Saturday, 29 November 2014

Jim Murphy hatchet jobs: a short series to cut out and keep

And so to the surprise of, well, no-one, we last week learned that Tom Watson MP had decided to stick the boot into Jim Murphy as the bookies' favourite to be Scottish leader. Just as his former flat-mate, Len McCluskey did a couple of weeks before, as we reported here, and seemingly by pretending, somewhat disingenuously, to admire him:
"Don't get me wrong, I like Jim Murphy's aggressive, lead-from-the-front approach. And he can win marathons for political endurance."
Yeah, right. 
"Yet he will be the first to know that his association with the leadership of the Better Together campaign is disastrous positioning."
Ah, so that will be the Better Together campaign that won the votes of the majority of the Scottish electorate. Yes, what a disaster for him.

Also, judging by past performance, expect more of these kind of pieces over the next couple of weeks, as we lead up to the Scottish leadership election finale in December; it would not be going out too much on a limb to predict a further piece from Owen Jones, say. Or the Guardian's Seumas Milne. Familiar, friendly faces to the Unite boss.

Happily, I suspect that Scottish Labour members may just have become a little fed up of being told what to think by Unite.

Especially after what happened in Falkirk.

STOP PRESS: I just found this further hatchet job at the Huffington Post by a chap called John Wight. However, I'm not sure if it really counts for my collection, as (a) he is not either a "proper" journalist or a key party figure, and (b) the bonkers Wight is also a fan of genocidal dictator Bashar Assad, as my good friends at Harry's Place helpfully point out.

STOP PRESS (II): I underestimated Owen Jones (see above), who actually got there first. In this wonderfully apocalyptic piece entitled "The grim reaper is knocking for Scottish Labour", Jones explains the evil Blairites' cunning plan to spoil everything:
So who is being lined up as Lamont’s successor? The arch-Blairite, staunchly pro-war Westminster machine politician, Jim Murphy.
To be fair, though, this is not a proper hatchet job, as the whole piece is not dedicated to Murphy. It's more of, say, a drive-by shooting.

STOP PRESS (III): on a related topic, thanks to Paul Hutcheon for pointing out to me his piece in today's Scottish Sunday Herald, on how the unions are using the ballot packs they send out to members to "help" them to vote in their preferred way (despite the fact that the ballot is One Member, One Vote and therefore members choose, not union leaders).

The GMB have repeated the stunt they pulled in the UK leadership election of 2010 in including only campaign literature from their preferred candidate (and not the other two). The most shameless was, predictably, Unite, who included a "mock" ballot paper along with the real one, with a cross in Neil Findlay's name. As a "senior party source" said, it's "desperate stuff".

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