Perhaps it is time for the Labour Party to die?

Jim Murphy is leaving his disastrous leadership of ‘Scottish’ Labour but not before throwing a stink bomb into the mix by taking on Len McCluskey directly, and in return, Unite in Scotland are going to vote in July to see about cutting support for Labour in Scotland.

unitelr

 

Added to this, the STUC have decided to support the SNP government in Scotland in standing against Tory austerity and their government generally. In England and Wales, the party is in the middle of a bizarre conversation about replacing it’s former leader Ed Milliband as candidates talk of ‘aspirational voters’,  John Lewis shoppers and endless reams of entitled self-indulgent soul searching that spreads the shite everywhere apart from at the feet of Labour itself or the fact the party has supported austerity for the last five years and has voted with coalition policy or abstained over the last five years.

The clear favourite for leader, Andy Burnham, is coming out of support for an EU referendum and is using language that just about stops short of sounding full-fat Tory, especially on the subject of immigration. All the other candidates are actually worse, and none have any idea as to why the Labour Party failed so, so badly in the election.

Andy Burnham could do himself a favour and read this splendid article by John Harris in the Guardian from last week, and actually understand it. Labour lost not because of the SNP, or UKIP, or anyone standing on a grassy knoll but they failed primarily because Labour don’t know what they’re actually for anymore apart from gaining power and keeping it. They’ve become a party of power for the sake of power itself, and in seeking this power they’ve driven many people away into the arms of more left wing parties like the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens, false hopes like the Lib Dems, or the chancers of UKIP. In Scotland it’s even worse as Labour supporters and voters voted Tory in order to ‘keep the SNP out’ and in doing so added to David Cameron’s share of the vote and denied Labour an increase in short money.

As a serious anti-Tory campaign starts to form Labour are nowhere to be seen as they fight among themselves, or indulge in wheezes like attacking the SNP for not voting in the forthcoming free vote in regards the fox hunting ban in England and Wales. They know fine well the SNP don’t vote on England only issues, and that there already is a ban on fox hunting in Scotland that was introduced in 2002 introduced during a Labour government in Holyrood, and supported by the SNP. Rather than unite with the anti Tory movement and help protect the Human Rights Act, or even try to find Tory MP’s that could vote to retain the ban, they’ve continued this tactic of attacking the SNP, but this is going to blow up in their face as it not only provokes the West Lothian question (not that it’s a concern for Labour as they only have one MP left in Scotland) but it will invoke the question about why then did Labour spend so much time supporting the previous government or abstaining?

So as Labour is being eaten alive from within what’s it actually for? It doesn’t support the unemployed. It doesn’t especially seem to care about the poor. It doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of government is to serve, not to use power to curb people’s freedoms. Yes, Labour will tell you they formed the NHS, the Welfare State and brought in massive reforms in the 1960’s but that’s the past. Telling us what better men and women than the people in the core Labour Party now did isn’t painting a vision of the future under any sort of Labour government. I understand the Tory vision of the future, it’s horrible but I get it. I understand UKIP’s, the SNP’s , Plaid’s and the Greens (the Lib Dems have an even worse problem than Labour but fuck them) but I have no idea what Labour are actually for now?

Perhaps then it’s time to kill it? Give it a quick painless death now rather than hope that maybe one day Labour will be that party it was when we were either young or not born. Sure, it might change but then again I might be Batman, so the hope for the left in England especially is to take things into their own hands. Scotland has a healthy left in the SNP, Greens and SSP. Wales have Plaid Cymru and the Greens. All England have as a realistic left wing option now is the Greens.This isn’t to say Labour need to become fire breathing socialists, but a centre left socially democratic party would be nice, but as said, that’s not even remotely going to happen.

And that’s why Labour needs to die. Stop the endless hope it’ll reform. It won’t. It’s too corrupt, too bloated and too complacent to take the fight to the Tories, and from right now that fight needs to be taken to the Tories every single day. The majority of people that didn’t vote Tory, that don’t want £12 billion worth of cuts or the Human Rights Act removed and anything the Tories want as they intend to dive into neo-fascism need a voice and that isn’t going to come from Labour.

Jim Murphy has survived as leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour-oh no he hasn’t!

Jim Murphy has somehow survived as ‘Scottish’ Labour leader by astonishingly winning a no-confidence vote by three votes after seeing his party reduced to one MP & he himself lost his own seat.

Imagine a manager of a football team leading his players to relegation to the Conference and being celebrated for it because this is what’s happened here. Labour have effectively shot themselves in both feet because one of the reasons Labour failed was Murphy himself with his awful style and his terrible staged rallies, and publicity stunts. He never at any time convinced, and even in this he doesn’t convince.

But as much as SNP supporters are laughing, the problem is that Labour are now a distraction from the fight against the Tories, hence why so many are becoming active off their own backs rather than wait for Labour to maybe, possibly get their shit together.

As for Murphy it’s another year of stupidity, endless shite about ‘NATS R BAD!!’ and failing to do anything that makes people think Labour are a party worth voting for. In the meantime the rest of us are going to be taking on the Tories & try to be constructive but for Labour in Scotland this is the end. I cannot see them returning from the damage Murphy has done & will do over the next year before the Holyrood elections that could see Labour reduced to the fourth largest party.

EDITED TO ADD:

He’s actually resigning. He’s also having a pop at Len McClusky & the unions. If there’s anything that could be more divisive than him staying on it’s what he’s done now. As a former Labour voter and member, this is fucking embarrassing. A senior Labour Party leader is attacking the unions…..

A small word of advice for the Labour Party and Jim Murphy

Labour lost the election, got humiliated and Ed Milliband’s failed time as leader ended is a result that few predicted, but many people had predicted that Labour would have to overacheive to get Milliband any where near Number 10 and even then, he’d have to have relied upon SNP support, something many in Labour would never have accepted.

So the first thing I say to Labour is stop blaming the SNP for your loss. It isn’t their fault that in a democracy they provided an alternative to you which is of course anti-austerity compared to Labour’s austerity-lite. That added to Labour’s extraordinary hubris and lack of self awareness has killed them not to mention the fact that socialism is never going to win over the people of England, not that Labour have even been remotely socialist for decades of course.

And here’s the brutal point that will upset Labour supporters. Clinging onto socialist ideas while supporting a neoliberal party of the right in Labour is daft. It taints the idea of socialism and shows just how many people supporting Labour are stuck in old ideas that do have parts that work, but on the whole socialism is never going to be anything more than a fringe idea which doesn’t mean it’s dead. It just needs to stop looking back, and instead look forward. Labour tried the whole ‘we did the NHS, welfare state, etc’ thing during the election but it’s as backward looking as UKIP’s vision of a country that never happened apart from in Ealing Films.

The Tories presented a vision of the future. It’s a horrible fucked up selfish vision but people fell for it. Labour painted a lightly less evil version of that but with Ed Balls standing there, a man even more hated than George Osborne for many people and Milliband made a massive error making him such a prominent member of his shadow cabinet, but the Tories threw everything at this and did enough to break out their core vote, and got over the line. Just.

Labour failed to connect. They didn’t get out and speak to people in the schemes and estates. They had gimmicky ‘public meeting’ with bright eyed young party members or older ones that always voted Labour because their ma and da did.They didn’t meet the people on their terms. They seemed to avoid it due to them being scared it seems of being told to fuck off, or actually have to deal with hard criticism of a party that says it’s for the people but doesn’t act like it. Draping themselves in the Union Flag didn’t help either as embracing Unionism probably killed them not just in Scotland, but across the UK as Labour embracing Unionism (and may I point out Unionism is a form of nationalism, something Labour proclaim to be against) didn’t once convince.

Labour need now to pull themselves away from the path or austerity, and not drop socialist ideas completely but learn from the likes of the SNP, the Greens and even UKIP as to how to engage with people on a personal level. Look at Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas or Nigel Farage, you may disagree with their politics but all three have an extraordinary appeal to people outside of the political bubble. All three can speak to people on their terms, and yes the content of Sturgeon or Lucas’s messages are more informed than Farage’s drivel but imagine just one Labour candidate for the leadership who have even the popular appeal of any one of those?

I suggest Labour supporters across the UK read this article on Bella Caledonia and grasp it. It suggests a sensible set of reasons not only for the new politics Nicola Sturgeon has introduced to Scotland but how the SNP connected with the working class. After all, I look at many SNP MP’s and they look like real people. I look at the failed Labour MP’s and they look like over entitled careeists that were never really interested in serving the people they worked for.

A democracy though without the Labour Party is a lesser one. It needs it’s voice heard, once of course it finds that voice and it cannot win by returning to Blairism and going ever further to the right, and it can’t take the mantle of social democracy in Scotland as the SNP have that very firmly locked up, nor does it seem they’ll be able to pass as socialists as the SSP are going to ensure that doesn’t happen next year so for Scotland, they have issues greater than the rest of the UK. The party’s only hope there is to become independent of London and declare itself a party of self determination or independence. It needs an independent voice from the London party and fast as the Holyrood elections are only a year away.

And the English and Welsh Labour party needs to work out what it’s there for. Labour were on 29% of the popular vote. That’s dismal but ask people what Labour stand for and they’ll say ‘The NHS’, but this is also the party that allowed the start of real privatisation of the NHS, so there’s a contradiction because people are tired of Labour saying one thing and being another. They need to say and do what they mean. They could adopt social democracy and instead of considering a leader as another ‘big beast’ from the front benches, look elsewhere as I tell you now if Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper is leader at the next election they’ll again lose.

So the party in England needs help and although I no longer intend to ever vote for the party, I do wish to see them find themselves and soon. I’ve mentioned the Holyrood election next year, but the EU referendum is in 2017 and right now the UK is voting to come out, or to be exact, England will and Scotland will vote to stay and that means the timeline for independence comes down from the 2020’s most on the Yes campaign agree is the next likely time to by the end of this parliament.

Here’s the thing that’s going to stick in Labour throats. They can learn much from the SNP and the Yes campaign. They need to drop the old rhetoric as that’s over The Red Flag is never going to fly ever across any part of the UK, so if you want to fight the Tories (and remember, this is a victory that carries a huge trap for Cameron in the EU referendum and he’s not stupid enough to realise that Scotland is lost to the Union now) learn from the success of the largest grass roots political movement the UK has seen since the days of Labour in their pomp a lifetime ago. With the right people and the right sort of imagination Labour can come back refreshed and different enough to fight the Tory Party that may have won, but their majority is perilous. A few coke induced heart attacks after a George Osborne party or a few sex/expenses scandals will see that majority go, plus that EU referendum is going to get the large amount of radical rightwing English nationalists that sit now in the Commons frothing at the groin and they;d have no problem stabbing Cameron in the front and crossing over to UKIP.

But here’s where I get to my words to Jim Murphy. There’s just two of them. Leave now. If he indeed does remain as leader as he says he will and if indeed he thinks he’s going to be First Minister then he’s dreaming. This is purely about Murphy getting back on the gravy train, and if ‘Scottish’ Labour were smart they’d kick him out, tell him to fuck off and try to repair the real damage he’s done to Labour of today, and of the legacy of Labour itself. If Labour in England do find their voice and there’s Jim Murphy and his sad little gimmicky tin of Irn Bru standing around manufacturing outrage all the time, then the party will never be electable either side of the border. There needs to be a Labour Party standing with the SNP in opposition to the Tories, and if Jim Murphy is still involved with the party in any way that opposition is always going to be hamstrung because Murphy doesn’t care about anyone bar himself.

The next few months are going to be tough. There’s already offers of not just solidarity to the people of England and Wales from Sturgeon, but support and even this weekend there’s talk of affiliate parties to the SNP springing up in England. There are people clearly trying to take things into their own hands and they don’t see Labour as an avenue for change so unless Labour do change themselves they’ll be lost forever and the sad thing is it’s all been so avoidable and it’s all their own fault. So change and do it now, or the people of England and Wales will have right wing governments forever.

Jim Murphy is taking questions on the BBC

‘Scottish’ Labour Team Leader Jim Murphy is taking questions from the public in a webchat on the BBC site this week. Considering this is yet another dreadful week for Murphy and his party in Scotland this could be like kicking a man when he’s not just down, but being slung into his coffin.

I’m going to ask him how much he’s funded by the UK government, as after all, Murphy spent nine years as a student and left with nothing apart from a Labour seat and various connections to show for it, not to mention endless expense forms in his time as an MP. So Jim’s had plenty of money from the people of the UK, so I want to know if he realises this and when perhaps the people can start seeing a return on that beyond the comedy value he brings?

We should also remember the other things that the UK government has funded as pointed out here on Wings Over Scotland.

So apart from the hilarity of a Jim Murphy webchat we’ve got Danny Alexander coming up with this idea that plastering ‘funded by the UK government’ is(something Twitter took to their collective hearts)  going to make self-determination and devolution go away.

It’s almost as if they’ve ran out of ideas and are so desperate they’ll do and say anything to make themselves look good and cling onto their jobs that many Labour MP’s in Scotland look set to lose in just a couple of months time.

This is what you want, this is what you get.

Today former Prime Minister Gordon Brown dragged himself out in support of Scottish Labour ‘leader’ Jim Murphy (and I think Keiza Dugdale was kind of mentioned once) and made the ‘vow plus’. This is after saying the ‘Vow’ has been fulfilled and after Labour stripped the Smith Commission of meaningful powers, so either they’ve been lying or well, they’ve been lying in what is a desperate attempt to try to grab the ‘narrative’ (politics is all about narrative in Tory/Labour world) from the SNP.

The audacity of it is astonishing. After all Brown stood there in September saying ‘more powers’ and ‘home rule’ over and over, while a compliant and supine media pushed the line over and over til the people of Scotland voted no. Yet here we are in February, only a few months later and now the powers Labour were praising as a ‘great victory’ for Scotland didn’t go far enough, yet Labour themselves stripped the Smith Commission of meaningful powers so they actually gave less than the Tories.

So Labour are trying to say they want to give Scotland more (even though they’ve ensured that it gets as little as possible) because they want to grab votes from the majority that want Devo Max but instead ended up with a fudge that sees Scotland get nothing like the ‘powerhouse parliament’ Labour said only last year had been achieved. What people want is a party that stands against austerity, fracking and Trident that will ensure democratic reform for not only the people of Scotland, but across the UK. They’ve got one so desperate that they’re pulling the same lie they did in September and are trying to sell it again as a great move forward, when most people seem to have got so fed up by them that they’re not listening anymore.

Still, at least Labour aren’t reduced to doing fake petitions in order to raise funds.

 

Oh……..

Jim Murphy is the Labour ‘leader’ in Scotland who will end Labour

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.

jimmurphysupporterSo there it is. Jim Murphy.Scottish Labour leader. Champion of the right and the Orange Order. Saviour of the Unionist parties…

 

Jim Murphy’s Selfless Devotion To Scotland

I came late to discovering the comic genius of Greg Moodie’s political cartoons he’s been doing for the Scottish Independence referendum, and now the general hilarious/sad mess which is Scottish politics in the aftermath of the No vote which sees all on the winning side tear themselves apart, while all on the losing side seem to be going from strength to strength.

If you’re unfamiliar with Moodie’s work I do recommend searching out his website, or indeed buying his book which is superb. It’s worth is as I do feel Moodie is the best political cartoonist we’ve seen in a long, long time.

It’ll also help explain the running gags like the traffic cone, but til why not delve into his work and enjoy for yourselves?