Sunday 14 December 2014


We'll have a little more fun at Jim and Kez's expense, then, we promise, we shall move on.

A good deal has already been said on these pages about the strange choice of a right wing leader and deputy leader for a party which appears to need, more than anything, to shore up its left of centre votes; about the choice of a party leader, in a branch desperately trying to show that London does not control what Scottish Labour thinks or does, who sits in Westminster and was the clear choice of the Westminster management to sort out the rebellious Jocks, and at least at this moment, who has shadow cabinet responsibility under Ed Miliband for a non devolved area.

Of course we can expect him to get an easy ride from the BBC... and from what I heard he got exactly that this morning. No-one questioned what he will do about his Westminster seat come May; no one asked what he will do if he fails to be elected to either Westminster or Holyrood.
If you want to bunk off from your job, surely the right time do do it
is when the chamber is doing something as totally unproductive as
licking Mrs Thatcher's boots. Not when they are discussing a living wage.
Of course, some people already get a living wage.
Silly me, I forgot that.
But at some stage in the future, surely someone from the BBC is bound to, even in the interests of appearing to be some sort of serious journalist... (so that means Brewer, and not Smith) ... question what his line is now on tuition fees, privatisation of health and water, post office, rail, electricity and gas; on nuclear weapons (that the Scottish branch voted against) 25 miles from Glasgow; on Palestine, MPs' expenses, the House of Lords, royals, benefit caps, Atos-style assessments, benefit sanctioning, bedroom tax, pensions; on Israel, Iraq, Syria, Scottish complicity in torture... (he was SoS when the torturees were landing at Prestwick) and why in 2009, he was allegedly involved in the setting up of a cross party coalition which wanted to stop there even being a referendum in Scotland, whilst operating a scam on his rent!

We can be fairly certain of what his views were on some of these issues last week... but it would be interesting to know what are they now, and what they might be if ever he were to be first minister of our country?
Aww isn't that nice.  Con and Lab are all friends now.
Sod the poor then?
It must be comforting though, for Jim to know, that he has already started to do what any new leader should, and attracted new members to the party....albeit from the Conservatives (their money is as good as anyone's... and there's usually a lot of it). Nice folk too... if you like that sort of thing.

Anyway... here are a few of my favourite snaps on this Sunday, celebrating Jim and Kez's crowning.
Yep! Seems like a reasonable assumption.
My ex-MP seems to have seen what Labour hasn't.
Russell Brand started a craze. 
Is that tree in London?
Seriously ...these people fund Labour.
He must be very rich by now...
Rich enough to be a Tory.

On education – “How do you get the youngsters to a better position? It’s about the mums being better readers and preparing the kids for day one at school.”

The mums? Back to nice, neat, gendered roles then? And of course playing to a ludicrous notion that working class women can’t read.

On tax relief for firms – “We also need to get better at using the tools available to our local authorities, such as tax relief for firms paying the Living Wage.”

Eh…no. Why should the public purse subsidise profit-making companies?

On the Smith Commission – “As we implement the Smith Agreement we should seek to bring these new powers as close to local communities as is possible. We should devolve not just to councils but also to local coalitions involving councils, business, charities and other government agencies like the NHS.”

That would be a postcode lottery then…and it would be a lottery that allows businesses to influence (read “lobby”) local politicians’ decisions in terms of welfare. Not a good idea.

1. Authoritarianism. In 1996 Jim Murphy graced the House of Commons for the first time when he was the subject of an unprecedented ‘Early Day Motion’ which condemned his presidency of the National Union of Students (NUS) for “intolerant and dictatorial behaviour”. He had engaged in a furious campaign of persecution against NUS officials who supported NUS policy of free education at a time when (as today) Labour Party policy was against free education. Murphy left the NUS for a job in the Labour Party.

2. Fingers in the till. In 2012 Jim Murphy was found to have exploited a loophole in his parliamentary expenses, by letting out his London address at the same time as claiming its rent. He is believed to have made anywhere up to £20,000. Incredibly, he was carrying out this scheme when in 2009 he apologised “on behalf of all politicians” for expenses theft.

3. Staunch defence of Israel. In 2001 and 2002 Jim Murphy was the chair of ‘Labour Friends of Israel’. During his tenure war criminal and architect of the massacres at Sabra and Shatila, Ariel Sharon, became Prime Minister of Israel and construction of the now infamous West Bank Barrier began.

In 2011 he attacked the Trades Union Congress for supporting the boycott, calling it “a big step backwards” and also criticised student campaigners pushing for an academic boycott. He dismissed a UN vote to recognise the Palestinian state as ‘symbolic’. He insisted that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband must remain a ‘staunch supporter of Israel’. There is no evidence that recent massacres -particularly in Gaza – have changed is attitude.

Support for the Apartheid state was once widespread in the Labour party. Following decades of genocide against the Palestinians it is now widely recognised as an extremist position.

4. Leading Membership of the Henry Jackson Society. Blairism in foreign policy terms is a form of Neo-Conservatism. But it is very rare for a Blairite to openly subscribe to Neo-Conservative ideology.

Jim Murphy is a member of the ‘Political Council’ of the HJS – he is one of a few fanatical Blairites on the Political Council which is utterly dominated by Conservative ultra-reactionary back benchers – the same ones who are now calling for a coalition with UKIP.

Henry Jackson was a military hawk and ‘anti-communist’ McCarthyite senator. The society named after him, founded in the U.S but transported to London in the run-up to the Iraq war, is the main bastion of Neo-Conservatism on these islands. 

Yes, Westminster knows best, Neil.
That's why they couldn't let you be leader!
If the unions disaffiliate, Labour will have to become even more
right wing to attract big business's money.
But it seems his meeting with the ex-pope has bestowed
something upon him.
Small problem!
I'd hang on to that jaicket if I were you!
But certainly a patroniser of women, none the less!
Yes Frankie, here is it.


  1. Now that made me laugh, bad enough when you have to look at the ugly mug, but when you realise that you are going to have to fight the good old BBC again for democracy, Well you need a good laugh.

    1. No point in fighting with the BBC.

      Best to ditch them altogether...

      At least you got a laugh at our Jim. I suspect that it won;t be the last one.

      I heard that Iain McWhirter said today that our Jim had enormous charisma...

      Maybe we are in for a surprise and creepy Jim is going to come out and charm us...

      ... or maybe not.

    2. I think he will be like Alex Salmond in that like marmite, you either like or dislike.

    3. Could be Marcia.

      I know they say you either love Alex or you loathe him.

      I'm relatively indifferent to him as a personality, although I think he's done an immeasurable amount for Scotland.

      But then, I'm indifferent to Marmite too!

  2. I did mean to add that we really have a charmer in Jim Murphy, surely he does not believe a word he is uttering, Nobody who was involved or voted YES will have anything to do with him,

    1. Well, if he's trying to persuade them in large schemes, where Mrs Curran said that she was going out to talk to people to tell them NO MORE NEW LABOUR... I reckon you're right. I mean seriously who is going to believe he's converted to socialism?

      And if he does get that message across, then I expect his constituency may well vote Tory in May.

  3. This rabid right winger isn't going to solve SLAB's problem, he is SLAB's problem. All his new waffle about social justice. He's not having a road to Damascus conversion; after all he voted to bomb Damascus. (Last sentence parahrased a CIF comment yesterday which made me LOL, in a dark humour type of way.)

    Anyway according to Liz on WOS, WFI in East Ren have discussed tactical voting and can't bring themselves to do it. James over at Scot goes Pop has posted

    Swing required for the SNP to defeat Murphy : 21.0%

    Current national Labour-to-SNP swing implied by the Poll of Polls : 20.3%

    Swing required for the Conservatives to defeat Murphy : 10.2%

    Current national Labour-to-Conservative swing implied by the Poll of Polls : 7.8%

    Still don't see SNP overturning the majority but major egg on face (behave PP!) if his majority is reduced by either Tories or SNP.

    1. Yes. It's a very difficult thing to do, to vote Tory.

      It may have serious consequences... I'm not sure what, but I'd not take the risk.

      I wonder what they would do if he lost his seat.

      I read that the leader has to be a parliamentarian.

      Would being Lord Murry let him continue?

      Would this be a good idea?

  4. I doubt if Ed Milland really wants him around him. Ed Milliband demoted him when he took over as Leader..

    1. He was David's campaign manager, so I imagine he is a permanent reminder to Ed that he isn't David.

      I think it was Pete Wishart who told a really odd story about him. For no reason that he knows, Murphy just started swearing at him in the lobbies. If I remember rightly, it happened twice.

      It was a while ago, but I'm sure it was Pete who told it on Twitter.

      He seems weird to me, and not a bit creepy.

  5. How the hell can you spend 9 years, at university, not getting a degree?
    That shows the measure of the man, not a good finisher but, likes to waste tax payers money.


    1. Yea, I suspect that his career will end in the same way... without ever having got the job he wanted.

  6. tris and the other

    Vote Tory why eo even consider it given wot Nicola and that other
    fellow whatisname er ? Alex Salmond thats the one they both said
    They would never support the Conservatives.
    And yet here we have in the republic Nats openly suggesting
    voting yes voting for gods sake i mean going into a polling booth
    and putting your cross down for a Conservative msp.
    How do they reconcile that with all that has said by the snp and nats
    for decades the hypocrisy of it stinks to the highest of high heaven.

    my good advice is to vote for the snp if you have a mind to. voting
    another way is not going to be thought a honorable way to act to
    most decent straightforward Scots.

    1. Got to admit, I totally agree with Nico. I would never vote Tory, ever.

      Every vote for the SNP counts, they may not win that particular seat but, the vote share would go up, it may take a few years but if people see, supporting the party is a common thing to do, they may be persuaded to vote for them too. That's how campaigns grow and become accepted.
      So please no more talk of voting Tory, we get accused of being tartan ones without enabling the real ones.


    2. Jim I have to agree that voting Tory is self defeating especially when those no voters sanctioned this. Vote what you believe in.

    3. Tactical voting is a way of life, I'm afraid.

      Particularly in a FPTP system.

      If you have absolutely no chance of getting your candidate elected, you vote tactically to avoid getting the worst option.

      In my opinion the worst realistic option ( although maybe not the ABSOLUTE worst, is the Tory).

      But I guess sometimes there is something worse... like wolf in sheep's clothing with career aspirations.

      Still I don't think I could, for any reason, give the Tories my support.

      Would be worse than jumping off a cliff.

    4. The UK is morally bankrupt, children not wanting to go home, because of the lack of a meal, ffs. How those bastards can support more cuts, while feathering their own nest, is beyond my comprehension and contempt.


    5. I'm out of words for a situation like that.

      I wonder the royals and the government can sleep at night knowing that they oversee this. Hard Times.

    6. Very good piece CH (although he has a mistake in the votes of the Tories and SNP... at exactly the same figure!

    7. Cheers Tris. Error corrected, and it was simply a typo on the site. The calculations were not affected. :))


    8. :) Pleasure... I know how easy it is to do.

  7. Dear all

    Vote for the party you support anything else is not only morally
    bankrupt but could also leave you with someone you never wanted ever

    1. That would be my advice always too.

      I couldn't live with myself if i gave a vote to a Tory.

    2. 1.6 million people voted Yes the most Labour could get would be a million or so on a good day so even if only 70% voted SNP it would equal or better Labour. Keep faith.

    3. Sound message...

    4. "I couldn't live with myself if i gave a vote to a Tory"

      Indeed, vote according to your principles. I for example couldn't live with myself if I voted SNP...

    5. Always vote for your beliefs.

      I understand why you wouldn't be able to vote for the SNP, too principled and honest for you.


    6. That'as completely fair comment.

  8. It is delightful irony that the Labour Party is now sinking under its own success in 1997. Let me explain my thinking:

    They went through a period in the 1980s-90s 'repositioning' in order to win. And win they did. And in Scotland, they've become so deeply in hoc to the ex-Tory constituencies that they won they've become the Tories.

    Stirling, Ayr Central, Edinburgh S & SW, Dumfries & Galloway, Ab South...whole swathes of 'ex Tory' areas that Labour now need to keep much more to the right to hold onto. East Renfrewshire. Murphy weights his vote in there 'cos he's standing on an effectively Tory ticket.
    Pro-defence spending, 'tough on crime', 'war on terror' kinds of platform. Pro-Trident, pro-Union. It all sounds centre-right to me. Respectable enough politics, except it isn't when coming from a party and an individual mascaraing as a leftist.

    1. Well, I read Mandelson on the subject. His point was that the mood of the country had changed with the times. You could go on being Old Labour, but the people had left that behind.

      I could see that. Times do change. The days of the Whigs came and went, and the Tories had changed from being the party of the aristocracy and church of England, to that of the SPIV moneyed class.

      He said that unless Labour changed, they would die.

      I suppose they were really just moving with the times; reacting to post Thatcher Britain... with their houses, mortgages, credit cards and aspirations of middle class.

      Of course Mandelson had probably never heard of most of the places you mention, Dean. His concern was the mass of population, three-four times the size of Scotland's, in the prosperous south east of England.

      And that was what he, and new Labour, set out to win over. Win there and you could take power. They said they wanted power to make things better for the working classes, but...

      It is Tory Lite, as Niko said.

      The trouble is that they left an entire class of people behind.

      I still meet people who say: "No no no... can't vote SNP. I vote Labour...the party of the working man".

      At that point, I always think, where have you been since Michael Foot stood down?

      Some people say Murphy is a flexible politician, quite happy to change his views to suit the situation. Firstly, I'm not so sure about that. He seems to have been consistently right wing since he appeared on the scene. His interests are often those of the hard right.

      But, if indeed he is flexible, and he bends his political beliefs well to the left (as Margaret Curran seemed to realise that they would have to in Scotland, post referendum) his problem will be to be re-elected in his basically Tory seat! And if that doesn't happen...where will be be?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Reading all the comments, yes including your one Niko, obviously had more sleep, making some sort of sense though not much, I for one have never believed that voting tactically actually answers the problem. If people would have some sort of political belief before voting it would actually make Parties behave better. I have known people who give them all a chance, why, do they agree with their policies or do they actually care?
    I agree with Tris, where is the evidence that Labour over the last how many years, century, have served the working man. They were taken over by the middle classes soon after they achieved success. It suits Labour to have the poor voting in huge numbers for them. My Husband and I should be natural Labour supporters, we are not and have never been. Perhaps we have a clearer vision of them than they have of themselves.
    Whether or not Jim Murphy gets elected to which ever place, he is on a hiding to nothing. He will be propped up by the BBC, we will be relentlessly told how wonderful he is and how much he is doing for the poor, whilst he continues to follow Blairite policies.
    Labour (Scottish Branch) has one way forward, to actually morph into something which will not please the actual Labour Party, become a Scottish Party, have policies which people in Scotland want. Presently they are stuffed, they have policies for the South East of England and they forget we have the internet and can read all the newspapers in the World, we can follow other news channels other than those produced in Britain. You cannot get away with a fudge Jim, you may increase the muppet quota, but that is it.

    1. The 'Scottish' branch can have all the policies it wants. It makes no difference if they stay part of the British party.

    2. Well said Helena... and Juteman.

      You really can't remain in the same country and have totally different policies.

      Jim has set himself a hard task. It will certainly be in Miliband's interests in the immediate future, to let him have some leeway. He needs these 40 seats to make him Prime Minister. But there's only so far he can go before the English Tory Press start warning the middle classes of Essex and Surrey, that there are "red" policies coming from Scotland... and all these Middle Class people will be voting Tory with vengeance.

      After the election is over, Labour in Scotland can't be allowed to deviate much from what the English are doing...otherwise people in the North of England and in Wales will start wanting the same autonomy.

      ... Rock...Labour...Hard place.

    3. Exactly, they cannot have anything different and Murphy cannot offer anything different but JoLa could have tried taking the party to the left and declaring an independent Scottish Labour Party but lets face it I bet the Party in London have the dirty on all of them and they are truly stuck.

  11. If Labour became a separate 'Scottish Labour Party' and cut itself off from the rest of the UK working class movement; it'd hardly be any closer to being a genuinely working class movement.

    Socialism in one country is a totally failed concept. Maybe the Nats are still needing to learn this?

    1. So all political parties have to dump their beliefs and join the Tories, as did your lapdog of a leader. No one here, is arguing for a soviet style Scotland but, are arguing for a fairer society, not what our imperial masters are offering the people, a menu of more and more austere cuts, which clearly doesn't work.


    2. Police State UK is the true face of capitalism a complete fraud aided and abetted by corrupt politicians.

    3. Dean, socialism is better in one country which wants some form of social provision than trying to give another country something it doesn't. So I imagine you are fine with Scotland having neo liberal capitalism dumped on it? Sorry Jim I just noticed you had said much the same, but hey ho, never does any harm to reinforce the message.

    4. Dean. It works not too badly in Scandinavia. It's not, as Jim says, doctrinaire socialism like that of Enver Hoxha that people want.

      I think we'd settle for reasonable services ... say instead of intervening in every war adn spending £1000,000,000,000 + on killer weapons...

    5. Aye CH... who was talking about soviet style governance?

  12. Tris

    I really think that we let them just crack on and hang themselves, the northern branch have made a huge mistake but their choices were limited. I don't rate either of them to be honesy, Murphy is a proven expenses cheat and changes his mind more often than people change their socks and I just don't see what many appear to see in Dugdale at all. As I noted before I am happy with their appointment, I would not take them lightly but that is more down to the media and their partners in the other parties who we know will be helping each other out to try and ensure the debate on constitutional change does not really reach westminster in any serious way. They are desperate for Scotland to go back in it's box.

    But I think it's time to step back a bit, have a look at the approach and the strategy moving forward as I have found reading twitter and certain blogs that some on the yes side are getting a bit too conmplacent and arrogant. I also think the SNP need to watch that as well now, too much on this feet to the fire stuff, too much on Smith. I don't think people will go for it in a general election so step back , have a wee think and take stock then move ahead. This is too important for a slip up now, Westminster and the three tory parties are worried, we need to keep them worried.