How to kill a coyote

You can’t kill the Coyote. Throw him off an electoral cliff so he plunges into a deep canyon which is impossible to climb out of, crush him under a boulder of votes, run him over with the on-coming Caledonian Express, he’ll still pop up again in the next scene of the Labour cartoon, eternally dooming the party to comedy failure. Jim Murphy has crawled out from underneath another rock, saving his skin by just three votes in a confidence motion at Labour’s Scottish HQ, but he has resigned anyway. Just not yet. In a wee while, next month. He has to hang around for a bit longer so that he can pretend he’s got a shred of dignity left.

Jim won the vote of confidence by 17 votes to 14, which in a fundilymundelicious irony works out at 55% to 45%. But his three vote majority was not quite what it seemed. Jim voted for himself, he also secured the vote of a former member of M16 who now sits in the Lords and who was controversially drafted in at the last moment because Labour has only got one lonely MP left. The surprise nominee is a long standing ally of Jim’s. After those two entirely predictable votes are discounted, really Jim won by just one vote, and that was Nicola Sturgeon’s.

Jim did get the support of Ian Lonely Murray, Scotland’s sole surviving Labour MP. But that was only because the Red Panda realised that as long as Jim stayed in post then he’d avoid most of the flak. Apart from him, Jim’s political passing is mourned only by the plethora of parody accounts on Twitter, who will now turn their attentions to Ian.

So Jim had to go, but not just yet, because a succession of prominent figures in the Labour party south of the border had stated that the party was the party of working people, and the voters of East Renfrewshire sacked Jim from his job. According to the papers, Jim’s resignation has thrown the party into turmoil, which does kind of make you wonder what it’s been in up until now. Something that comes out of a bull’s bum, I’m guessing.

Although I wasn’t present at the meeting, I’d put money on Jim being told that he could have a nominal victory in his vote of confidence, but only on condition that he resigned. It’s that manufactured dignity thing. It looks better in the papers, and allows both Jim and Labour to save a wee bit of face. Right up until Saturday morning Jim gave every indication that he was going to cling on to the post of leader like a dog turd on a leaky wellie without the slightest care that he was going to tread crap all over the party shag pile in the process. He was determined to remain leader even though he knew there was huge opposition against him. Jim showed no inclination to care that he was tearing apart the shattered remnants of the Labour party in Scotland. Yet by Saturday evening we were being informed that Jim didn’t want to divide the party. Uh huh. That’s so in character isn’t it. I strongly suspect that Jim was given no choice – resign or the party would resign itself to giving him the boot.

In a bitter resignation speech, Jim blamed everyone but himself for Labour’s woes. It was the fault of the SNP. It was the fault of the Tories. It was the fault of the voters for not listening to Jim. It was the fault of nationalisms everywhere, including in Tuvalu. It was the fault of previous Labour leaders for leaving abruptly. It was Johann Lamont’s fault for not standing up to Jim constantly briefing against her. But mostly it was the fault of Len McCluskey and the unions for wanting Labour to be left wing.

Jim’s not going to resign like previous Scottish leaders have resigned, before he goes he’s going to work on a plan to reform the party. Mind you, Jim was the one who came up with the plan to reform the party after it was trounced in the 2011 Scottish elections, and that hasn’t exactly worked out well for them. Mostly Jim’s plan will be about getting one over Len McCluskey. Jim thinks it’s wrong that Labour in Scotland can be dictated to by a guy sitting behind a desk in London, although he only objects when it’s a trade union desk, not when it’s the desk of a Labour front bench politician. Some London desks are more equal than others. So Jim’s plan will be to take the last of labour out of Labour, and then hope and pray that Scotland’s voters will vote for the nothing that is left.

Jim’s not going to stand for Holyrood next year – “It’s time for me to do something else,” he said, like maybe finish his degree. But in the meantime he’s off to enjoy a well deserved break somewhere where there’s far less infighting, strife and fundamentalist hatred than the civil wars which are consuming the Labour party in Scotland. Like Syria.

Jim’s tenure as leader of Labour in Scotland ended the same way as it started, with Jim insisting that he knows better than everyone else. If the Labour hierarchy reward Jim’s failure with a peerage, it will be their final death sentence and the party will never recover. Not that their prospects are looking great as it is.

So Jim’s going to come up with a plan which he’s expecting the new party leader to implement. At the same time however, this new leader, whoever he or she may be, will – according to Jim – have complete freedom to take the party in whatever direction they choose. Like for example choosing to take the party in a direction not determined by Jim and his hauf-airsed plans which were responsible for getting them into this mess in the first place.

It’s not going to be easy to find a credible new leader, as Labour’s gene pool is small and rapidly drying up. The choices are not inspiring, just when the party needs a leader with superhuman abilities. There’s Kezia of course, and James Kelly – a man who makes Iain Gray seem warm and human. Whoever it is will not only have to repair Labour’s tattered and threadbare rug, they’ll also have to scrub out the crap trodden into it by Jim. And all this in time for the next Holyrood elections in May next year.

We’re witnessing the end of days for Labour in Scotland. The party was founded as a tool of the labour movement, and it was killed by those who came to believe that the labour movement was just a tool of the Labour party. Not even Wile E Coyote himself could survive that one and live to run another day.

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46 comments on “How to kill a coyote

  1. So, Jim will write his authoritative tome on the strategies and organisational tactics that the Labour party in North Britain should adopt in order to secure its future existence. He will leave this work as his legacy to the Scottish electorate that failed him and to the party that failed him. When he has finally gone out the door, someone will slide his unread manuscript into the dustbin of history and life will move on and in a few years time his name will be forgotten.

    Long live the dug.

  2. heathermclean19 says:

    “But in the meantime he’s off to enjoy a well deserved break somewhere where there’s far less infighting, strife and fundamentalist hatred than the civil wars which are consuming the Labour party in Scotland. Like Syria.”
    Hahahaha! I love this! You are a true Wordsmith Paul! How I look forward to your blogs when I check my email – wonderful, so funny!

  3. Mammy says:

    Will the last one out please put the lights out

  4. J Galt says:

    What a shame – Jim was the gift that kept on giving.

    We couldn’t have done it without him, he’ll be sorely missed.

  5. macart763 says:

    Great dissection Paul and couldn’t agree more. I reckon someone’s had a quiet word in his shell like too. Though his farewell speech… no redeeming qualities whatsoever, not even simple humility.

    For all that, its a meme that still runs through all the parties and most especially Labour. It was circumstance, a breakdown in communication, people simply didn’t understand, it wiz Nicla, it wiz a big boy whit did it an ran away. It was anyone’s fault but his and it was anyone’s fault but theirs.

    The truth of course is that it was their fault, ALL their fault. The Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, their demise in Scotland is entirely THEIR fault.

    Decades of economic mismanagement, de-industrialisation, joblessness, low quality employment, the rightward march of mainstream policy from all parties, an ever widening poverty gap were bad and bad enough, but the capper… the capper was how all of this was explained away. The politics of fear, scapegoating, smear, lies and naked public manipulation. Not one of these fuckers ever held their hand up and owned the responsibility, it was always someone else, or some demographic, or magic policy gremlins sabotaging their ‘honest’ efforts.

    All of these parasites turned on their own electorate, they used the media to manipulate perception, they used their parliamentary power to move voting boundaries, they turned their own people, their own constituents against each other to manufacture fear, headlines, influence voting intention. They spread panic and pain whilst waving a fucking flag and called it ‘one nation’ unity.

    For any policy wonk scanning this thread I’ll let you into a secret. It wasn’t the SNP who broke those parties in Scotland, it was the people. It was an electorate who said ENOUGH! It was people who were sick to fucking death of being bartered like electoral coinage, being manipulated by fucking sociopaths in suits and then blamed for being too dim to understand what they were being told. We understand our politicians only too well.

    Now all of the parties should understand this and take it on board. The tide is coming back in and I hope you’re wearing waders and water wings, because the idea is to wipe the old politics off the beach and set a new waterline.

  6. […] How to kill a coyote […]

  7. Dunkie says:

    I am moving somewhat off topic but with things being a bit quiet earlier in the day on the indy blogs I wondered what was happening on @chunkymark. He has a 3 part interview with Sukant Chandan which most of you on here will be interested in. It takes Scotland’s present political climate and places it in a historical and geopolitical setting. Some very interesting stuff. You can see where Murphy’s dodgy allegiances fit into western hegemony – as a minor court jester.

    BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. (Wikipedia)

    Sukant Chandan Anti Colonial Scots BRICs imperialist West 1 A bit general and historical at first but still very interesting. Go in to 8 mins when he starts talking directly about the present Scottish politics.

    Sukant Chandan Anti Colonial Scots BRICs imperialist West 2 Part two

    Sukant Chandan Anti Colonial Scots BRICs imperialist West 3 The start of this one is particularly interesting from a Scottish point of view.

  8. Sue de Nymme says:

    Let’s hope that his replacement is another numptie (Is it spelled knumptie?) to ensure a landslide SNP trouncement (iI made that up.) in Holyrood next year.

  9. mogabee says:

    Labour “tools” right enough…couldn’t have put it better!

  10. Justin Fayre says:

    Not 100% sure we’ve seen the last of ‘Two. Crates’.
    I think it would be interesting to see what odds the Bookies are offering on.
    The Replacement for Jim Murphy as Leader of the Labour Party In Scotland is.. Jim Murphy.
    I can just see Kezia, Jackie Bird, Kay Adamd, Rest of BBC, Daily Record, George Foulkes and JK Rowling ganging up on him to reconsider
    Please Don’t Go Jim
    We love you
    We think the sun shines out your Archie.

    Och all right then since you’ve twisted ma arm.

    • GrumpoMcChief says:

      What he said was “I will tender my resignation and its up to the National Exec to accept it or not”. Weasel Words Perhaps ? implying they will not accept it ?

      • tom donald says:

        indeed,it does seem that he believes they will refuse to accept it, he is after all, a minor deity, in his own mind. I hope they keep him on, but I can not believe they could be so stupid. But then, they are the “national executive” of a political party that does not exist.

  11. Jan Cowan says:

    “…like maybe finish his degree.” Love it! Thanks again, Paul, for so much laughter. I hope you get as much pleasure writing as we get reading your work.

  12. gavin says:

    Murphy will spend his remaining month on the BBC, morning, noon and night, badmouthing the SNP.
    Not easy to pick a “winner” from a poor bunch. Heard Baillie get a mention—– please Lord, make it so !

    • Alex Waugh says:

      What’s interesting is that this didn’t just arise as a reaction to the GE. The oldest signatures are from 1 year ago, and there’s 35,000 of then now. Would it be completely out of the question for the SNP to stand in Northern English seats?

      • gerry parker says:

        I think it would be better to form a Northern Alliance party and contest seats from the Scottish Border to Hadrians wall as a first step (most people dan saff think that is the border anyway) . The Northern Alliance party could pledge to support SNP policy in Westminster.

        • Sue de Nymme says:

          I agree, for a number of reasons.
          1. We have enough to do up here.
          2. As has been said elsewhere in this blog, we will win via the committees and via the law. The law aspect will inevitably, as we are seeing with the question of the Human Rights Act, sometimes hinge on the differences between Scottish and other Law.
          3. The desires of the northern English will contain different elements to those of Scotland, and this will lead to divisions and schisms within a party which attempts to cover too much ground (both literally and politically).

  13. Jim says “am offski – but before a go am gonnae tell you guys whit tae dae and if youse dinnae yer stuffed!”

    Great legacy Jim.

    Is there any way back for (Not) Labour? Here’s a clue Jim – it’s called Socialism. Remember that? It’s what (Not) Labour used to believe in and stand up for. Now they just regard it as a swear word – the linguistic equivalent of a skid mark.

  14. I’m a fourth generation labour voter but I haven’t voted Labour since the 90’s. My forebearers are spinning in their graves. They would never… Never… Have allowed dear Jim anywhere near their party.

    Thatcher wiped away the heavy industries. The tories exported highly skilled jobs overseas and Labour imported low skill level call centre jobs. How clever of them.

    I work in London from time to time. Recently I went for breakfast in a new cafe. It was in the ground floor of one of three blocks of flats which had just been completed and were up for sale.

    There was probably twenty or more. A large board outside stated they were for sale with prices starting, yes starting, at £4.5 million.

    London is one big building site. Money is pouring in.

    A great divide indeed.

    • tom donald says:

      indeed, it’s delopment madness in London at the moment. I was shocked to see Vauxhall a couple of weeks ago, they’ve demolished a whole district of social housing and modern building, to build “luxury” flats, the whole thing financed by money from Arab states… Demolishing new buildings, to build more profitable new buildings.
      It’s ghastly, and drives yet more working people out of the city. This is truly unsustainable development.

  15. Nice one Paul, rounds an eventful day off succinctly.

    I guess for Murphy, not even ‘Acme’ had anything left in the store to help him in his failed deviousness.

  16. Marian says:

    Brilliant analysis and funny at the same time – thank you as ever to the WeeGingerDug!

    The STUC have issued a Press Release that may signal the end of the TU “special” relationship with Labour in Scotland – see

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      There is no ambiguity, it is not a question of ‘may signal the end’. It says, ““It may be lost on some so I will repeat it again. The STUC is not affiliated to the Labour Party. ”

      So, what is the purpose in Slab? Apart, that is, from cheering up our Saturday evenings with the antics of numpties.

  17. gavin says:

    Jim Murphy—-
    “I quit.
    I resign. Well not right now, of course, that would be stupid, and premature.
    Maybe tomorrow.
    Then again I have things to do, places to go. Perhaps in a month or two.
    We need to reorder Scottish Labour, so we must not be hasty.
    I think, you know, if you can come back, maybe in, eh, um, nine ( yes 9 ) years, we could see where we are then. “

  18. Omnibus says:

    Asked for comment on Murph E Coyote’s impending departure, the spokesman for Unite had this to say:

  19. fatbob says:

    Beware, he’s doing a Nigel (Farage) he said he would resign, not stand for Holyrood, write a new Labour manual, all for next month. His arrogance is that they won’t get anyone else, he’ll rubbish them before, and they’ll meet his demands, guaranteed list MSP, nice budget, expenses, ……. Beware!!!

  20. Iain Hill says:

    May I offer a contribution to the sorely needed debate on the soul and purpose of the Labour Party (all branches)

    A manifesto for real, honest Labour

    Implement the living wage immediately
    Commit to a minimum citizen’s income before 2020
    Raise all benefits automatically in line with inflation
    Renationalise the railways
    End privatisation of the NHS and reverse its implementation to date
    Alter legislation to eliminate all potential for crony benefits
    Hold a referendum on Trident and whether to replace it
    Long term cap on energy prices
    Sufficient new houses to meet ownership/ rental demand by 2020
    Reasonable cap on rent levels
    Abandon all tax concessions, and offshore taxation by 2020, and stringently punish tax evasion
    Land reform
    Steeply progressive taxation throughout the system

    Abolish the royal prerogative, and replace with limited emergency powers, to be then ratified by parliament
    Reduce MPs salaries to 150% of the average wage, and refund only their actual outlays
    Restrict maximum MP term to 10 years
    Restrict MP candidacy to those with significant links to the constituency
    Make MPs wear hearing aids
    Produce significant powers of MP recall and public accountability sessions

    Tax and borrow sufficient to achieve these results without delay – the markets will support real planned reforms. The existing situation will otherwise implode anyway

    Commit full heartedly to these reforms, and replace equivocal statements with resolute action instead of evasive excuses
    This is only the start! Increase equality in all things! Tackle exploitation!

    • Justin Fayre says:

      Tackle exploitation should be a priority.
      The old sketch with John Cleese playing the Upper Class, Ronnie Barker the Middle Class and Ronnie Corbett the Working Class popped into my head last night. (Was it The Frost Report?)
      Substitute the words ” I Look Down” and “I Look Up” for ” I Rip Off” and “I Get Ripped Off” and you have todays United Kingdom

  21. Brian Powell says:

    In other countries you would probably find a newspaper that would look at Labour, Murphy and all this, then write editorials and articles saying the equivalent of “Oh for fucks sake, show us some respect and just piss off!”.
    But in the Droneland that is ‘Scottish’ MSM they just drone, like the F section of Drone class.

  22. hektorsmum says:

    Now I don’t wish to upset anyone but will people stop telling Labour how to sort out the mess they are in. Like an alcoholic they need to discover what is wrong with themselves on their own then and only then can they sort it.
    There is an idea going round that Jackie Baillie will win the leadership, well that will fix it, not.
    Now if Johann had worked out how to tackle the problem of being a Branch Manager, she would still be leader today, but then being incapable of making big decisions like that she couldn’t.
    Loved the post, you put it so well.

  23. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I have only two suggestions to help (Not) Labour.

    First ask yourselves why the only MP you have left in Scotland represents arguably the most affluent constituency in Scotland.

    Then watch the Tony Benn biographical documentary to find the reason why.

    • Justin Fayre says:

      My heart really goes out to Emma Harper the SNP Candidate in Dumfries and Galloway who lost out so narrowly to Mundell..
      2000 or so Labour voters tactically voted Tory to keep the Nats out following advice from the Media etc.
      Emma Harper is an NHS Staff Nurse.
      This Alice in Wonderland stuff turns my stomach.
      She must be gutted not to be joining her colleagues in Westminster.
      Hope she can bounce back nezt year

  24. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Sorry – the documentary is called Will and Testament and in it Benn skewers the New Labour project.

    He also clearly lays the blame for the collapse of the Callaghan government in 1979 at the feet of IMF imposed cuts and a Labour government which ignored Benn’s advice to stand up to the IMF demands.

  25. Mik says:

    Pedantically, where is the M16?

  26. Until today I enjoyed the articles (In particular the spoof humorous ones) by Stephen Daisley but his latest Murphy worshipping effort just turned my stomach with disgust.

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