The Barrel Of The Gun

11142105_948226768543768_2115671766_nSince 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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10 comments on “The Barrel Of The Gun
  1. I think the very consistency of the polls is a worry. I think they are being deliberately manipulated to scare somnolent voters to get off their posteriors and vote for anything other than the Nationalist hordes whilst filling said hordes with over confidence. I’m not saying it will work but I worry when all the polls in a media totally unfriendly to our cause seem to indicate something they do not want. Therefore they are up to something the dirty cads.

  2. I don’t agree Mike, they have their professional integrity to protect and they are determined to call it as close to the result as possible…

    They have sheckels to chase in the future and if they get it spectacularly wrong they’ll lose business in the future…

    It really is game on for us and game over for them

  3. I just remember the pols a week before the referendum which were a shock giving us a lead for them to be so wrong. Leading to the Vow which is why I think they were manipulated. Any poll can be fixed depending on the question, the sample and the algorhythms applied.

    • Big difference between a few (maybe three or four tops?), of a screed of polls, having shown Yes in front ahead of the referendum and basically every poll bar one or two early ones having shown the SNP in front since.

      Unionists and SNPouters have been comforting themselves with this idea that ‘the polls were showing Yes in front before the vote in September’ as if it was a uniform thing by the end. This is revisionism. Most polls still had No in front, it was just that so much more attention was given to the few that had Yes in front near the end.

      Different now. It could well be that the SNP’s final vote tally will be less than these polls suggest after tactical voting and some drift back to Labour takes place but be clear that being between 25 and 32 points ahead in the polls for months is a big difference from one or two polls showing Yes 2 or 3% ahead.

  4. Almost every poll prior to the referendum called the result correctly to within a couple of percentage points… We had the YouGov poll a week before that gave us all the false hope… We were talking margins of error and small swings required…

    The other thing to take into consideration is that referenda are notoriously difficult to predict for pollsters…

    Their bread and butter are multi-party elections and a 32 point lead with a week to go is a fantastic and unassailable position in my humble opinion

  5. He is actually driving me mad with his referendum 2 and SNP bad rhetoric because he has nothing else to say. What part of no referendum imminent does he not understand? Does he not realise that the SNP are a million times more politically astute than he is and that they will not go for another referendum until they are 100% sure they will win and by a good majority. They have to be that sure and the best way of doing that is to continue good goverance both here and as far as possible in WM. I pray to a God I don’t believe on that this man loses his seat next Thursday and leaves us all in peace.

  6. I still think that 15+ is great for us(SNP) I also believe that the polls are getting manipulated,to give us this sense of jubilation and when we don’t take 50+ seats we may just become despondent tuck tails and go away.Westminster wants rid of us and don’t forget Labour and the Tories worked hand in glove for 3 years another 6 or 7 months is not beyond possibility.I don’t trust the polls although I would really like to.Sleekit Smurphy is ranting but I think he could manage that easily,and he is the one shouting about how we will push for another referendum,aye of course but we know when to sit back and take stock,thats now.So I’m really as confused as anybody else,but I’ll hope for the best while expecting the worst.I’m also one of those guys that think a violin was played at the referendum,and would not rule out it happening now,the Labour party has form for making sure they win,or so I am led to believe.

  7. Heard him with Kaye Adams on Radio Scotland this morning.
    The man must have a bet on for a Labour wipe out in Scotland.
    Nobody could be that bad without trying….could they?

  8. “All it’s going to take is one … hardcore Blairite who thinks he can take Miliband down”

    Isn’t Murphy that Blairite?
    Isn’t that his Blair-assigned task?
    And isn’t he doing fantastically well?
    Hasn’t he presided over ScotLab’s demise?
    And hasn’t he neatly started on UKLab?

    I won’t speculate on the purpose, but we do know both Blair and Murphy are involved on the international scene and that Blair is taking a close interest in events here.
    On balance I believe Murphy was sent in on a mission of destruction.

  9. How very dare you suggest that dugs are rubbish footballers. My dug Cuilean is a superbly acrobatic ball catcher. Backward somersaults? Nae bother. Fearless in tackling too. We wouldn’t have lost 5 1, at Wembley, in ’75, with Cuilean in goal.

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