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."