19 Mar 2009

Jimbo Murphy's Law

By accident - I was looking for the Aberdeen v Dunfermline cup result - I caught the BBC's Scottish Parliamentary Question Time highlights programme from Westminster last night.

Id given up on this constitutional anachronism long ago, but I watched out of curiosity to be myself curiously surprised. It was relevant - and there were more that 20 MPs there, many more.

I guess most - the English ones - were there to get good seats for the next item of business, but they, like me, seemed to get caught up in the banter, and in particular the masterly front bench performance of Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy.

Jim and I have form - both former Presidents of NUS Scotland ( separated by a decade though) , he an arch Blairite, myself from now defunct Scottish Labour Action's "provisional" wing: Him a Zionist with double Z, myself pro-Palestinian , etc, etc.

But although I've long reckoned him to be a grade 1 careerist and a bit of a chancer, I've always strangely liked him, can appreciate his strengths , certainly his hard work, and at times his sheer balls when defending the indefensible. A sort of Michael Forysth like besieged figure, but with a bit more working class street cred. And he is great with people - watch him work a reception, or a rally as it assembles.

Now before all yee nat bloggers start going crazy, calling me a Unionist agent provocateur or worse, let me say hell would have to freeze over before I ever voted for Jimbo in any capacity - I'd emigrate to Israel and take my chances of avoiding arrest there first.

But the guy is able, dangerous I'd say to many of the causes I believe in, first and foremost Scottish independence. Compared with his predecessors as SoS - Des Browne, Wee Dougie, Alastair Darling - this guy is a class apart. Indeed, the ease with which he - at his discretion - chose to either swat away criticisms from all comers - English Tories, Scottish Tory, Lib Dems and nats - or alternatively disarm them by embracing them as allies was, in debating terms, highly impressive. Donald Dewar class - better I'd say

And as the chamber filled up during the Scottish Questions session, with primarily English MPs there for next business, you could see they were impressed. "Where did this guy come from? " I could almost hear them thinking. "A Scottish Minister that almost sounds credible, convincing - not washed up?" Not a Brown cypher

This guy is dangerous nats. Underestimate him at our peril.

And Dunfermline won 4-2 on penalties. The Cup is surely The Saints' - once the huns have been vanquished at Hampden.

It's coming home!

1 comments:

Mr H Saturday, March 21, 2009  

Totally agree about Mr Murphy - he presents himself as a very confident, very composed and very dangerous member of the opposition. Really feel the SNP should not be lulled into a false sense of co-operation and therefore security when dealing with Labour. I watched Mr Murphy and the F.M. laughing and joking on the news(Not that I dont think they should be cordiale to each other) and thought don't give too much away Alex - Mr Murphy will eat you for breakfast if given half the chance!

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