I said I wasn’t going to give the Other Party any more publicity, but since the election is now over, I don’t think there’s much I can do to increase their chances for next year.
Nonetheless, I said before that I don’t want my life to be governed by hatred. So when the manufactured outrage regarding comments allegedly made by certain politicians within that party, I felt great sympathy for the sense of injustice people in the Other Party were undoubtedly feeling. Let’s put aside the referendum, and elections, and all the things that have happened. If someone had asked me “does the Other Party have a problem with anti-Semitism?” I would’ve responded “No, don’t be so utterly ludicrous, what a stupid thing to say.” I don’t agree with the Other Party on many things, but I’m not going to take pleasure in what the UK Government Party are doing.
The UK Government’s party utilised this, frankly, indefensible propaganda campaign to aid them in the local elections in England & Wales, where the Other Party remain their chief competition. In Scotland, it’s a different story, for obvious reasons – their biggest challenge was convincing Unionists not to split the vote, and to choose Ruth Davidson For A Strong Opposition. Yet there was overlap: the Scottish Parliament constituency of Eastwood has the largest number of Jewish people in the whole of Scotland, so you have to think Mr Carlaw would’ve leapt on the furore to damage the Other Party candidate.
The election’s over now. The smear didn’t work everywhere – but the effects are still being felt, even in Scotland.
JIM Murphy has dramatically re-emerged into the political spotlight amid claims he blocked moves by a local left-wing candidate to replace Ken Livingstone on the party’s ruling body.
The former (Other Party in Scotland) leader, who has kept a low profile since quitting the post after his party lost 40 of 41 seats at last year’s General Election, is said to have appealed to his local branch in Eastwood not to put forward Rhea Wolfson to (the Other Party’s) National Executive Committee (NEC).
Why does this sound so very familiar?
A SENIOR (Other Party in Scotland) MP has accused Jim Murphy of staging a “coup” to take control of the party.
In a scathing attack, veteran Glasgow South MP Ian Davidson said Johann Lamont, who quit as leader last Friday, had been treated shamefully by the shadow international development secretary’s allies, who conducted a whispering campaign against her.
He did not name Mr Murphy, but in a bid to derail his leadership ambitions, Mr Davidson said it would be “absurd” for (the Other Party) to elect a Scottish party leader who had never previously considered a role at Holyrood.
– 29th October 2014
(The Other Party) plunged further into political turmoil today as SIX Cabinet ministers were accused of backing yesterday’s failed coup by Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt to oust Gordon Brown.
The six were named as David Miliband, Harriet Harman and Jack Straw — along with Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander and Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy.
– 7th January 2010
TEARS, bitterness, and demands for an inquiry into the role of a paid party official marked the ousting of seven members of (the Other Party’s) Scottish executive last night, in a highly successful manoeuvre organised by the pro-Blairite group known as the Network. They were a mixture of left-wingers, Home Rulers, and feminists, taken out by a slate of pro-leadership loyalists who were jubilant at achieving almost a clean sweep. One of their prime scalps, women’s caucus veteran Rosina McCrae, said that after 23 years carrying a card she had been made to feel like ”an enemy within her own party”.
She said (the Other Party’s) commitment to gender equality in the Scottish Parliament was now open to doubt and the wider women’s movement outside the (Other) Party would be appalled by the signals being sent out. Such elections were not held elsewhere in the party in Britain this year because of the proximity of the General Election. Because the conference was reduced to a one-and-a-half day rally many activists have not attended, making the coup easier to deliver.
Both Ms McCrae and the convener of the party’s women’s caucus, Margaret Curran, called for an inquiry into the role of the party’s special projects officer in Scotland, Eastwood prospective parliamentary candidate Jim Murphy, in organising the Network slate.
– 8th March 1997
I’m reminded of the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog.
And now I’m going to tell you about a scorpion. This scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him.
“No,” said the frog, “no thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me and the sting of the scorpion is death.”
“Now, where,” asked the scorpion, “is the logic in that?” For scorpions always try to be logical. “If I sting you, you will die. I will drown.”
So, the frog was convinced and allowed the scorpion on his back. But, just in the middle of the river, he felt a terrible pain and realized that, after all, the scorpion had stung him.
“Logic!” Cried the dying frog as he started under, bearing the scorpion down with him. “There is no logic in this!”
“I know,” said the scorpion, “but I can’t help it – it’s my character.”
Let’s drink to character.
Scorpions abound in politics. Jim Murphy is a quintessential example of the very worst kind – the kind bereft of impulse control, whose character is so devoid of nuance or impulse control that they cannot help themselves – even when it damages everything they claim they stand for. The Other Party have been carrying this particular scorpion on their back for close on 20 years, and time and time again it has stung them, even if it ultimately ruined themselves. In 1997, the purge of “left-wingers, Home Rulers, and feminists” from the party – not just the Scottish Executive – paved the way for Blair’s “alternative.” In 2010, the arrogance of all the players involved in internecine coups – attempted and successful – disillusioned and disgusted the public to the point that even David Cameron seemed more palatable. And in 2014, the scorpion’s tails were dancing furiously in the wake of the independence referendum, where Johann Lamont resigned before Alex Salmond despite her being on the “winning” side.
Jim Murphy stung the left-wingers, Home Rulers, and feminists of his own party – leading to the short-term victory of the 1997 landslide, which was followed by an unmitigated haemorrhage of his party’s votes. Then he stung his party leader, the Prime Minister – and though Gordon Brown survived the immediate threat, it might as well have scuppered the 2010 election. Then he stung the Scottish leader, eager to take her place – and led the party to what was then its worst result in Scotland in a century. This is Jim Murphy’s character – he betrays, he stabs, he blocks, he usurps, he ruins. Not because it will help his party – indeed, in every instance it actually devastated his party – but because it’s what he does. It’s the only way he knows how to use his power and influence. He can’t help it. Betrayal is his character.
Even when that betrayal is so profoundly stupid, you cannot understand how anyone could not see it for the nonsense it is:
“Last night Eastwood CLP, where my family home is, met to nominate candidates for the NEC. It was proposed that, given I am currently a member of the CLP, there would be a straight vote for or against my nomination.
“I made my case and answered questions from the room. I was then asked to leave the room while they discussed my nomination further. Once I had left, the ex-leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, appealed to the CLP to not nominate me.
“He argued that it would not be appropriate to nominate me due to my endorsement by Momentum, which he claimed has a problem with anti-Semitism. The constituency has a large Jewish population.
“The CLP then voted to not endorse me, before re-inviting me back into the room.
“Needless to say, this is hugely disappointing. It is disappointing because I am the only Jewish candidate in this election, because the wide range of organisations endorsing me includes the Jewish Labour Movement, and because I have a long record of challenging anti-Semitism and have in fact faced it on a daily basis since my candidacy was announced. But above all, it is disappointing because I know there are many members who want to vote for me, who could now have lost that opportunity. I am considering my options going forward.”
Yet the frog keeps carrying the scorpion across the river. Reeling from 2015 and 2016, the party’s back is being perforated by scorpions left and right (well, almost entirely right). That Jim Murphy allegedly chooses to use his influence by blocking the election of a left-wing Jewish candidate to the National Executive Committee because it might be construed as anti-Semitic is about the most exquisite example of ludicrous, self-destructive stupidity I’ve seen from the party in at least the last couple of days. Yet will the party eject this insidious blackguard for all the damage he has done and continues to do to “his” party? Ask Ian Smart.
There comes a point, however, where you cannot feel sorry for the frog anymore. This frog has been stung so many times, yet every time the scorpion asks for a ferry across the electoral river, promising that it won’t sting the frog, thus dooming them both. “Maybe this time,” the frog thinks, “the scorpion actually means it.” And as the frog sinks beneath the waves yet again, the people of Scotland suffer for the failings of those they elect to represent them. “Why do you keep giving the scorpion these chances? It always betrays you!” plead the Scottish people. “I know,” said the frog, “but I can’t help it – it’s my character.”
We’re tired of waiting for the frog to stop indulging the scorpion. Perhaps it’s time we got rid of both characters.