Search topics on this blog

Showing posts with label Iraq "Jim Murphy" "Yesterday's man" Scotland Trident nuclear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq "Jim Murphy" "Yesterday's man" Scotland Trident nuclear. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Defence of Liam Fox – a load of old Boles

Nick Boles MP offered a fatuous and increasingly irascible ‘defence’ of Liam Fox to Kirsty Wark, demonstrating just how thin the ice the Fox is skating on really is. But it also demonstrates the weakness – and the hypocrisy – of the Labour attack on Fox, with Labour snouts still dripping with their insatiable feeding at the trough for 13 years of M.O.D. incompetence accompanied by the enrichment of Labour ministers and their favoured squad of lobbyists, defence contractors, Middle Eastern dictators, et al.

Jim Murphy’s rather leaden attack on Fox in the Commons debate was also fatally flawed because of his party’s acceptance of cash from Cellcrypt, a company at the heart of the charges laid against Fox and Werrity.

There used to be a scatological version of the lyric of The Finger of Suspicion Points at You, a popular song of the 1950s, with the substituted line -

Someone crept into the Crypt, and crapped and crept away

the finger of suspicion points at You!

The defence discussion in the Commons that preceded Fox’s statement consisted of rampant self-interested questions about the distribution of defence spoils around the constituencies – the Defence as Job Creation Scheme concept of the defence of the realm. It was of course prudently interspersed with pious expressions of concern for our brave servicemen and women on the front line, who make all this profitable enterprise so rewarding for those who stay at home while they place their young lives and futures on the line, inadequately equipped, fighting for a cause for which no  coherent justification has ever been offered, although many contradictory and self-serving attempts are made at regular intervals.

In between all this inhuman cant, the brutal reality burst through occasionally, of death, injury, brain damage, psychological damage, broken-hearted relatives and ruined lives, in the form of interventions by the tiny number of MPs who really cared about our service personnel and were trying to alleviate their suffering and that of their families.

After this undignified, self-serving spectacle, Liam Fox and his chorus of loyal admirers defended - with straight faces, indeed faces set in a rictus of patriotic indignation – the series of astonishing coincidences, surprise meetings in dining rooms across the globe, family holidays that to everyone’s surprise happened just at the same time and in the same place as pivotal defence discussions, and diaries that miraculously synchronised, in a kind of unique serendipity, with the joint interests and undying friendship of Liam and Adam, a friendship that will surely go down in history along with David and Jonathan and other shining examples.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Scottish Labour in a kilt that disnae fit …

The latest offering in the cold chicken franchise known as What Labour Must Do! is served up today in The Scotsman by John McTernan, the doyen of the genre. I take my hat off to John for the ingenuity with which he has varied the title theme over his seemingly endless series of articles – today it’s Labour has to face up to its failings. article

Scottish Labour facing up to its failings must be like Dorian Gray facing up to his portrait in the attic, but are they quite ready to slash the portrait, running the risk of the horror of what they have become being made visible in their public face? Well, Murdo Fraser has shown the way, but Jim Murphy and Tom Harris don’t quite have the cojones for such a radical approach, and the less said about Iain Gray’s cojones the better.

But John is in nostalgic mood, invoking men of principle from Labour’s distant past, calling up the ghosts of Tom Johnston and Willie Ross. He calls them transformative figures, and Tom Johnston richly deserves such an appellation: the less said about Willie Ross, the better. But where else would John McTernan go but the distant past? For a Blairite such as he, the temptation to invoke his former boss and idol, Tony Blair, was overpowering, in spite of the fact that the disastrous transformation that Blair inflicted on the Labour Party, the UK and the people of Afghanistan and Iraq is now so notorious, especially since the BBC’s Question Time Special last week on Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror.

But Blair slips in his symbolic abandonment of Clause 4 and nationalisation, and John’s new heroes of Labour, Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack have given Scottish Labour “an equally powerful symbol”. It’s not entirely clear what this symbol is.

And so the symbols crash and the drums fail to roll – the saltire, Scottishness – everything but a tartan doll around the neck of whoever the new, transformative Leader is going to be – none of it will work.

But as John ruefully observes in his final sentence, Scottish Labour has nothing left to lose. They could maybe do volunteer work in a tartan-tack shop in the Royal Mile, with Iain Gray and John McTernan in ersatz Jacobite shirts with plastic thongs, and have stale haggis for lunch …

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Iraq, Scotland and Jim Murphy – yesterday’s man

The new Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband has publicly repudiated his party's stance on Iraq, to the cold fury of his Blairite, warmongering brother. But David is right. Harriet Harman voted for it, and so did almost all of the New Labour gang. Sitting behind David Miliband are Alistair Darling and Jim Murphy, the late and unlamented Scottish Secretary, a Blairite and Iraq war supporter and defender. Both men are stonefaced as they listen to their new leader.

I follow that with some clips of Jim Murphy before the May 2010 general election in action when he had some clout and some say in Scottish affair.

It’s safe to say, as one vocal critic alleged, that neither he, nor the previous Labour government, nor the Tories, nor the LibDems, nor the members of the House of Lords have let, or will let their privileged children anywhere near the killing grounds of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Murphy tries to project a nice guy image, but he is in fact an old-style backroom Labour bruiser. I hope he never again has any significant say in the life and future of Scotland, and that he sinks back into political obscurity.