Saturday, May 16, 2015

Murphy goes : good or bad news for the SNP?

If Jackanory Jim ever becomes a judge, I wouldn't want to be a defendant in the dock.  He'd start my sentencing by telling me to make constructive use of the freedom he was going to give me, and then fifteen minutes later I'd discover that freedom was only coming after twenty years in prison and thirty strokes of the rattan cane.

Anyway, after the most tortuous resignation choreography in history, he eventually used firm enough language to ensure there is no way back, and we can start to look ahead to what will presumably be the Kezia era.  I can't actually make up my mind whether this transition is going to be a net positive for the SNP - I think if Labour were in a position to be seriously aiming for power next year, it might have been better to stick with Murphy, because however much he irritates people, the number one rule is to present the electorate with a leader that they can just about imagine as First Minister.  Kezia may be more likeable, but at 33 years old (or 34 by next May) I think people may struggle to visualise her taking over from Nicola Sturgeon.

On the other hand, if the only hope is simply to minimise the scale of defeat and prevent the SNP winning a second overall majority, it's conceivable that Kezia will be a better bet.  At least she'll be leading a slightly more united party.  (Or perhaps I shouldn't speak too soon.)

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Breaking news : Tomorrow's Scotland on Sunday front page reports "another boost for Murphy as masterful resignation speech is rapturously received".  #tomorrowspaperstoday

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UPDATE : Does anyone think Kezia might do a Chuka Umunna, and refuse to accept the poisoned chalice?  She couldn't run away from the leadership fast enough six months ago, although I'm not sure whether that was simply because she knew Murphy would stand and didn't think she could beat him.

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UPDATE II : We've finally established what went wrong with the polls last week - it turns out that George Foulkes was in charge.  The bombshell revelation comes from Mike Smithson (emphasis is mine)...

"Keiran spent the last week speaking to several leading experts in the polling industry including Professor John Curtice, Lord Foulkes, Damian Lyons Lowe of Survation, Anthony Wells of YouGov, Matt Singh and Rob Vance."

46 comments:

  1. My feeling on the ground in April/May 2011 was that the prospect of Iain Gray taking over from Salmond as First Minister was a big part of the decision to go with an SNP vote for many people. If Kezia is leader for the 2016 rematch, I can see it going exactly the same way.

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    1. Yep, I think Kezia will be seen as too lightweight to go up against Nicola.
      Maybe in another 10 years. Who else could likely be in contention ? Neil Findlay again?

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    2. I think Findlay said he wouldn't stand if there was a vacancy, but that was probably just a tactical statement to make it look like he wasn't plotting.

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    3. The Eggman threw Deputy Dugdale blinking into the fray enough times during the campaign (usually just after yet another bombshell poll) to prove beyond all doubt she is also anything but the solution to their problems. She looked woefully out of her depth and was reduced to parroting the same inept soundbites Murphy did.

      If they wanted a leader of quality and substance then they should have thought about it years ago and had somebody train for it week in, week out, year after year They sure as fuck won't stumble upon anyone worthwhile by giving it to inexperienced careerists who's main claim to fame is that they are next in line every six months or so.

      So if nothing else the next mug/'scottish' leader the Labour Leadership gives the nod to will at least be very well qualified to be the next scapegoat for decades of London Labour HQ's systemic failures. Which would seem to be the entire point of the 'scottish' labour leader now.

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  2. Short term:bad. Long-term: good.

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  3. It depends on what Labour in Scotland do now. If they decide to remain a branch office of the UK Labour Party, then they will remain discredited and I really cannot see a way back for them. If they become a sister party to Labour in the rest of the UK, or arrange some other distant tie, and campaign for more Home Rule (Devo max)/ against austerity, then they have a chance to recover in the medium term imo.

    In short, they need to be able to decide on their own policies.

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  4. Hopefully their only recovery will he post independence! (touch wood).

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  5. Tactically it would have made sense, if Murphy had commited to stay till the Holyrood election, reorganise the Party, then walking away. The walking away would have been important to prevent the jibe of 'carrerism'.
    As it is, there is no great list of potential " leaders" to choose from. The intake from 2011 was mostly lightweight because the old guard got wiped out unexpectedly. I also suspect there are " issues" at the top of Scottish Labour to deal with. Those who were close to Lamont. Those who wanted Murphy too stay. The Westminster refugees who will want on the 2016 list.
    Dugdale may be the early favourite, but may be too inexperienced to control this Party.
    There will be little help from England---- the candidates there seem to be fighting to lead a defacto English Labour Party.

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  6. I see that according to the BBC, the national executive result was 'very narrow', with Jim only 'just surviving'.

    55% Stay
    45% Go

    As opposed to being 'clear and decisive'.

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    1. murphy did a reverse-farage
      https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/resignations-jim-murphy-does-a-reverse-farage/
      which may yet be reversed once again when the month is up

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  7. Dugdale is incredibly bland, and I'm not sure she's up to it intellectually: she always seems a couple of steps behind Sturgeon. Honestly I think Scottish Labour need an organisational split from the UK party and to find a new leader from the left: Findlay or someone like him.

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    1. The problem is that whoever wins has at least a 50/50 chance of facing their own leadership crisis a year from now. The "modernisers" would pounce on Findlay with glee if he failed to make gains next May.

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    2. What they need is an elder statesman with no personal ambition to provide a bit of gravitas in the leadership, take the inevitable hit next year, and then resign to let a younger person oversee the real revival.

      Step forward - Gordon Brown!

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    3. Actually, there is one person who would fit the bill----Malcolm Chisholm.
      An old fashioned person of principle who has not been as partisan as his pals. Against Trident. He could be an ideal Interim Leader, till they sorted out what they are for, but probably has zero support in the vipers nest of Scottish Labour.

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    4. Remember, folks, the rules say candidates have to be elected parliamentarians. That lets Gordon Broon off the hook. It also means Murphy can't do a Farage either!

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    5. He could do a Farage, in the sense that he won't have resigned if his resignation isn't accepted. But fortunately there doesn't seem to be any chance of that.

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  8. To avoid further annihilation Labour should NOT replace Murphy but should go back to their campaigning methods of old. ie no canvassing, no leafleting, no interviews.

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  9. I'm with Muttley. It depends on how 'Scottish Labour' want to play it. I was heartened the other day to hear Kezia back Sturgeon on the Human Rights Act. There will be more horrors soon as Osborne plots a summer budget to further lay waste to the country.

    If Kezia has got any sense, she should opt for an easy life as well as boosting Labour's credibility by taking a less personally hostile view towards the SNP. Just accept that for now they are the power in the land, and drop the resentment and sense of entitlement.

    Take a less hostile view and concentrate on constructive criticism. She's be doing the country and her own sanity a favour.

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  10. Nothing will stop the rot.

    They voted to keep him and with Labour down south stay to the right the obvious message is no change. We are right you are wrong. he presides over a slaughter and they gave him a vote of confidence . Says it all.

    The SE will see the party wiped out. They are full of time wasters and voice boxes . The anger will increase now the tory's are in. SNP have the time , energy and huge support to finish them off.

    No one trusts them anymore. The party is overrated. 1 seat . How bad can it get.

    Greens , SSP and maybe a new party from the CW will fill the gap.

    Can't see anyway back now.

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    1. They're not going to be "wiped out" under the d'Hondt system, on 25% of the vote.

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  11. Good or bad news for the SNP?

    Great news for all the people of Scotland.

    Good riddance.

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  12. I feel sorry for Kezzy. Lord Fooks has ruined a nice girl.

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    1. If it's true that she's Fifi la Bonbon, she's not a "nice girl".

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    2. I think that Fooks was Bonbon. Maybe both of them, as they lay in bed on a Sunday, scoffing quails eggs and sodgers.

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  13. Mildly bad news for the SNP because it ends the farce. I could see Kezia winning more seats than Iain Gray did, and with expectations as they are that would be considered a triumph.

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  14. Just noticed the post-script about George Foulkes. What are his polling credentials, apart from his attempts to outlaw them? Last I saw of him was on the evening of the 7th, when he was repeatedly gloating about how the SNP were about to lose the Western Isles.

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    1. I suspect Mike Smithson meant to say Lord Ashcroft, but got in a muddle because of Foulkes' attempt to meddle.

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    2. No, he meant Foulkes - he was interviewed for the podcast, but not on the basis of his expertise!

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    3. Ok, thanks. I realized after I'd posted that there might be further information, so I should have phrased it as a question: "Could it be that Mike Smithson...?" - to which you've provided the answer.

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  15. Its just occurred to me. The Labour party was so smart arsed at Holyrood that anybody half talented was not on their List and they ended up with a bunch of non entities there. And now they have gone and lost their "A" team to the SNP at the recent Westminster rout.

    There is not actually anybody good enough to lead their party in Scotland who is eligible to stand for the post.

    They fairly played a blinder there, didn't they?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I noticed that too. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Don't get mad, get even. And so on.

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    2. This "Westminster A-team, Holyrood B-team" business was largely a media figment. It's hard to argue that Jenny Marra or Drew Smith are less able than Jim Sheridan or Brian Donohoe.

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  16. Kondiloma akuminata atau yang sering disebut sebagai kutil kelamin, merupakan salah satu penyakit seksual menular (PMS) yang disebabkan oleh virus yang bernama Humanpapilloma virus (HPV). Terdapat lebih dari 40 jenis HPV yang dapat menginfeksi daerah kelamin laki-laki dan perempuan. Jenis HPV ini juga dapat menginfeksi mulut dan tenggorokan. Kebanyakan orang yang terinfeksi dengan HPV bahkan tidak tahu mereka memilikinya. HPV tidak sama dengan herpes atau HIV (AIDS).

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    1. Yeah, it's about genital warts - must be him.

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  17. It isn't just Scottish Labour. It is the UK-wide party that is in trouble. I don't see a way out for any of them.

    I'm not sure if that is good or bad for SNP, but at least it gives the MSM something towitter on endlessly about which will make them happy.

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  18. Labour are in a pickle and no mistake.

    In England they've concluded that they lost because they weren't right wing enough. I think the UK party will simply start to disintegrate. I also expect Owen Jones to argue that its fly blown corpse still has something to offer the UK.

    In Scotland...Murphy plays the "it was already broke when I got here, so I'm not responsible" card and puts the party through the farce of a confidence vote. Doesn't get the votes in the numbers he wanted so quits in a huff. Then he declares he will fix labours woes with a plan for radical change, which if not followed to the letter will doom the party. That takes a neck of solid brass and no empathy whatsoever to make a statement as idiotic as that. There simply is no awareness of the scale of the defeat his party suffered. The question is: Is he really so self absorbed he doesn't know, or is that he simply does not care?

    I am willing to bet that his "plan" is to commit Scottish labour to a policy of surrendering major powers in Holyrood to councils. If they can't win in Holyrood then they'll scupper it and go and hide in their council wards were they think they're safe.
    The problem with this plan is that they have to first win in holyrood and that requires to sell this transfer to a nation that wants MORE powers for Holyrood not less. So once again Murphy will position labour on the wrong side of an argument.

    Could be that's not what he plans. It could be that what he plans is for a policy of bringing booze back to football. A thousand more nurses than the SNP planned to hire. A mansion tax. Prescription fees and means testing etc etc. You know...all the pish that saw them get slapped out of power.

    It could be that Murphy wants the head of Glasgow City council to become an MSP, so Murphy can sneak in and become a Councillor instead, then demand he be made leader of that instead.

    What we can be sure of is that who ever takes up this mantle of branch chair of labour in Scotland, will be leading the party to defeat in 2016. They have no stomach for the fight. The fire has gone out of them. Whoever is in charge is going to face calls to stand down again and the whole sorry farce kicks off once more. Labour is facing a decade or more in the wilderness. Even its council wards are no longer safe.

    Interesting times.

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  19. Just curious, but does anyone know the state of Labour and Lib-Dem finances?

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    1. I can't see anyone big ever donating to the LDs again, so if they've already spent all the money Michael Brown stole, "not good" is a safe bet.

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    2. Apart from anything else, they lost a six-figure sum by failing to hold hundreds of deposits last week.

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    3. One for the stats nerds: did Labour lose any deposits in Scotland? I know they came pretty close in some places, such as Orkney and Shetland.

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    4. Labour lost at least 3 deposits in Scotland, but I’d predicted more. Must check the detail.

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  20. bjsalba@11.46

    In serious trouble I should imagine,and likely to get much worse.

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  21. bjsalba@11.46

    In serious trouble I should imagine,and likely to get much worse.

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  22. Jimbo & and his political colleagues are fit to undertake the responsibilities they are charged with, ... but he isn't and neither are they. There is no point looking to this man for any insight into what motivates people towards their ideology..... neo liberalism or blairite dogma isn't what motivates people.... its their impoverishment at the hands of the other wing of the tory party... and the ability & will of politicians to be able to stand up for them..... NOT... agreeing as Balls did with Osbornes budget.
    It is easy to laugh at people who are filled with a sense of their own inadequacy and impotent rage when they make themselves the object of what they are attacking by exposing themselves as the ridiculous people they are...... though less so if the same people, or those similarly motivated, manage to fulfil some of their insular ambitions..... therefore the red tories have a long walk to return to whatever standards they once believed they had...

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