain his position, but then he was totally discredited before he was elected, so to be fair there would be no real change there.

We are living in historic times. The death of the Labour party is being foretold in the signs and portents of polls and Kezias. Labour isn’t spinning, it’s a death spiral.

We can’t take anything for granted. The polls are stupendously good for those who want to break the back of the old ways of doing things in Scotland, the secret deals and handshakes, the cosy agreements, the old boys’ network, the careerists with a cushy seat for life. The polls are gobsmackingly good, unbelievably good, but the only vote that counts is the one on May 7.

Let’s keep working. Let’s open Schrodinger’s box and find Labour’s cat has expired. Let’s see the cartoon until the end, and watch the coyote run off the cliff and fall to its doom in the dust. Labour in Scotland May 7 2015, that’s all folks!

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25 comments on “Schrodinger’s Labour

  1. macart763 says:

    Couldn’t watch the whole interview to the end, it was simply toe curling viewing. I even felt bad for Mr Brewer. What are the odds? Two car crash pieces of telly back to back in consecutive weeks.

    Just grim.

    Since when did trashing your opposition on a daily basis become more important than creating policies for the betterment of your electorate? The sooner we are done with this kind of politics the better. May 7 should make for a good start.

  2. […] Schrodinger’s Labour […]

  3. Hargaret Modge says:

    If Murphy has sought legal advice on his position, if he looses his seat, that’s an indication that
    a) he’s only in it for the money, expenses etc…..
    b) he knows his coat’s on a very shooggley nail.

    But it also strikes me that he must be very dim. If you are no longer an MP how can you be a leader of anything to do with Parliament? I suppose if he does loose his MPship he might try for an MSPship.
    I can’t work out what’s worse.

    • mearnsgeek says:

      I’m definitely no Smurph fan, but to be fair to him Natalie Bennet leads the Greens and isn’t an elected anything except the leader of the Greens.

      • cynicalHighlander says:

        One can’t lead something that doesn’t exist such as ‘Scottish Labour’ as it is only an accounting unit of the Labour party so branch manger is the best grade he can hope for as he couldn’t lead lemmings over a cliff they would just say good riddance. Yes I do do know that Lemmings are not as stupid as Disney made out but does Jim.

  4. Tony Sisi says:

    McTernan has obviously taken James Francis off our screens this past week in the forlorn hope that voters will forget how rotten to the core his rhetoric really is…you know Jim there is a precedent set this week for Labour politicians who are alleged to be more than a bit dodgy to decline to appear in public and defend themselves because of Alzheimer’s…perhaps that’s worth remembering!
    The remaining deluded supporters have been told to answer no questions….not even give name and number…just filibuster your way through every interview and try and wear the interviewer down….actually Kezia got an easy ride on the Sunday Politics I do not think Andrew Neil would have let her chunter on with her diatribe against the SNP.
    We are sadly lacking in interviewers who can shut up politicians of any party who are on tv only to give a party political broadcast. .

  5. There’s also the wee question of whether the dregs of Scottish Labour remaining at the bottom of the mug on May 8th will want Murph to remain as leader. They may well feel they’ve had enough of him too. Only problem would be a replacement. Though an empty chair with a jacket draped over it might suit them better than what they’ve had. Couldn’t do any worse.

  6. benmadigan says:

    “We are living in historic times.We can’t take anything for granted.Let’s keep working.”
    Those are the 3 sentences that stood out for me in this post, particularly the first.
    If scotland sends a large number of SNP candidates to Westminster the outcome could be more far-reaching than even winning the referendum would have been.
    The danger is of course a Lab-Con national government to “save the Union” but despite that, whatever happens, Scotland has gone

  7. andygm1 says:

    As someone who was in sales for most of my career, one of the basics is not to mention the competition and if you must, then do not attack them. It cannot end well for you.

  8. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Could it be he is in debt to bookies or a loan shark?

    Just askin.

  9. gavin says:

    The gemme is a foot, or the door is a jar. Depends on the spin !
    We exist in Murphland, where all that McTernan can imagine, is given a good outing in the Britnat media.
    So, the polls might be ‘ stupendously good’ , but our foes will try every trick, use every smear, will utilise every loopy stunt in the playbook of Murphy’s backroom staff, to defeat the forces of self government.
    They have experience of dirty politics over decades and several continents.
    Murphy,McTernan and all their acolites won’t give up till the stake is through their figurative hearts.
    We will need to be aware till the last kick of the ball.

  10. Sue de Nymme says:

    Let us not become complacent, nor let us not be counting the proverbial chickens before they are actually hatched. is pedicting the odious James Francis to win (is that the correct word?) with 51% of the vote. Work needs to be done. We need to engage with the people. No no no, not Jim. All you lot out there in Refrewshire East, talk to your local branch….. now.

  11. douglas clark says:


    They do indeed have experience of dirty politics over several decades and several continents. I would say over several centuries and all continents, but there you go…

    It might be worth pointing out that almost every country that fell within their ambit has left.

    Now, why would that be?

  12. benmadigan says:

    totally agree with Gavin and Sue de Nymme – Now is not the time for slacking off
    Keep chappin’ doors, handing out leaflets, manning stalls, talking to friends and family,
    Get the SNP supporters out on the Day – by whatever means necessary –
    loudhailers, –
    car rides back and forth to the polling station –
    local volunteers to look after children while parents vote –
    do whatever it takes to bring that vote in
    and, as voters exit the polling station volunteer to keep checking them off on a list of voters We don’t want any “nasty” surprises!!!
    may Scotland rise to the challenge!

  13. Mammy says:

    If you tell a child that it is bad often enough the child will tell you it is bad. When the child grows up he/she realises that they are not bad and takes stock of itself and.proves the ” carer” wrong. So come on Scotland we have been told so often that we are wasters ,scrounges , and very dangerous.Our leader in parliament said we are dangerous. How come they wanted us to stay in the union ,why do they want us ? We are the whipping boy for all that is wrong and if we show our true colours they will have to eat humble pie as we show we care for each other and our wider community. Let Scotland show them true fairness,sharing
    compassion and honest government.

  14. macart763 says:

    It seems that Dave going Tonto on the Marr show hasn’t escaped the front pages today.😀

    Nicola came out aces again and didn’t even have to sit next to the man (bonus). Not feelin’ the lurve Dave.

    Say it ain’t so.😉

  15. Angusthedug says:

    “no one will trust Labour until the party reforms itself. Labour has already been given numerous chances to reform itself, 2007, 2011, 2014 – and Labour’s “reform” was to give us Jim Murphy.”

    It went through my mind the other day, just how easy it would be for any of us today to write the Scottish Labour press release on the 8th of May.

    “The people of Scotland have spoken and we will learn from that message.” “We can and will change……”. “We will learn the lesson….”.

  16. Maureen says:

    Well said Mammy. Come on Scotland show them what were made of.

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