It’s been impossible to know where to start today. Last night hundreds of angry protestors picketed a £200-a-seat banquet in Glasgow at which Scottish Labour “showcase[d] the party in front of donors and business figures” in a desperate bid to raise cash for the branch office (which survives on handouts from the UK party), and at which deputy leader Anas Sarwar, less than 48 hours after vowing he’d remain in his position, announced that he’d step down after all.
Despite being the deputy, Sarwar wasn’t stepping down to contest the leadership, but rather to smooth the path of Jim Murphy. Murphy is London’s preferred candidate, but even Labour aren’t dim enough to want to run Holyrood with London-based MPs in BOTH of the leadership roles, so Sarwar pulled a swift U-turn to offer a potential “dream ticket” of Murphy and Kezia Dugdale, a Lothians list MSP who this week told the Edinburgh Evening News that she intends to leave politics within 10 years.
(Then again, in 2011 Jim Murphy told Labour List he wouldn’t consider running for Scottish leader for “maybe 20 years” and he’s only waited three, so who knows?)
But there’s so much more going on.
Our favourite pundit, Scotsman clickbait troll John McTernan, 23 October 2014:
“Routed in their homelands. A leader so beleaguered he has had to resign. No credible domestic policy agenda. In danger of irrelevance in Scotland at the next General Election. These are disastrous times for Scotland’s party.
The first full-size Scottish opinion poll on 2015 Westminster voting intentions after this disastrous routing’s probably going to be a sore one for the Nats, then.
Here’s a picture of Jim Murphy campaigning for a No vote a few weeks ago.
Except it isn’t, is it?
Jim Murphy has finally announced that he’ll stand for the leadership of the Scottish branch office of the UK Labour Party. Tonight he told the Daily Record that:
“I am not going to shout at or about the SNP, I am going to talk to and listen to Scotland.”
For any of you who might have forgotten, here’s some recent footage of how Jim listens to Scotland and avoids shouting about the SNP:
Scottish Labour now has a leadership contest, with the (relatively) left-wing MSP Neil Findlay throwing his hat into the ring with that of colleague Sarah Boyack (assuming both can secure the necessary 10 nominations from M/S/EPs).
We thought we’d help him tidy up his press statement on the matter, as he appears to have accidentally left a few words out.
This is how it begins. This morning’s media reports a call from First Minister-elect Nicola Sturgeon that any future referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU should be subject to a veto from all four constituent nations – that is, if the UK as a whole votes to leave but either England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales vote to stay in, the result is null and void.
It’s an extremely clever move. While none of the main three Westminster parties actually WANT to leave the EU and would love to go along with such a plan, public opinion in England will not allow any of them to back it. There would be a massive outcry, and quite legitimately so – Scotland, people would reasonably say, just voted that it wanted to remain part of the UK, and therefore must accept UK decisions.
And with that, the die is cast and the door opens.
It seems the Daily Record has taken something of a sulk at our post of earlier today. This evening the paper’s editor Murray Foote issued this statement on its Facebook page in response to one of a number of readers who’d posted links to the story:
It’s a telling reaction.
(Real) email correspondence forwarded by an alert reader:
From: HARTY, Sam
Sent: 21 October 2014 16:58
To: MILIBAND, Ed
Subject: Official Copy of Vow
Mr Clarke has a constituent who would like a formal copy of the Vow that was made prior to the Scottish Referendum.
Is it possible for your office to provide Tom with a copy for his constituent?
Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation.
On behalf of
TOM CLARKE MP
So, a full day has passed and not a single comrade has put themselves forward for the job of pseudo-leading the snarling pit of angry dogs that is Scottish Labour. Perhaps we’ve underestimated them. Perhaps they’re not quite as dim as they look.
Owen Jones in the Guardian today:
“If Scottish Labour does indeed die, historians will ponder just how the party of Keir Hardie allowed itself to be outflanked on the left by a Scottish National Party committed to George Osborne-style cuts to corporation tax.”
You know where we’re going with this one, right?