Jim Murphy is giving his valedictory speech at Policy Exchange this lunchtime.
He’s got some choice words for the Tories, and goes surprisingly easy on Miliband:
David Cameron seized the time and was out on the morning after the referendum to make an announcement about English Votes for English Laws. At 2am on referendum night I was in the BBC studio to be told by Michael Gove that the Prime Minster would unveil his plans that morning. Instead of travelling to Scotland to celebrate and thank Scotland he did the opposite.
To create a grievance to engender an English nationalism.
He failed initially.
But then he succeeded beyond his wildest ambition.
The SNP seized on Cameron’s actions as proof of the bad faith of Westminster and used it to bind the Yes vote together.
The full force of this wasn’t felt until the short campaign.
But an infernal machine had been created in which the threat of the SNP holding the balance of power at Westminster fuelled an English backlash which in turn added to some non-nationalist Scottish voters who last year voted No then voted for the SNP last month.
Of course, Labour’s wipeout was nothing to do with taking the heartland for granted for decades, completely miscalculating why people were voting SNP, poisoning the well themselves and letting Gordon Brown run the Scottish Labour Party for thirty years. Nope, still the evil Tor-ees.
“Winning a crucial internal vote and then resigning. Don’t know where Blatter got that idea from…”
I am writing to you to advise that I am, from this morning, standing down from the position as Labour’s spokesperson for Local Government and Community Empowerment in the Scottish Parliament.
I said yesterday at the meeting of Labour MSPs that I thought your speech on Friday stating that you would stay on and lead Labour into the 2016 election was a mistake, and that it would also be a mistake for the team you put in place, including your Chief of Staff, to remain in post.
As you know, I praised the level of hard work and dedication that you brought to the campaign over the last six months and I absolutely agree that the challenges facing Labour in Scotland will not be fixed solely by a change of leadership. However, we have a leader in the Scottish Parliament and much of the focus of the next year will be on the Scottish Parliament and the performance of the SNP government over the last 8 years in Scotland. I sincerely hold the view that you continuing as leader whilst not in the Scottish Parliament, and not in an elected position holding a democratic mandate, means you will become an unhelpful distraction from the real issues that Scottish Labour must focus on.
Over the coming weeks rank and file Labour Party members must have their say on the way forward for Labour in Scotland and I want to be part of that discussion. It is clear from the discussion yesterday that dissent in public from the leadership view is perceived as disloyalty, but I am convinced we need a fundamental change in direction and strategy and therefore cannot sign up to your leadership as one of your shadow team.
From an early age my memories are of my parents talking about politics and the need for working people to organise and fight for a better and fairer society and that is why I joined the Labour Party. It was suggested to me at the weekend that it would be disloyal to the Labour Party if I were to speak publicly on these issues. I have given that a lot of thought and consideration and I concluded that it would be disloyal and damaging to Labour were I not to speak out. I believe now, more than ever, that we in Scotland need a strong relevant Labour Party and we will not achieve this under your leadership therefore I have no choice but to speak out.
Alex Rowley MSP
Seems John McTernan is in the sights as much as his boss…
An unfortuante juxtaposition as news of Labour’s impending doom in Scotland broke on Sky…
Jim Murphy reveals yet another dire Scottish Labour poll:
Put your deterrent away, Jim…
Murphy was playing in a penalty shootout to raise money for motor neurone disease sufferer Gordon Aikman. You can donate here.
Well that didn’t take long. The IFS verdict on Labour’s manifesto is in: “Literally we would not know what we were voting for if we were going to vote for Labour”. They aren’t the only ones who are confused…
Here is Jim Murphy blowing Miliband’s fiscal responsibility line out of the water this afternoon:
“Ed was really clear at the UK manifesto launch today. It’s only Labour that will end austerity.”
Which is literally the opposite of what Miliband actually said:
“it is a manifesto which shows Labour is not only the party of change but the party of responsibility too… A clear vow to protect our nation’s finances… The deficit will be cut every year… This commitment to fiscal responsibility is the foundation.”
Forcing Chuka to slap down Murphy on the Daily Politics:
“The leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”
It is almost as if in England Labour are telling voters they will make cuts and can be trusted to be responsible, but in Scotland they are vowing to end Tory austerity. As the IFS say, “Literally we would not know what we were voting for…”