Jim Murphy cannot take all of the credit for the rise of the SNP in the polls: even before he declared his candidacy, the SNP were looking set to take the majority of the Scottish seats.
But under his leadership, the likelihood of Scottish Labour remaining a significant force in politics at Westminster has continued to fall, to the point where there is an even chance that Jim Murphy may not even be Renfrewshire East’s MP after 7th May: Electoral Calculus currently predicts Murphy’s margin of victory as 1.1%, in a seat which was 20 points ahead of the Tory challenger in 2010, when SNP was in fourth place behind the LibDems.
This is a shattering upset for the man who wanted to be Scotland’s First Minister. In October 2014, Jim Murphy – the third candidate in the Labour leadership race and the only not an MSP – told the Scottish Daily Record:
“I want to unite the Labour Party but, more importantly, I want to bring the country back together after the referendum.
“I am not going to shout at or about the SNP, I am going to talk to and listen to Scotland and I am very clear that the job I am applying for is to be the First Minister of Scotland.”
One of the earliest Tory reactions I saw to the news that you can buy a private dinner with David Cameron was certainly predictable: Iain “The Slapper” Dale tweeted
and then in response perhaps to people noting his reaction had sounded almost positive, he added about half an hour later:
It’s only eighty-four years ago that a working-class woman would have been able to vote at all. (The Representation of the People Acts 1884, 1918, and 1928 gradually removed property tests from the right to vote.) Since it first became possible for working-class men to vote, trade unions have been providing funds to get MPs elected who would represent labour in Parliament. In order to campaign for office, a Parliamentary candidate needs money: in order to win, they need more than just their own personal funds, no matter how large. Even in the age of social media, this is true. And where a politician takes money, they will take policy.
Part of the problem with Labour policy has become the conviction by careerist Labour politicians that they will get funding from trade unions forever while taking their policies from the Daily Mail and The Sun. But that isn’t a problem on the same scale as this:
Peter Cruddas, who having been found out has been ordered to resign, was caught on tape admitting
“Two hundred grand to 250 is premier league… what you would get is, when we talk about your donations the first thing we want to do is get you at the Cameron/Osborne dinners,” he says.