Today has brought the bombshell revelation from Paul Hutcheon of the Sunday Herald that Jim Murphy is no longer a patriot. Normal caveats apply of course -
"Who are these separatists to say that a non-patriot can't be patriotic? My non-patriotism is every bit as patriotic as the patriotism of the patriots. In fact, it's BECAUSE I'm such a patriotic Scot that I believe so passionately in non-patriotism."
- but in essence it appears that patriotic Labour is no more.
An even more fascinating nugget is that Murphy has apparently been taking legal advice over whether it would be within Labour party rules for him to remain as 'leader' if he loses his seat next month. Although the rules clearly state that a candidate for leader must hold a parliamentary seat, there's a degree of ambiguity over whether retaining that seat is a precondition for carrying on as leader after an election.
Here's the thing, though - in the first instance, the interpretation of Labour rules is a matter for Labour itself. So if there was unanimity in the party hierarchy that it would (for some bizarre reason) be desirable for Murphy to cling on for dear life after defeat in the general election, it would be very easy to simply interpret the rules in the most generous way. If Murphy is taking legal advice, then, we can take it as read that no such unanimity exists, and that he's seriously contemplating the possibility of defying a challenge from within the party to his legitimacy as leader.
Might be worth having some popcorn to hand - you know, just to cover all contingencies.