Ed Miliband puts 2p in a beggar’s pot as a photo opportunity to demonstrate he ‘cares’.
Labour’s strategy is to hand a hundred pounds worth of donations to a food bank protesting at Labour’s silence on the increasing levels of poverty in Scotland and across the UK, a protest happening outside its Scotch Region Gala Dinner for ‘two hundred pound a head’ corporate donors to glad hand with Miliband.
Murphy is told by the food bank organisers at the protest to stuff his donation where the sun does not shine and then whines to his pals in the press that his donation was rejected but not why. Murphy can not reveal how the left in Scotland actually views him and rejects all he stands for because it is the same way ex- Labour voters and a large chunk of his own party in Scotland also view him.
The tame UK media highlights only the Murphy view of what happened, maybe because most honest views of how Murphy actually is viewed by Scots are unprintable and would have to be ‘beeped’ on TV or radio. 30 odd hangers on turning up for his ‘leadership launch’ which is trumpeted as a ‘big deal’ by the same media while Nicola Sturgeon’s address to a full house at the Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries barely sees a mention.
This is the level of detachment seen in Labour and its media ‘lovies’ and is simply another example of the deep level of denial that exists at the London end. ‘Send in the clowns’ politicking of the highest order is shaped in the idea that Murphy will beat Labour’s Scotch Region into shape when he is a major part of the problem in a large section of the Scottish electorate’s eyes.
The reality is Labour’s Scottish core vote are waking up to the Emperor level of nakedness of Labour policies in general and in Scotland specifically. The promotion of Murphy as Labour's saviour in Scotland merely highlights the deep misunderstanding of the reasons why Labour are losing vote share in Scotland. In the Westminster world sending a 'big hitter' looks a logical solution, to bang heads together, enforce ‘party’ discipline and bring back the unfaithful and backsliders amongst Labour’s divinely ordinated electorate share in Scotland – Murphy is the perfect ‘Mad Mullah’ for this job in London’s eyes. For those wishing to get arch ‘Blairite’ Murphy’s leverage over Miliband, as presumed Scotch Labour’s boss, as far from London as possible, this is an excellent move. Even better for Jim’s enemies in London will be, if in spite of the media carnival assuming Jim is going to be crowned Scotch Emperor, Jim loses in the electoral college vote given the STUC’s dislike of the man and the heap of enemies he has amongst the Scotch region in general. For folk like Cruddas and his ‘Progressives’ in the Westminster Party an ‘et tu Brute’ moment of Murphy being multiply stabbed in the back by his own Scotch Party would be a wet dream.
The problem to be addressed is the Scottish electorate are not turning away from Scottish Labour because they are a mess, inept and in a constant state of civil war (in which Murphy is a major agent) but because they are a right wing party whose policies are only slightly to the left of UKIP and the Tories.
The SNP are popular in Scotland because they are left of centre conservatives, they put Scotland first and foremost, they have been proven to be a 'safe pair of hands' in Government at Holyrood, their sense of the sort of social democracy Scotland is, is closely attuned to the average Scot. Traditional Scottish Conservatives to the left of their party would say the SNP have taken over their old ‘One Nation’ principles, through gritted teeth, with their successful creation of a ‘Civic Scotland’ while Labour have lost their ability to claim they are defenders of the working class and the poor in Scotland and their failures are exposed at every turn as the councils they still control in Scotland consistently fail to deliver as they prefer to follow the ‘Willie Bain’ principle and oppose the SNP Government at every turn. Yet even within COSLA they are no longer the force they once were as the recent resignation or not drama of Labour councils has exposed.
Oddly you will also find many Scottish Tory and Libdem voters will grudging admit the SNP are doing a better job for all aspects of governance of Scotland's people, Holyrood is responsible for, than the Lab-Lib coalitions ever achieved.
Murphy is going to have to do a lot more than apologise to his ex-Scottish Labour electorate. He will need to do some abject grovelling and reject his Blairite, right wing politics outright, a move too far for even 'Chameleon Jim' to manage.
What will actually happen in Scotland on the 7th of May 2015; will happen, the SNP target remains to send between twenty and thirty MPs to Westminster in 2015. If it is more than thirty, then I will be very surprised; happy - but very surprised.