Thursday, April 30, 2015

It took time to understand Jim, we know Jim so well

STV's Stephen Daisley is a superb and frequently hilarious writer, and we've a lot to be grateful to him for - he's often been a constructive bridge between the mainstream media and alternative media such as Wings Over Scotland.  But his unshakeable belief in Jim Murphy's brilliance as a leader in defiance of all the evidence is leading him to say some increasingly absurd things.  He's penned an article today with the title "If Jim Murphy fails it will be because Labour is beyond saving".  Really?  I'm beginning to wonder if there is some kind of scientific law stating that nothing can ever be Jim Murphy's fault.  The newest poll projects Labour to lose all 40 of their Scottish seats under Murphy's watch - so just how bad would things have to get before it's at least partly his own fault?  If they're left with fewer than zero seats, would there then be an acknowledgement that Murphy isn't quite the Bill Clinton he was cracked up to be?

"And yet he presses on because what else is there to do. So he gets up on his Irn-Bru crate and tries to croak out the most radical platform the Labour Party has advanced in a generation above screeches of “traitor” and “Red Tories”."

Isn't it just possible, Stephen, that the problem with Murphy suddenly deciding to advance a red-blooded socialist manifesto is that even the dogs on the street know that he's spent his entire parliamentary career arguing against socialism, and in favour of the Blairite Third Way?  Isn't the very first thing a brilliant leader has to judge is whether or not his words will be regarded by the public as remotely authentic or sincere?

"He bests Nicola Sturgeon in a string of debates and watches glumly as the polls swing further to, not against, her."

Er, excuse me? In what sense did he 'best' Nicola Sturgeon in a string of debates? Let's just refresh our memories of who won STV's own leaders' debate, according to the YouGov poll conducted over the two days immediately afterwards -

Which leader do you think came across the best in the FIRST debate? [Asked to respondents who saw the debate or saw clips or reports of it]

Nicola Sturgeon 56%
Ruth Davidson 14%
Jim Murphy 13%
Willie Rennie 1%

Generally you've only won a debate if the viewers think you've won it, rather than thinking you've come a distant third.  This isn't a TV talent show where the 'expert judges' get to overrule the audience.

"The ritual humiliation to which he subjects himself every day at the hands of triumphalist Nationalists and a contemptuous media warrants something else. It has earned him the right to take a run at 2016. The fact that he may not be an MP in the next Parliament is an important detail but a detail nonetheless. There aren’t going to be very many Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster for the next five years."

The rule of thumb in modern politics is that what "earns" you the right to carry on as leader is electoral success, or failing that, the avoidance of total electoral annihilation.  The idea that you've somehow earned the right to continue because you led your party to its worst defeat in living memory but kept shouting loudly while you were doing it is, shall we say, creative.

As for there not being very many Scottish Labour MPs after next week, so what?  There will still be a respectable number of Labour MSPs at Holyrood, and it doesn't strike me as being entirely unreasonable that the Scottish Labour leader should ordinarily be someone who holds a seat in the Scottish Parliament, rather than someone who potentially doesn't hold a seat in any parliament at all, and who may have just contrived to throw away a majority of 10,420.

"But there is only one leader capable of making a decent fist of the Holyrood elections..."

Kezia Dugdale? Jenny Marra?

"...and to turf him out after half a year would be to hang a “do not resuscitate” sign on Labour’s life-support machine."

Oh, you're still talking about Murphy. I think some journalists are going to need a support group after next week.


  1. I think STV sees itself as rushing down the same unsavoury sewage pipe as our other state broadcaster, Hinging on to the wee bit of soiled toilet paper that is Jim Murphy isn't going to stop it being flushed away next week.

  2. "The idea that you've somehow earned the right to continue because you led your party to its worst defeat in living memory but kept shouting loudly while you were doing it is, shall we say, creative."

    It has to be said, the pro-independence blogging community has no equal when it comes to withering sarcasm. (Stephen Daisley being the honourable exception to the rule.) It doesn't appear to matter to MSM how many times we tell them that Jim Murphy's new clothes were borrowed from the Emperor they seem to be incapable of understanding people are turning from Labour BECAUSE of Murphy not in spite of him.

    One week to go before the all nighter of, with any luck, many Portillo moments.

  3. Methinks Stephen Daisley needs to get a room for the 2 of them. There's no other possible explanation for this apparent blind devotion which flies in the face of all the evidence - namely, that Jim Murphy is nothing other a complete liability of a politician with all the appeal of a bowl of cold vomit.

  4. I liked the phrase "contemptious media" - if he couldn't cope with having 99% of MSM supporting him - god knows what dogs breakfast he would have made if he had to put up with all the crap slung in Nicolas direction.
    The other fairly major factor - Why when in order to win an election you have to get back former labour YES voters do you put in charge the one man that was a defining NO figure and the vast majority of YES voters couldn't stand (along with his henchmen) - just shows the strength of labours strategic thinking ! I was shitting myself that they actually voted for Neil Findlay and Katy Clark - they would have put up a far bigger fight.

  5. as an aside - I bet Katy Clark might be one labour MP that might get away standing from the carnage next week.

    1. I doubt it - the arithmetic is stacked against her. The SNP would take Clark's seat on a uniform swing even if they were fractionally behind Labour nationally.

  6. All 'scottish' Labour have to go with a bit of luck.
    Who'd have thought this on 19th September.

    Even one bad apple spoils the barrel and you can't get much more rotten than that shower of shit.
    I suspected that Murphy was a tory plant then I realised the lot of them are actually just the 'Westminster Party' and they're all in it 'together'.
    Hell mend them ,I really hope this will happen.

    They would only pollute and contaminate Holyrood with their poison.

  7. I was previously looking forward to Jim losing his seat next week but now I am not so sure. Bear with me.

    If Jim loses his seat and Labour is wiped out, or almost wiped out in Scotland, he could probably disappear off into obscurity and we may never hear from him again. If by some quirk of fate he keeps his seat but all (or almost all) of the rest lose theirs, it would be obvious that he has been putting so much of his energy into saving his own skin.

    Just imagine his reception every time he stands up in Westminster. After all he did promise that he wouldn't lose a single seat, and obviously East Renfrewshire is the single seat that he most wants not to lose.

    If he thinks enough about this possible outcome he may just want to throw in the towel now. It wouldn't look too good to be your party's sole survivor.

  8. Populous-online asking folk to complete a ‘exit poll’ type survey immediately after they cast their vote on their pc.

    I suppose they will be getting info now from postal voters!

    1. What rules apply to the info collected who will see it.
    2. Will that stop/ or start rumours re: interference

    1. It's super illegal, John Curtice told me.

    2. I don't think it's illegal to collect the information, just to publish it before the polls close. They could be planning a scoop by having a big postal exit poll ready to publish at 10 pm on polling day.

    3. Panelbase have asked me to do something similar.

  9. You are too kind, Daisley is delusional pure and simple. I'm glad unionists are trying to protect Murphy though, because him continuing to lead Labour after defeat would be a pure gift. As for "ritual humiliation", don't feel sorry for Murphy, not in the slightest. If roles were reversed he would pummel the SNP remorselessly. Only a few months ago he was boasting how easy it was for him to get the best of the SNP, back when he still believed that the fawning media heralded sure success. Most of all this man was a cheerleader for war under Blair. I will never ever feel sorry for him, not in the slightest.

    1. It does make you wonder if Daisley fancies Jim Murphy. But how could he? The man makes my skin crawl.

  10. I think it has more to do with Daisley's inner turmoil over considering abandoning the Labour party than any objective appraisal of Jim.

  11. The very 1st priority for SLAB, according to Murray Leith of the Politics Dept at UWE, should be to ditch Murphy