(with apologies to Kevin!)
By Panda Paws
So ten days after SLAB’s worst ever electoral performance since its inception, Jim Murphy has announced, well what exactly? It appears that he will “offer” his resignation in one month’s time, using the intervening period to write a blueprint on how SLAB should reform itself. Presumably binding his successor to follow his plan for the future, because obviously the one in the recent past worked so well!
Now, I don’t doubt that SLAB needs reforming. I do, however, doubt that St Jim of the Halo is the one to lead them to modernisation, reform or whatever the buzzword de jour is. He actually survived a motion of no confidence by 17 votes (including his own and an unelected peer) to 14 (or 55% to 45% as just about everybody has managed to calculate). The BBC described it as a narrow vote in favour which was interesting given there was a similar % vote in September that was described by them as “decisive”.
What seems clear (as mud perhaps) is that Jim is no longer planning to be First Minister next year, which will make Nicola Sturgeon sleep a lot easier I’m sure. Indeed one report states he’s no longer planning to stand for election as an MSP.
Apparently he has other as yet unspecified plans. Mmmm, isn’t it the Queen’s Official birthday in June; the one that has an honours list including peers of the realm? Might Jim join Darling and Brown by parking their bums on red seats that come with £300 per day attendance allowance, a subsidised restaurant and the unelected chance to amend legislation?
Or will his ties to the Henry Jackson Society result in some tidy little sinecures? Needless to say like the rest of the now redundant MPs he won’t get a taste of his own medicine by having to sign on at the Job Centre.
Contacts dear boy, contacts!
In April 2014, McCluskey threatened to disaffiliate Unite from Labour and launch a new workers' party if Labour lost the general election. Frankly in my humble opinion all the unions need to review whether Labour is the party that best articulates the aspirations and needs of the working class and thus deserves their funding. Although the multi-millionaire Umunna has Chucka’ed his bid for the UK leadership, the other candidates appear to be on the Blairite wing of the party triangulating ever rightwards.
So what of the future?
Can SLAB recover in time of the 2016 Holyrood elections?
Who will want the poisoned chalice of leading the party into what will almost certainly be another defeat?
And possibly even their worst ever Scottish Parliamentary election?
If Kezia Dugdale fancies a long term career in politics, she might want to decline any invitation to stand at this point. Going into an election as leader of a Jim Murphy refashioned SLAB could be considered as a career limiting decision.
As I said last week (you read last week’s piece didn’t you?), we live in interesting times indeed.