A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Promotion for Jim Murphy?

I hope the Guardian is correct in its prediction today that Jim Murphy is going to be promoted to the Cabinet.

He deserves it on merit quite apart from the political ramifications set out by the Guardian.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Murphy becomes Secretary of State for Scotland. What will he and David Cairns actually do?

7:15 pm, August 16, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

If Cairns's recent behaviour is anything to go by, Murphy would just join him in continuing to make crass and malign comments about the abilities of their MSP colleagues in Scottish Labour, and about the 'distractions' that what Cairns called the 'McChattering classes' (i.e. the majority of the Scotish electorate) keep going on about.

One of the many reforms that declining Labour seems incapable of implementing in Scotland is the need to restructure for true and meaningfull leadership of Scottish Labour to lie within the Scottish Party. But the likes of Cairns, Harris et al are unblinking and wholly self-preserving in their refusal to allow such reform.

Murphy is indeed an able junior Minister so let's hope he does as well in Cabinet. But his very attachment to a Westminster Cabinet career will ensure that in Scotland, if he were to become Sec of State, he would be perceived as yet another Labour Westminster careerist foisted on the Scottish fiefdom.

By the way Luke, your 'feeling' that Glasgow East just might be the turning point for Labour and Gordon Brown, somehow just did not pan out that way did it?

But that's it metro London-bound Labour; just carry on learnig nothing. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

10:32 am, August 18, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I don't really know enough about the man to make much comment.

What I do know does not fill me with joy.

He, like your good self has a history in student politics and (I think) was involved with the scrapping of the student grant in the mid 90s.

He is a vehement supporter of Israel and is a member of the Labour friends of Israel.

His constituency was a Tory seat (Ted might be able to confirm that one) pre 1997 and he has managed to hold on to it.

Also he is pals with Miliband.

I have to say there is a big question mark at whether this man can actually reverse our terminal decline in Scotland or for that matter in the UK as a whole.

Brown needs to realise New Labour has helped detoxify the Tories and change tack, or, as Private Frazer would say, "We're doooooooomed!!!"

P.S- I can make that joke because I am Scottish, anyone else (i.e. English folk) making it would of course be b@!$%^&s!!

P.P.S- For the uninitiated the above was a joke.

4:24 pm, August 18, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Ravi you're right in saying that Jim Murphy took what had been one of the last safe Tory seats in Scotland. I don't know so much about his personal politics, but his (very affluent) seat has a high proportion of Jewish communities who had made their way up from being poor immigrants in Glasgow's old inner city industrial workshop areas - a bit like the Golders Green story?

Anyway, I would surmise that is why he has has such a staunchly pro-Israel stance

From the moment he got his Westminster seat he has shown little interest in Scotland other than on strictly constituency-relevant matters - so far as I can judge. So if he was made Secretary
of State for Scotland that would indeed be par-for-the-course for Labour.

5:14 pm, August 18, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Jim was staunchly pro-Israel when I knew him in NOLS years before he became an MP.

I have no idea if he is "pals with Miliband" as the only evidence is that they are Ministers in the same department - on this basis Gordon Brown and Alan Milburn must be mates because they were Chancellor and Chief Secretary together.

I love the fact that Ravi considers this phrase to be condemnatory: "His constituency was a Tory seat pre 1997 and he has managed to hold on to it". Isn't being able to turn a safe Tory seat into a Labour one quite a useful qualification for a Labour politician?

5:35 pm, August 18, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Its easy to hold on to Tory inclined seats when the Tories are in the doldrums and not considered a viable alternative.

The problem now is that they are.

Labour have to start taking the Scottish situation seriously. People there undoubtedly regard it as the Scottish government and no doubt wonder why Labour still seem to be looking to London for policy direction. It gives the SNP a head-start

9:49 pm, August 18, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I take your point Luke, so to clarify: of course it's great he won a Tory seat and has held it.

However can someone who can court naturally right wing voters to win a seat be the right man to unite the party and help us win in Scotland (that socialist citadel)?

I very much doubt it.

He has been involved in with the Scottish Office under Helen Liddel, but I agree with Ted I don't think he has been involved much in Scottish politics.

I really believe you underestimate Salmond, something Ted and I (among others) have been saying for quite some time. We need a charismatic and intelligent character to counter the SNP threat, not only at Holyrood but at Westminster too. Someone who can play Salmond on the left and I don't think Murphy is the man to do it, but we'll wait and see.

9:46 am, August 19, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Luke said,

"I have no idea if he is "pals with Miliband" as the only evidence is that they are Ministers in the same department - on this basis Gordon Brown and Alan Milburn must be mates because they were Chancellor and Chief Secretary together."

And you thought I was making it up!


11:31 am, August 19, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...


Sorry, looks like a bit got chopped off the end.

11:33 am, August 19, 2008

Blogger Dave said...

I thought Murphy was selected for what was assumed to be an unwinnable seat which Eastwood was deemed to be, mainly because few dared hope for the scale of landslide which resulted from 97. He was helped by the Tory MP going bonkers and attacking someone with an axe during the campaign which did for his credibility.

9:21 pm, August 19, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:30 am, August 20, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:38 am, August 20, 2008


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