Wednesday 10 December 2014


Everyone has been assuming that, given that London head office clearly wanted Murphy as the Scottish branch supervisor (why else would Sarwar have stood down as deputy, thus ensuring that the new deputy could come from Scotland?) he would indeed win.

But above is a Daily Record online poll. OK, it's the Daily Record, and it's online, so it means little, but, ouch, what a difference!


Who do you want to see as the Labour charge-hand in Scotland? Poll in side bar... And for good measure we have thrown in the Depute Leader post too.

What will they do if Jim and Katy both win?

Or are they sure that that won't happen?


  1. Is it just me, or is anyone else on Virgin Media having pictures blocked by their websafe filter?

    1. I'm on BT until Saturday when I'm moving to Virgin... I hope that's not gonna happen...


    2. Sorry Virgin won't come here and we will not use BT so we are on Sky.

  2. Does Spud think he's not long for this world?


    1. That's honestly what I was wondering, Jim.

      It's a ridiculous statement to make, given that he's 46 and might reasonably live another 46 years.

      Frankly it's unthinkable that there won't be another referendum is a great deal less than that.

      And, no. The Labour spokesman may wish that SNP ex-leaders would go away and die, and get away with it, because, well, it's OK to wish death on SNP people and to burn their effigies.

      But I'm saying nothing about Mr Murphy's longevity. Not only do I not for a minute wish the man any harm, but even if I did, if I said it on here I'd be all over the papers tomorrow. Nasty Nat.

      I just think Smurf made a bit of a twerp of himself. It there isn't a referendum within ten years I'll be very surprised.

    2. I don't mean any harm to the man either, I think, as you do, that another referendum will be fairly soon; in political terms. Nowhere near as long as the wait from '79.


    3. Well, we shall see... and Murphy will have another encounter with an egg ... this time on his face ...

    4. He may regret making that statement, dum dum dum dum de dum.

  3. Tris

    Personally I hope it's Murphy, nothing like a right wing tory chairing the Scottish branch meetings and upsetting the 2 or 3 socialists they have less in their party. It will also be interesting to see how many members they actually have as I believe they have to publish the vote under their rules, is it 13,000, I think that might just be a wee Murphy lie.


    1. I'm torn Bruce.

      Murphy would be excellent because of his right wing Blairite tendencies. OK, he's toning them down a bit at the moment, but he has to be careful. He has to get himself re-elected in his relatively well off seat, so best to not ignore the Tory policies completely. Spending his time in the parliament voting on English matters isn't going to do him any favours, and Kezia, who will almost certainly be his deputy, is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Nicola will probably always be to the left of Jim Murphy.

      But then Neil Findlay is nearer a proper Labour man. We might get him working with Nicola to make life better for people in Scotland. And that's got to be to the good.

      I don't think Sarah or Katy even have a tiny chance.

      According to what I read on that Channel Four blog, the likely membership is no where near 13,000.

      Your post on the foodbanks was rally great. Most moving.

    2. PS... I think one of the things I would enjoy most about a Findlay win is the humiliation of smarty pants Murphy.


      However, I think he will probably win it. It's what London and the BBC wants; it will al most certainly happen.

  4. Shout out to John.

    I hear the weather is very bad your way.

    I hope you haven't be washed off your wee island.

    Mum says she has a glass ready for you. All you need to do is bring the bottle!

  5. A dying party at the forefront of involvement in rendition for torture let them never forget.

    1. Can't begin to say what I feel about that ... Fair comment on it on Wings.

      Worth remembering that Jim Murphy was part of that government and a camp follower of Blair and David Miliband. He would like to be first minister of our country one day (or he gives that impression).

      How embarrassing would that be?

    2. Hi, Tris, thank you for your concern. Actually it was just like a typical winters day in my little corner and I can recall much stronger winds which had me chasing my wig all over the island. Is your Mum partial to a wee drop of 25 year old Johnny Walker i.e. I've had it for 25 years since I was in primary school! Yes, I did go to school, even at uni! Hope you are all nice and cosy in Munquin's wonder-blog. Best wishes to you all and Niko!

  6. Incidentally, if I was in Labour I'd d voted for Mr Findlay but as I'm not I want Murphy to win and that is certainly not because I like him but just because he will be open to quite justified criticism on a number of fronts.

    1. I'm very relieved to hear you still have your wig and that you've not been blown to the Faroes where life is better but the drink is more expensive!

      25 year old Johnny Walker is her Friday night tipple. I didn't realise you were still at primary school well into your 30s though. Must have been hard getting shorts to fit you.

      I can see exactly what you mean about the leadership. Neil Findlay would be a decent bloke to lead Labour, and certainly, if I were a member I'd vote for him.

      Jim is almost a cartoon figure of everything that a Labour leader should not be...and a leader in Scotland MUST not be.

    2. Tris, as I face onto the playground of the local primary school and it is difficult not noticing, the wee boys all wear long trousers these days. So John would be all right. Glad to hear that things were okay in his part of the world. Did not think it was the worst I had seen here in Sunny Dunny but the poop bin blew into the field yesterday, fair gave Hektor a turn last night.

    3. LOL.. Poor wee Hector.

      Aye, now you come to mention it, shorts are a thing of the past in primary schools... but then again, we are talking about John here... I'm sure when he was carrying his slate to school...

    4. Cod pieces were in when he went to school...

    5. LOL...That paints a picture...

  7. Tris a really good article for you to read:

    I really enjoy the bit where the author explains Labour can barely get 100 members to go along to hustings for their next leader...a day after the SNP filled a 12,000 stadium!

    1. Och Dean, for that you are forgiven.

    2. Yes, Dean. A good article. Thanks.

      In the last paragraph he says that the potential leaders are aware of the problem (even though people were reluctant to address it at the meeting). He says "the new leader will need to take swift and drastic action to halt the decline".

      But what action?

      Scotland wants a Labour Party that will deal with the real problems of poverty and deprivation that have been left for so long while the country used its wealth to play superstate . Will Neil, Jim or Sarah be able to provide that in a United Kingdom where, to have power in the sovereign parliament, the Labour Party has to appear to care about the vast middle class in the South East of England, where around a third of the electorate lives.

      If Labour starts talking about redistribution from the rich to the chronically poor, they can kiss goodbye to the power they crave, just like they did in the Thatcher period when they were still Labour.

      And really, you can't have a socialist party in Scotland and a right of centre bankers' party in England. People read newspapers on line. When, during the referendum campaign, the Mail and the Express (and I think the Sun) were saying one thing in their English papers and a totally different thing in their Scottish papers, people knew about it.

      So Neil may very well say that we should get rid of Trident and spend the £100,000,000,000 on job creation and fixing damp houses... but that will go down like a ton of bricks on a croquet lawn in Huntingdonshire. So no matter what they want do to make it look like the Scottish branch is independent, London will simply not allow it to destroy its chances of power where it really counts.

      He talks about the SNP being delusional... and of course it wasn't the SNP that lost the referendum, it was YES... and he later admits that Radical Independence managed 3,000 at its conference, where Labour could only pull in 100. I really don;t see a rise in membership form 25,000 to pretty near 100,000 as delusional. And the greens and Scottish Socialist and Radical Independence have also seen massive rises in membership.

      I'd say that left leaning voters (you'd have thought Labour) realise that the political agenda is (as Peter Mandelson said) always going to be dictated by where the bulk of the population is. (It's not just logical; it's fair too.) While that is in the prosperous SE of England, that is where the agenda is going to be set in a unitary state.

      Devolving income tax and road signs ain't gonna change that. All it will do (and here I have to say Cameron's people played a blinder) is reduce the influence of Scottish MPs who will be allowed to vote on less and less, and who will never hold the "great offices of state" as they like to call Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Chancellor, Lord Chancellor, and pretty unlikely, Foreign Secretary either (even if the job is completely undevolved). No point in Scottish Labour members looking for real political glory in London. It will never again happen.

      Frankly, I don't see how Labour can square the circle of what their members in Scotland want, and what they can possibly be given in a UK setting, which is, of course, why I believe in independence.

      And this is why in a Labour stronghold, like Glasgow, the vote was YES and the SNP can pack out a 12,000 seater, Radical Independence can fill a concert hall ...and Labour can only fill a back room. IN GLASGOW!

      In fairness though, I don't know if people did pay to see Nicola in Glasgow. In Dundee it was free.

  8. The best one for the job would be the one who makes sure labour are wiped out in Scotland to save England from another disastrous socialist regime

    1. Labour... socialist.... You're having a laugh?

    2. Ahhhhh... yeah... I've never met one... thank god.

  9. Tris, with reference to your last comment:

    I think that the issue of EV4EL (english votes for english laws) could be the lever that ultimately undoes SLAB both here and at Westminster.

    If Cameron presses for EV4EL between now and the general election or makes it a red line manifesto item Milliband and Clegg would be committing electoral suicide to oppose it as far as the media and voters in England are concerned.

    This will lead to the situation where scottish MPs are debarred from holding office as ministers or shadow spokesmen on policy areas such as the Home Office, Education, Transport, Health and Environment, as well as other issues.

    That leaves the prestige offices at Defence, The Foreign Office and the Exchequer - but hold on, if scottish MPs are incapable of gaining experience in the "minor" departments of state why should their english colleagues welcome their fast-tracking into these plum jobs?

    This would leave scottish Westminster MPs as effectively neutered lobby fodder ( no sniggering at the back there!) with no role other than making up the numbers with no career path at all in the mother of parliaments.

    Now we all know that personal advancement in SLAB often outweighs any discernible talents or personal qualities but would the genuinely ambitious SLAB MPs who survive the coming reckoning in May - the likes of Curran, Sarwar, Alexander, Harris and McClymont - be happy to accept such a situation?

    EV4EL would also highlight the growing public perception that England and Scotland are two entirely different - and frequently conflicting - polities and that the divisions are only increasing as time passes. And this is without considering the further complications if you widen the possibilities to Wales and Northern Ireland.

    One immediate consequence of EV4EL could see some of the biggest hitters in SLAB, even the ones who survive after May, scrambling to get their names on the regional list for the Holyrood election in 2016. This may not be as straightforward as some of them imagine, particularly given the well documented animosities between MPs and MSPs.

    I would be astonished if Cameron and Osborne do not have plans already well prepared for such a strategy. Given that we have a Westminster parliament with little to do with their time until the election and a Ukip insurgency on their right to deal with, the tories and their friends in the media could make hay with EV4EL all the way to the election.

    The SNP and Plaid already concede EV4EL so there will be no hiding place for SLAB once the full attention of the electorate of England is drawn to the issue. Milliband has no choice but to acquiesce if he wants any chance of mounting a real challenge down south.

    We could yet see the West Lothian question - Labour's own creation - proving to be their ultimate undoing.

    Sorry about the length of the post, I'd be interested to hear any opinions on these musings.

    Thank you,


    1. Not at all... some of mine are longer...

      I think Cameron played a blinder (and that's from someone who has absolutely no respect for his intellect; who thinks he's a dumb toff).

      He has guaranteed EV4EL. It will go though, because it is logical and right, but mainly because the English want it. Even the English Labour MPs probably want it. You can't really argue it. If the English MPs can't vote on our heath, education, law and order, transport, etc,... and possibly now taxes (and road signs), why should Scots vote on theirs.

      So Cameron has beaten Labour hands down... and got their co-operation to do it. (And I agree that Ireland and Wales will follow.)

      In doing it, as you say, he has disqualified Labour Scottish MPs from ever holding senior office, and many junior offices... because it's nothing to do with them. The days when Blair had a Scottish Home Secretary (Reid), who went home at the weekend and had no responsibility to his constituents for what he had done all week. It was ridiculous looking back... and it will never be allowed to happen again, I think.

      So yeah... there is no future in London for a Scottish Labour person... Scottish secretary? Hardly a job. I frankly think the English would probably baulk at a Scottish defence secretary. And they have already said that the Treasury is out of the question.

      Mind you, Cameron has also put in motion the end of the UK. Unless he sets up an English parliament, the Celts will more and more see London as the English parliament,where anyone senior is English. It's the kind of drift that will probably spell the break up of the UK. Sooner the better for me.

      Interested to hear other people's idea on this too....

    2. Thanks for the reply Tris.

      I did not mention a further point in my original post which is that EV4EL would apply to any Tory or Libdem MP from Scotland too.

      Such a scenario would lead to the London parties fielding either ambitious youngsters cutting their teeth before moving on to the real action or deserving party servants in scottish Westminster seats.

      The electorate in Scotland would ery likely take a very dim view of a political arrangement whereby the BEST they could hope for would be to vote for ambitious carpet-baggers with one eye on a seat in England, clapped-out party hacks being given a reward for unquestioning loyalty or at best the odd maverick rogue individual like Galloway who are more interested in building a personal media profile than doing boring stuff like working for their constituents.

      With regards to your comment about Cameron, I used the exact same phrase myself in a comment on James Kelly's blog earlier in the week on the topic of a Slab/SNP coalition. I hope you do not mind me reproducing it here:

      Surely the danger for Labour of going into a coalition with the SNP would be the perception fed by the feral press and media of the "porridge-wogs" being feather bedded - again - by the long suffering english tax payers?

      Apart from such a measure being a huge hostage to fortune for Labour in any future election amongst voters down south there would also be the vehement objections of their solid block of northern England MPs as well as the knee-jerk anti-SNP instincts of the surviving Slab drones.

      Like him or loathe him, Cameron has played a blinder - he has destroyed the Liberals, forever tainted Slab in their own heartland, put Scotland back in its box for the time being and even has a handy and manageable pressure valve for his golf club tendency on the right in the shape of UKIP.

      Forget Labour, get your money on the Tories being the next UK government.

      Better together, eh? Best of both worlds - chortle. Pooling and sharing - LOL.


    3. Sure, Clochoderic... If there are any Liberals in Scotland, bar Carmichael and Kennedy, they will only ever be able to be Scottish Secretary, and that's a non job. And the same thing for the 3 or 4 Tories that may be elected in some of the Liberal seats.

      Absolutely agree that it's unlikely that anyone of quality will stand for the unionist parties in Scotland. (Although, to be fair, there may be some somewhere that just want to be good constituency MPs and have no appetite for ministerial progression.)

      I personally can't see the SNP going into coalition with anyone. If they do they will lose support in Scotland. The only thing that could work is a supply and confidence arrangement and only on all UK matters. The minute the SNP start voting on English matters a lot of people will lose faith in them. In any case English Labour is a bit too right wing to have much common ground with Nicola Sturgeon.

      I think that the Tories will win the next election. They may nee d a few Liberals again, and they may need UKIP and I'm sure there is an Irish party that may help them out too for some concessions.

      But I think that Cameron has sewn the seeds for the breakup of the UK even without the massive support not being shown for the SNP.

  10. Sorry Tris I just had to vote for Murph the Smurph and Katy Clark. I hasten to add that I voted for them not because I thought they were the best folk for the job. No I voted for them because they are both Westminster M.P.'s and as such being Branch manager and Deputy Branch manager it will send a clear message to Milliband that we Scots know exactly our place in North Britain and bow to our Imperial masters! LOL

    1. LOL... yes... Wouldn't it be embarrassing for them if both leader and deputy were in London... ?

    2. The permutations are endless can one imagine Findlay telling Murphy how to vote at Westminster nor me.

    3. Nice daydreaming CH...

  11. Just noticed the wee poll at the top of the page, there was nowhere to tick Chimp so I am afraid I cannot vote, yet another example of Democracy not working.......

    1. I would of liked a third nomination with a lisp.

    2. Damn... I missed the chimp... Silly old me.

  12. No doubt Murphy will have his half dozen eggs ready to blame someone if he loses the Labour managers job.

    I still can't get over Labour candidate for Gordon, a wee lad from Cumbria, whose been in Scotland for 5 minutes.

    1. He won't be short of people from Labour to throw them. He's a divisive character is Jim. Margaret Curran, now saying that she supports him, used to rant at Jim's right wing anti women, anti gay, any everything, Tory attitudes, as did a lot of the left.

      I don't think he's liked in the party. he doesn't have much in the way of people skills.

      That seat was actually winnable when they put that lad up. Liberal seat, bound to lose a LOT of votes becasue they are Liberals, and because they are losing a long term incumbent. SNP second, with Labour just behind. only a thousand votes (2%) in it.

      It would have been on my list for Labour to put a big effort into taking...and they put up a kid who, as you say, has only been in Scotland for a few months.

      Now once Alex Salmond was chosen as candidate, it made Labour much less likely to have a chance... but they didn't know about Salmond when they put this boy up.

      Have they not got anyone realistic for the job? Have they given up?

  13. I sort of put Murphy for deputy and Findlay for leader.

    Because that would really annoy Murphy.


    1. And that (annoying Murphy) is such good sport.

      As I said, one of the reasons I hoped that Neil would get it was that it would be a right smack in the mouth for Murphy. I would be fun to see him thwarted... knowing that there will never be a ministerial job for him in England, even if they replace Ed (which they will have to).

      But we know that London Labour has decreed that it be him and the BBC in Pacific Quay has done the usual job of supporting what London says.

      Vote early and vote Murphy.

      Oh well...

  14. tris and the other nat moaning minnies
    thought you would like this..

    Polly Toynbee highlights what she sees as some of the key differences between Labour and the Tories (Ignore the flaws. For only Labour can beat the Tories, 9 December). We think it is easier and even more informative to highlight some of the similarities. After all, it was Labour who introduced hospital trusts, compulsory competitive tendering in the NHS and academy schools. Arguably, the coalition has simply built its policies on the NHS and education on foundations laid down by Labour.

    Perhaps more importantly, Labour, like the Tories, has signed up to the austerity agenda, including the coalition’s spending cap and 2015-16 spending plans. So, like the Tories, Labour will pursue policies that benefit the wealthy at the expense of the less well-off. Moreover, given the straitjacket of the political funding system, the lobbying industry and the globalisation of decision-making, as described by George Monbiot (There is an alternative, 8 December), the similarities between the two parties are likely to become greater over the life of the next parliament, rather than to decrease. This same straitjacket also places a large questionmark over Labour’s proposed £30bn leeway in spending that Polly takes as a given.

    We also read the polls differently. In our view it is not escapism to hope that tactical voting might lead to a Labour-led coalition with the SNP and the Greens. If so, we might even hope that the latter two parties will provide enough backbone for Labour to support policies that benefit the less well-off at the expense of the wealthy. Unlike Polly, we are not inclined to trust a Labour government to do this – especially after what happened the last three times we took them on trust.
    Lucy Craig and Gordon Best


    Do you lot talk about any other Labour politician apart
    from Jim Murphy yiu lot have made him the most recognized
    Labour politician in Scotland .
    You have gifted him the same name recognition as Alex Salmond
    (before his demise ) and Nicola Sturgeon I mean with that much
    publicity he is bound to win.

    1. Niko dear chap BBC 2014 mention

      Jim Murphy 520,000 times

      Neil Findlay 59,000 times

      Sarah Boyack 42,000 times

      All approx numbers and as we hang onto the BBC in all its enthral of impartiality , their title, who talks about Jim Murphy the most the BBC as he is Boothman's man.

    2. Seriously Niko, I don't see any difference between Labour and the Tories. They might have added that Atos and the Bedroom tax were originated by Labour. Indeed Lord Fraud was originally a Labour advisor who came up with most of the policies in "social security" .

      Their policies on Immigration and Defence and Foreign Affairs are more or less the same (ie, do what the USA says without question).

      Rather like the end of Animal Farm, they are beginning to merge into one.

      They are both utterly sickening.

      I mean, what is with Jackie Baillie today telling Nicola she let the poor down...?

      Who brought in ATOS and the bedroom tax and voted for exactly the same "welfare" policies? is there any difference in their attitudes to the minimum wage? Labour criticise zero hour contracts, but Labour MPs use them and Labour councils use them...just as much as Tories.

      And it's Nicola who let down teh poor.

      All over Britain people are queueing at foodbanks... Is that Nicola's fault?

      Probably not, but Jackie daren't criticise the Tories. They might be in a coalition government in May!

      I'm flattered that you think that Murphy being mentioned on this little blog of Munguin's would have any influence on the outcome of the leadership contest. But as CH points out, maybe the BBC still ahs the edge on Munguin as far as coverage is concerned.

      let's be honest. Ed decided to send Jim up here to the colonies. Sarwar was recalled to the seat of the Empire and the BBC in Glasgow, was through its mixed up intermarrying with the hierarchy of the Labour party, instructed to give the others almost no mention at all. To question Neil and Sarah as if they were filthy separatists, picking on every little thing, and to treat Jim as if he were the Duke of Rothsay himself, accepting all his non-answers as if they were words of wisdom from the royal lips....

      The deed has been done... Even Murphy's arch enemy was told to come out and praise him... Maggie Curran no less, because Sarwar will ahve to be given a post in shadow cabinet and it's likely to be Maggie's, so if she wants to be a spokesman on anything she has to tow the line.

      All Hail Jim, the great saviour of Labour ... (even though she thinks he's a misogynist pig).

    3. The best combo from an SNP perspective would clearly be Murphy/Clark, since neither are at Holyrood. Individually, it's harder to call. I can see Murphy being both a moderate success or a disaster.

    4. Hi Keaton:

      Yes, you're right. Both absent in the head office and one of them hard right and the other medium left... never really agreeing on anything! Dream team for the SNP. But of course that won;t be allowed to happen.

      In any case, I wonder if it would be good for Scotland. Actually I doubt very much that any combination is going to be good for Scotland. They don
      't seem to realise what being in opposition is about.

      The seem to have worked out that it's about opposing... but thus far and no farther. Pointing fingers and saying... SNP bad, Alic Salmon terrible ...doesn't quite cut it at parliamentary level.

      Murphy could be a success if he actually came up with the kind of policies that people wanted, and brushed up his people skills...but he would have to ditch his Blairist beliefs which go down like a ton of bricks here, and he has to stop hating the SNP because they stole Labour's scone and for no other reason.

      Problem i,s if he does that after so long as a hard right winger, and an SNP hater, it's going to look a bit false.

      It's ok to do a lot of mind changing in your 20s, but he's in his 40s, and, with his reputation as a career politician he's going to look like an opportunist who believes whatever his career path tells him to believe... even in trades unions if it gets him the keys to Bute House.

      I don't think he has the intellectual capacity to beat Nicola in debate, even if he has spend a quarter of his life in academe.

  15. A shocking tale of torture and indifference

    When Murphy is crowned king of Labour tomorrow will he be asked what he knew about this astonishing revelation being the socialist he is!