15/01/2021 · 11:59 pm
This was first posted on Facebook on 15th January 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Richard Leonard, the leader of Scottish Labour, resigned today: his deputy, Jackie Baillie, will take over to lead Scottish Labour to inevitable defeat in the May 2021 Holyrood elections.
To recap, for those not familar in detail with recent Scottish history: we had an independence referendum in November 2014, and No won. (I voted No, for reasons I still think were correct at the time: and I noted at the time that whenever I listened to Yes Scotland’s campaigning, it made me want to vote No: whenever I listened to Better Together, it made me want to vote Yes. I don’t think I was just being perverse: both official campaigns were using incredibly bad arguments.)
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Filed under Scottish Politics
Tagged as Anas Sarwar, Annabel Goldie, Better Together campaign, Brexit for Coffee, Iain Gray, Jackie Baillie, Jim Murphy, Johann Lamont, Murdo Fraser, originally posted on Facebook, Richard Leonard, Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour, Scottish Labour leadership
18/05/2015 · 10:31 am
My wife tried to cheer me up after the election: “But at least it will be interesting!”
Indeed, in the past ten days, it’s been almost too interesting.
No wonder there has been so much social media focus on the Scottish Labour leadership, on the next UK Labour leader, heartsearching and complaint about why Labour lost, exposure of the various amusing and not so amusing problems UKIP and their funders are having – these are small, manageable problems while George Osborne announces that far from the UK economy having improved vastly under Conservative governance, things are so dire that there must be an Emergency Budget and £12bn in cuts and even more unemployment – and refugees from Syria are still drowning in the Mediterranean, all according to Conservative party policy, which finds the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms fundamentally objectionable.
The American science-fiction writer C.J. Cherryh said, in “Strong Characters versus Weak Characters”
Villains can also be ‘morally weak’ characters, meaning retiring, retreating, immoral, refusing to engage and committing their heinous acts by neglect or sloth or stupidity or greed. ‘Well-drawn,’ but ‘morally weak.’ The author’s literary dilemma is that it is difficult to show how such a retiring person ever got into a position to be a threat. Real life shows us, however, that it isn’t at all unlikely for such ‘morally weak’ persons to get into positions of authority.
In fact, real life shows us that ‘morally weak’ villains may be more common than ‘morally strong’ ones, and that they’re numerous enough to deal the death of a thousand cuts in say, the procedures of an uncaring bureaucracy. But in a book, to challenge a ‘morally strong’ hero using only ‘morally weak’ villains means that there has to be some natural advantage handed the villains at the outset and that the source of the advantage has to be accounted for in order to ‘play fair’ in dramatic terms.
Five more years of morally weak villains. Five years of “interesting times”. My goal was never more than to write one blog a day: it seems almost both too much and too little.
Let us go forward together in kindness and honesty: we’ll get little enough of either from our government.
10/05/2015 · 9:55 am
On the morning of 8th May, Jim Murphy quoted Ernst Toller, who died on 22nd May 1939:
“It is not seemly for you to Mourn,
It is not seemly for you to delay,
You have received a legacy soaked in the heart’s blood of your brothers.
The pregnant deed waits for you.
…Wide burst the gates of bright morning.”
Murphy went on to say:
“Last night was gloomy for Labour. This morning as the sun rose we were hurting. But in a morning like this, before too long. We will bounce back. We will again be the change that working people need.”.
Does Jim Murphy have a hope?
On 8th May, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg both resigned. (So did Nigel Farage, but not Natalie Bennett.) But Jim Murphy didn’t resign: instead he declared his intention to lead Scottish Labour to the May 2016 elections, when he still wants to become a MSP and First Minister of Scotland.
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Filed under Politics, Scottish Politics
Tagged as Duncan McNeil, Ernst Toller, Hugh Henry, Ian Davidson, Ian Murray, Jackie Baillie, Jim Murphy, Ken Macintosh, Kezia Dugdale, Len McCluskey, Louis XVI, Margaret McDougall, Mary Fee, Neil Bibby, Neil Findlay, Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour, Scottish Labour leadership
16/12/2014 · 10:27 am
There were three women and two men in the Scottish Labour leadership contest: the media largely ignored Sarah Boyack, Kezia Dugdale, and Katy Clark: most of the mainstream publicity I saw treated the contest as if it were a race between two men, Jim Murphy and Neil Findlay.
Jim Murphy won, MP for East Renfrewshire, and currently his name gets about 2,750,000 hits on Google.
Kezia Dugdale also won: she is the Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, and currently her name gets about 75,900 hits on Google.
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Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics
Tagged as benefits sanctions, EUSA, General Election 2015, George Foulkes, Jim Murphy, Kezia Dugdale, MP expenses, NUS, Scottish Labour, Scottish Labour leadership, Welfare reform, workfare
16/11/2014 · 3:27 pm
I have a tiny fraction of a vote in the Scottish Labour leadership contest (as a Unite member) and here’s how I plan to vote.
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