The incredible disappearing Jim Murphy. At 18.50 on the front (home) page of the Guardian, top left, appeared a story by Libby Brooks entitled “Scottish Labour Leader Criticised Over Proposal to end Football Alcohol Ban”. I clicked and read the story briefly, in which domestic abuse organisations and the police were criticising Murphy for proposing to allow alcohol at football again. I saw the article a minute after it went up, and as yet there were no comments.
I then returned to the home page to see what else was in the paper, and my eye was caught by the normally welcome absence of Jim Murphy. Within three minutes of being put on the front page, the story had been taken off. By clicking back I could get to it again; it was still there. But there was no link to it any more on the home page and no way to find it if you did not know it was there.
There are two points here. One is The Guardian, which with the BBC has been telling us for a week solid that Jim Murphy is the Messiah, could not have a story revealing what a plonker Murphy is, up for three minutes, without burying it.
The second point is Murphy’s dangerous populism. He has already announced he would repeal the Scottish Parliament’s anti-sectarian measures. He now wants to reintroduce alcohol fuelling of football rivalries. It seems that Murphy has correctly identified the level of core Labour support and is pandering to it. The efforts to rectify some of the more glaring social problems in Scotland have been politically brave in the past few years. For a nasty lowest common denominator rabble rouser like Murphy to start trying to drum up Neanderthal appeal, is deeply unedifying.