A short while ago it was announced that Jim Murphy was elected (via Labour’s amazingly undemocratic system) as Labour leader in Scotland. This is frankly the best possible outcome for not the Labour Party but the SNP who must now be scratching their heads wondering if Labour in Scotland are determined to wipe themselves out next May.
Murphy is a man who is at best, a Tory who went with Labour as it was the easiest way to gain power, and like so many in Labour (and Westminster generally) has used his position to make himself a wealthy man while taking all the founding principles of the Labour Party and wiping his arse with them. Murphy is one of those Tony Blair supporters who so enthusiastically ripped the heart out of Labour and until he realised that Scotland may have voted No in the Independence referendum (based upon lies spread by the likes of Murphy) but he now finds a Scotland moving firmly to the left while a man who supports Trident, voted and supported the Iraq war and by action is partly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands. In a post-referendum Scotland where the majority support left wing and social democratic ideas, Murphy stands out as a reminder of the recent past when Labour stood imperious but finally died as a party of the left.
We now have an insane situation where Murphy can’t actually lead the party in the Scottish Parliament, so instead he new deputy Keizia Dugdale will speak for Labour where she’s frankly been an uninspiring MSP and will be turned into fresh mince by Nicola Sturgeon. As for the SNP they must be sitting there pinching themselves wondering how they’ve managed to position themselves into such a strong position for what may be a historic amount of SNP MP’s being returned to Westminster come May.
As for the reaction from Labour supporters, it seems somewhat muted. They know that realistically the only real candidate with a decent chance to stop Labour’s slide was Neil Findlay but he was never going to win while Ed Milliband ran the party from London, so Murphy was always going to be elected leader. They know Murphy cheated his expenses, voted for illegal wars and stood side-by-side with the Tories during the referendum, and in fact, is strongly supported by Tories who have campaigned for him. All the SNP or Greens need to do is point out he’s a Blairite and he voted for Iraq, or that he stands with the Tories and like Labour in London, supports the policies of austerity and he’s fucked.
Labour supporters know Murphy is toxic. Tories know Murphy is toxic. Both seem happy he’s elected and it’s mad that this think this Grima Wormtongue figure is going to take on Stugeon and the SNP while convincing the Labour voter who’ve left the party that they should vote Labour ever again. This is now a party of the right. A party supporting austerity. A party promising to get ‘tough’ on the deficit and puffing it’s chest out about what services it might cut. If you are of the left, or even a liberal then there’s no way you can support a party lead by Murphy and controlled by Milliband in London.
In fact outside of the odd Labour drone a quick look on Twitter reveals the main support seems to come from the right, or in this case, the Orange Order.