So the polls are looking worse for Labour and Jim Murphy. He must be wondering, how has it all gone so wrong. He avoided one major setback to his career when he was sidelined by Ed Miliband, Jim didn’t want to become an irrelevant backbencher, Where is the kudos in that? So he was left to ponder how could he raise his profile and influence. His eyes have always been on the main prize, leader of the Labour Party and then Prime Minister. But how could he make this happen?
As luck would have it, he heard that some of his friends, the blairite supporters of David Miliband, who after doing such a great job on that campaign, were now running the Better Together campaign in Scotland. The referendum was something Jim would have heard about on his occasional visits to Scotland but how could he turn that to his advantage. The current leader of the Labour Party in Scotland at that time, Johann Lamont, was generally seen as useless by even the people in her own party. So Murphy with his cronies came up with a plan to replace her after indyref. So what was to happen next was like an episode of Game of Thrones but without the drama, sexiness or interesting characters. Needing to raise his profile, he kicked off his 100 towns tour. Unfortunately for Jim, no one paid any attention to this bizarre stunt, apart from a few independence supporters in need a good laugh. Then he had a stoke of good fortune when he was mercilessly attacked by someone with an egg. This single event was responsible for an incredible amount of media exposure for Jim, and also luckily it happened while he was being filmed. After this, it was all looking good, all that was needed now was the removal of the current Leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. After the indyref event, the Murphy faction moved quickly to remove Lamont, she was betrayed by her own supposed, best friend, who had by then sworn allegiance to the Murphy camp.
So everything was going to plan, Murphy and his acolytes had their camp in the Labour heartlands to the north, where they could wait and plot The first thing to do was to see off the independence threat. Then, when the Yes campaign and SNP collapsed in the aftermath of an indyref loss, Labour would ride a wave of enthusiasm when record numbers of Labour MPS were returned to Westminster. Murphy with this foothold and the power and influence it would bring, could now safely wait for Miliband to either lose this election or the next. Jim was a leader in waiting, he would be able to mould his Scottish MPs to his way of thinking and with the tacit agreement from the remaining blairites in the UK Labour party he could be an unstoppable force.
Then something extraordinary happened, instead of retreating into obscurity after losing the indyref vote, membership of the SNP exploded. Long time members of the Labour party deserted and joined the SNP. Labours share of the vote in its heartlands collapsed. According to orthodox thinking, after a defeat in a vote, the defeated should slink away to lick their wounds and not really be seen again for a few years. Murphys plotting against Miliband did not go unnoticed in London. Two days ago his two main rivals for that leadership position delivered the blows that could consign him to obscurity by publicly contradicting the story that was being played out in front of the media in Scotland. Namely, that Scotland would not suffer any budget cuts after the next election if Labour were the winners. Ed Miliband also had a hand in this by offering Murphy’s head as a sacrificial peace offering to Nicola Sturgeon. The youtube video “Jim Murphy, Saviour of The Union” that was released a few days ago ended with a doctored painting of Nicola Sturgeon in “Judith Beheading Holofernes” perhaps a more fitting painting after Ed Miliband’s intervention would have been “Salome with the head of Jim the Baptist” also by Caravaggio,
It wasn’t supposed to be like this and here he is being treated as a branch manager and having no power to resist. In May, Murphy could be irrelevant. According to the latest Ashcroft polls he doesn’t look like he will be an MP, and he will be leading a branch office in disarray, possibly having suffered their worst showing in Scotland in 100 years. With no power or influence Murphy will not be leader of the Scottish contingent for long. So what will he do, keep his head down and work hard to keep his seat or come out fighting against Miliband as he isn’t just in this himself, he has his acolytes gathered from the Better Together crew to look after.
Unfortunately for Mr Murphy, he will be soon out of power, out of friends and shit out of luck.