Monday 25 January 2010


Amazingly, according to the Caledonian Mercury, Labour will ignore the SNP completely during the General Election campaign in Scotland.

Jim Murphy, who will be leading the Labour Party’s election campaign in Scotland, told the Mercury that Scottish Labour party was going to concentrate solely on the Tories during the campaign, even though the Nationalists represent the biggest threat to Labour in most seats around the country and the Tories have only one seat in Scotland.

He said: “The people of Scotland know, or almost everyone in Scotland knows, that the SNP are not in with a hope in this election. They are irrelevant.”

How incredibly silly to discount the party that is in government as irrelevant. How odd too, given the most recent (European) election results, that he should dismiss the SNP in this way.

Of course Murphy’s strategy is in tune with Labour’s message throughout the UK. The election is between Labour and the Conservatives. But it is a strange one in Scotland where recent polls show that it is the SNP and Labour who are players in the country.

The Scottish Secretary has already been delivering leaflets in his East Renfrewshire constituency with a simple anti-Tory message. This could be explained by a poll over the weekend which suggested that Murphy would be one of several high-profile Labour MPs to lose their seats if the Tories secure the levels of support they have at the moment. In short Mr Murphy personally is in danger from the Conservatives, rather than from the SNP.

I imagine that the SNP will be dancing with joy at the strategy. No one would deny for a second that the only two parties who can form a government at the next election are Labour and the Conservatives, but to concentrate on what is the forth party in Scotland (in Westminster terms) seems to be folly beyond measure.

Still, who am I to disagree with the great Mr Murphy? (Snigger.)


  1. Someone is positioning himself for a jump into Holyrood once he loses his marginal seat to Richard Cook [Con]!

    What a dullard. Honestly.

  2. It is worth noting also that Labour are VERY vulnerable to the Scots Tories in our 11 most liklely marginals..

    internal polling [as mentioned before I think] indicates that in these critical 11 marginals the voters ther prefer Cammie to Brown...and also -more worryingly especially for Murphy- they think more Conservatve MPs from Scotand could constitute a "good thing"..

    and keeping in mind Murphy's seat is high on the 11 Scots targets he must be bricking it!!


    I am looking forward to Murphy then Darling losing their seats to a resurgent Scots Toryism.

  3. internal polling or more correctly known as 'MADE OF POLLING'

  4. Didn't the snp use to go on about some Referendum or other......or was that another party whatever happened to them?

  5. I guess the strategy is to get ex-Labour support to return to the fold out of fear of the Tories. Although I don’t really see any clear blue water between them. I am sure the SNP will be able to make huge capital out of this ludicrous strategy by flagging up the arrogance of Labour in ignoring the chosen Government of Scotland which is still popular. The Tories did that and look what happened to them, still getting nowhere north of the border.

  6. Ignorance is a wonderful thing Mr MixedPickle and you should know.

  7. Dean: It looks like Murphy will get himself on the list and thence into parliament and that will allow Labour to get themselves a leader without having to resort to taking back Jack "Stubble" McConnel.

  8. Niko: The SNP put forward policies, including a referendum, on which they were elected under the rules set up by Labour, to form the Scottish government.

    The referendum bill will be introduced, despite the fact that Labour and the Tories will vote it down. However, the budget for a minority government is always difficult, and of course the opposition parties make it as difficult as they can, in order to try to extract the maximum political advantage for themselves, so, at the moment, getting the budget right is a priority.

    Without a budget they cannot govern. It has to come first.

  9. munguin:

    It's a dangerous strategy. I have no reason to doubt that the Tories are doing better in Scotland than they have for a long time. Although, I suspect that, if they are looking at 11 seats they may well be as disappointed as the SNP will be looking at 20. It is possible that they hope that by scaring the floating voter away from the Tories they will secure some of their seats in the richer parts of the country, they need to remember that in many parts of the country their opposition, even in the English parliament’s elections, is the SNP. Great for us if they fail to attack us in any way.

    I suspect that Brown’s strategy is to have one campaign (It’s cheaper). The Scots will vote Labour anyway; they always do, so let’s concentrate on what really matters. The South East of England!

  10. Niko:

    If they try to fight the SNP in Scotland, they would have to admit that the SNP is a better left of centre party than they are. The SNP stopped the right to buy, the SNP are building public sector housing, reducing prescription charges, hospital parking, and providing help with insulation and central heating... and on and on... The SNP look after the poor in a way that Labour left behind them many years ago when they decided that they were the party of the middle classes and latterly the party of the greedy bankers.

    It's easier just to talk about Eton toffs than taking on the real issues.... What does an Eton boy know about how you live, they will ask. Nothing, of course. But then, what does the average Labour minister know about how we live? Er...well, what does Miliband know? What does I’m Harriet Harman you know where you can find me know? If she knew anything, she’d have known that you or I wouldn’t have got away with that malarkey.

    On the other hand I am quite likely to bang into an SNP minister in the supermarket or out jogging along the banks of the Tay. They are far more in touch.

  11. All these parties are courting corporate sponsors. They all play to the money men.

  12. The SNP face only two major problems to overcome, and both have the potential to threaten their chances if left unchallenged.

    1. The 20 seat target threatens to stretch resources to breaking point, remembering that the Scottish Tories- we are pumping tonnes into seats like North Perthshire and Angus...and Stirling... can the SNP match Labour and Conservative pound for pound in the seats that matter? I am not so sure given the 20 seat target.

    2. The squeeze tactic.

    Or more simply, My lot and Labour will aim to squeeze the SNP out of the campaign, no media attention on them etc...this is why they have been prevented from attending the leaders debate.

    ...and no matter how obviously unfair this is, I shall point out that you can hardly blame us. [well you can, but you know what I mean!]

    My prediction is for the SNP to get 25% share of the vote in the GE, but only 9 MPs.

    Call me a sceptic.

  13. "It's easier just to talk about Eton toffs than taking on the real issues"

    And of course the hypocracy of Harman attacking anyone because of their privilaged schooling is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    ...besides, what should schooling even matter...or more to the point, what on EARTH should anyone feel ashamed of going to Britains top school? I say so what, I won't talk down successful achievers..this is why I respect Salmond!

  14. Yeah Scunnert. It's all about money, mind it always was.

  15. Well Dean: that's exactly the point Labour tried the Tory Toffs thing in Nantwich and it was discovered their candidate was far better schooled than yours, and had an aunt who was aristocratic... and Harry the Hog went to some posh school and has a countess somewhere among her relatives....

    It doesn't matter. None of them has a clue what it’s like to be poor and live in a dump, with criminals all around you, to want to food and heat and to be scared to cross your door for fear of drunks and druggies....

    It doesn't matter whether you went to Eton or Harrow or St Willies Junior Secondary... by the time you're a minister you have left all that kind of stuff well behind you.

  16. Dean

    These 11 target seats are a compliment to tory wishful thinking. You may possibly get half of your 11 target i.e. 1

    The one thing that the SNP do not lack is activists to get round the doors talking to voters, so do not worry about the SNP being squeezed, you have more to wory about with your own (lack of) vote.

    By the way I see you are still clinging hopefully to your own internal poll, and you come to the amazing conclusion that Cameron is more popular than Brown in your target? seats. Since your poll only asked voters their preference, Cameron or Brown that is hardly surprising. Why no other names? why no, nether of these two? Maybe you would not get the right answer and you would not be able to kid yourself on any longer.

    11 seats, dream on Dean. At best your Scottish MPs can travel by tandem.

  17. The SNP is very good at getting feet on the street. There's a lot of leafletting, door knocking and help on the day. No doubt about that.

  18. Dubbieside,

    The fact is the SNP do have a good resovoir of campaigners. No doubting that, but it is money that buys constitency specific leafleting, and it is budgets that pay for private direct to door delivery.

    I am not saying it will decide the election for the SNP, but it will make a major difference to local visibility during the [long, 6 month] general election battle.

    That said, there is a point about the poll not asking questions about the SNP, but given that some of these 11 marginals are straight Tory-Labour fights it is still very useful. Dumfries and Galloway, Stirling, East Renfrew, Edin South for example - the data is still a big indicator for Scottish Tory chances and shouldn't be so readily dismissed on partisan grounds.

  19. Tris,

    Yeh the class warfare is not only irresponsible it is equally ineffective.

    Besides, why should people who go to highly performing schools have to apologise for this? If anything it means they should be encouraged to comment and offer their hopes, opinions and asperations more often.

  20. Well Dean, what people are saying is... What does someone like Cameron who went to Eton, and then Oxford, where he smashed up restaurants and got his daddy to pay...etc what does a man like him know about struggling to get by, which, let's face it, it what most of us do.

    Has he ever been hungry at the end of the week? Has he ever had to wrap up warm with a hat and scarf and two coats in the house because there was no money for the electricity meter, or because he was afraid to put the radiators on? Has he ever spent to day in bed because it was too cold inthe house to get up? Has he ever had to stay in because he had no clean clothes?

    No of course not. So, what do he and his sort know about working in a call centre and living in an estate (not the country sort), shopping in the cheapest shops, eating crap food, going without, crowded into a tiny house?

    How can they properly understand what people have to put up with....?

    But I ask myself... does Harry Harman, the Milibrothers, Jack Straw, or the idiot Brown know anything about that?


    So, as far as I’m concerned none of them knows what it’s like. And let’s be honest none of them cares that much.

  21. Tris,

    That kind of "takes one to know one" logic is fundamentally flawed.

    If we followed that then MacMillan would never have been elected in 1959, being a Tory patrician like Cameron. And supermac built affordable homes, and homes for rent on a vast scale. Succeeding where every government since 1945 had failed.

    Class means nothing, as empathy and understanding is the basic, if not default, human position.

    Being 'one of us' is over rated frankly.

  22. Maybe you're right Dean, but what I was trying to say is that there is no point in the class war. Whether or not either side do anything much for the people who eek out a cold miserable living on the minimum wage or not, neither side has the foggiest notion of what it's like to live like that.

    Both, whether they went to the comprehensive and some small town university , or Harrow and Cambridge are as far removed from it as can be.

    I was saying that the argument that Labour is trying to get through doesn't hold water. They are no better than the Tories at connecting, although some of their accents may not be so plummy.

  23. Aye Dean... more or less... :-)