Since I started this site I have written several pieces about Jim Murphy.
I find this guy fascinating.
As regular readers will know, I have some personal history with him, from way back when, in 1997.
My critique on him, “You Meant It Then”, charted his journey, taking apart the official version of it. My article “The Mind Of Jim Murphy” speculated on whether or not he secretly wanted to cost Labour in the national campaign.
Tonight, I could write a postscript to both articles.
The article on his journey could be updated to discuss how it’s all going to end.
Right now, he’s well on course to lose his seat and I expect him to because he’s no longer rational and his every word makes defeat more likely.
I also think that he’s making life very hard for Ed Miliband, and not just because it’s his “leadership” of Labour in Scotland that has led the party to the point where Electoral Calculus says not even the seat held by Willie Bain, in Glasgow North East, is going stay red.
Indeed, that site presently predicts that the SNP will do a clean sweep – 59 seats out of 59 – next Thursday.
Will it be as heavy a defeat as that? I still doubt it.
I still err on the side of caution, and predict a seat haul in the forties – but it’s now no longer up for debate that we’re in the neighborhood of seeing Labour annihilated north of the border.
A lot of their MP’s are still kidding themselves about what they are finding on the doorsteps.
A lot of my friends are still cautious, telling me to bottle the enthusiasm and the excitement, but the polls have been consistent for months now and they are only moving one way.
This is going to happen.
We’re on the verge of a historic shift in national politics.
Murphy has done nothing to stem the tide.
Indeed, he has helped it along nicely with the way he’s conducted this campaign.
His friends in the media are still talking about how “enthusiastic” and “energetic” it has been, but let’s pause for a moment and consider that.
You ever played football against your dog?
You will never play against a more “enthusiastic and energetic” opponent.
Or an easier one.
The Murphy campaign has been a colossal failure, one on a new order of disastrous, the kind that winds up in the history books, the sort that ends careers. When he came in the party was on course to make losses – heavy losses – but they were not facing a wipe-out.
Now that is very much on the cards and the best he can come up with, when asked about the numbers, is tell the hacks that “David Cameron will be popping champagne corks in Downing Street.”
I wonder if he knows the dual effect this has?
Does he no longer care?
Imagine you are a Tory voter, in East Renfrewshire.
Imagine you hear Murphy talking like this.
You might think you had nothing to lose from voting SNP now.
Why wouldn’t you? All this talk of tactical voting saving Labour … it’s the un-scariest scare story yet.
So Tories are going to give Labour additional seats are they?
For whose benefit? Not their own, that’s for sure.
Murphy is looking down the barrel of a gun, and all he can offer is more reasons for people in his constituency to vote against him.
That is right out of the Bad Campaigns Playbook.
The guy is going to lose that seat because he is too politically dumb to keep it.
That’s not all he’s accomplished with today’s new retreat into this failed mantra.
Every word you hear emanating from Labour in Scotland these days seems designed to make life hard for Labour UK.
Their contention that voting SNP helps the Tories insults the intelligence of the voters. They know full well that Nicola’s promise to lock Cameron out of Downing Street means there’s virtually no risk to voting SNP.
The only risk there is, actually, comes from the picture Labour in Scotland is allowing the right wing media to paint; that of Ed Miliband, squatting in Downing Street, put there by the hard-core ultra-left SNP parliamentarians.
Murphy is stoking an outcry against a future Labour-led administration. He is making it that much harder for Miliband to form a government if he has to do it from a position where the Tories have more seats.
A truly ghastly scenario is looming here, sparked by Murphy and those within Labour who are pushing this deplorable line in Scotland.
It is one where Cameron and his media allies can spook enough Labour members south of the border into telling their leader they, and their party, has no democratic mandate.
All it’s going to take is one person in the Labour ranks, just one, to be so spooked at the prospect of the party having to limp through a whole parliamentary term without a majority – or one hardcore Blairite who thinks they can bring Miliband down – that he or she starts running off at the mouth that Ed Miliband should respect the voters … and the floodgates could open wide.
The prospect of soldiering on as a minority administration, with the right-wing press howling in the background, will not appeal to many Labour members. Although every MP claims to want his party in government, opposition is easier. And quieter.
I speculated earlier that if Murphy was trying to disrupt the UK race, with all his talk of Labour taking money from the south of England to send it north, that he couldn’t be doing it better. I have seen nothing in the last month that contradicts that view.
The Labour Party in Scotland is a shambles.
It has been that way for a long, long time.
Murphy’s election was exactly as suicidal as myself and others predicted, and when he said today that he will not be dissuaded from seeking to run for the Scottish Parliament next year, and lead Labour into that election, I laughed out loud.
He and the party are staring down the barrel of the gun and that look you see on his face lately alternates between angry disbelief and honest-to-God bafflement. This guy, and the party he leads, still don’t have any clear idea how they got here far less the remotest clue about how to turn things around.
An entire generation of us has grown up, and away, from the political organisation our parents and grandparents voted for without a second thought.
It was the narrator of Fight Club who said “With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.”
Right now, if you listen carefully, you can hear garbled voices.
“Eeeeee aaaa uuuuugged!”
And you know what?
They most definitely are.
There are eight days left to go …. and down comes the curtain on many a Labour career.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.
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