Jim and Severin 194

Like star-crossed lovers hugging as they plunge into an abyss, Severin Carrell whispers sweet nothings to Jim Murphy. The Guardian has given up all pretence of balance in not just its commentary but also its news coverage of Scotland. Carrell’s puff piece is the seventeenth Guardian article on how Jim Murphy will save Scottish Labour, and is based on nothing but an advance copy of a Murphy speech.

Carrell fails to ask any of the obvious questions. Murphy claims Labour are to contact 190,000 Labour voters, mostly elderly male and Glaswegian, who voted Yes. They will do this by “personal letters” and phone calls. This begs the question of how they identify these voters, and who will do the work. The Labour membership in Scotland is now tiny. My source in a Labour MSP’s office tells me the paid up individual political membership – excluding social clubs – stands just shy of 8,500. I find that believable. Largely thanks to Carrell that figure is similar to Guardian sales in Scotland. It is also interesting that a significant proportion of those dwindling Labour members are there because, one way or another, they are on the payroll. Councillors, council officials in “hidden” political posts, MPs and MSPs and their staff, HQ staff, union officials etc.

Labour were far from a full canvass in the referendum campaign. The ballot was (hopefully) secret. They simply cannot identify those hundreds of thousands of ex-Labour SNP supporters. Are these “personal” letters and phone calls just going to anyone who seems mature, male and Glaswegian? The entire claim of a targeted Murphy “campaign” is plainly a simple nonsense. It stands not a moment’s journalistic analysis. Only a brain-dead Labour acolyte like Carrell could promote it.

194 thoughts on “Jim and Severin

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  • Clark

    Patrick, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately your word on this blog would not count as a Reliable Source at Wikipedia, and my word would count as Original Research, which isn’t allowed.

    Now, after seven years, you’d almost certainly be permitted to become a Wikipedia editor again. The Wikipedia rules can seem very restrictive at times, but you can imagine the chaos there’d be without them.

  • ash

    Hi Craig, I’m getting a bit bored of your blogs on Scotland. There’s more to the world than Scotland you know. Get back to how it was before Scotland indepedence vote

  • glenn_uk

    @Patrick Haseldine: As someone who takes such an interest in Pam-Am 103, do you broadly agree with the line Private Eye has taken on it over the years, formally presented in their publication “Lockerbie – The Flight From Justice” (by the now deceased Paul Foot) ? They also ran a series, “Who bombed Lockerbie?” for quite some time, gradually building the case.

  • Paul Rigby

    Given The Grauniad’s history of antipathy to the Labour Party, wouldn’t it be more accurate to see the promotion of Murphy as more of an MI5 project?

  • lysias

    RT: Secret US files reveal Washington’s interest in Scottish referendum – report (RT, but based on Daily Express report):

    A “sensitive” report from May 14, 2013, reportedly informed Washington about former Labour PM Gordon Brown’s launch of “United with Labour,” the Scottish Labour Party’s campaign for a No vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.

    “The launch demonstrates Labour’s difficult position in Scotland as it seeks to distance itself from the unpopular UK Government ahead of 2015 UK elections, while remaining within a pro-Union coalition,” the report says.

  • Mary

    The link to that photo does not work. The same photo is on this Mail link.

    Former Minister says Thatcher aide was paedophile who preyed on boys’ home – and Hague should have known
    An ex-Tory minister has claimed Sir Peter Morrison was implicated in the child abuse scandal that engulfed children’s homes in North Wales
    An inquiry discovered up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally in the 1970s and ’80s
    Rod Richards, a former Tory MP, said he had seen evidence linking the former aide to Baroness Thatcher to the scandal


    When is the lid coming off this corruption and when will those who were abused receive justice?

  • Miss Castello

    Herbie: 3.48 pm.

    “Nursery staff and childminders are given ‘duty’ to report toddlers they suspect of being at risk of becoming terrorists under new Home Office measures”

    I’m more concerned at toddlers becoming Tories.

  • Tony M

    That he left South Africa, he claims, to avoid conscription, could never have been the case as it’s said he never took or had South African citizenship, always remained a Brit, therefore would not, could not have been conscripted.

    East Renfrewshire seems to have been re-created some might say jerrymandered, back into existence, just for King James the Murph, it is of course largely the former Eastwood seat, a one time Tory island in a shark-infested Labour lake.

    The Boundary Commission must have been having an off-day, had their drinks spiked or was pre-packed with party-placemen. Adjacent Glasgow and Paisley seats, even Cunninghameshire, were pared back and added to the former short-lived Eastwood to re-create the hybrid ‘East Renfrewshire’. The town of Barrhead, never sure itself if it was part of Paisley, Glasgow, Renfrewshire or even Ayrshire, was and still is mis-allocated, the outline map of the constituency has some bizarre contortions.

    Historically though Barrhead’s (and Neilston’s) links are with Paisley; of the remaining more populous parts of East Renfrewshire, excepting Newton Mearns who wish they were in the West End (of either Glasgow or more probably London), they all comprise areas in which the people unquestionably regard themselves as being within the ‘South Side’ of the city of Glasgow, they’re staunchly Glaswegians, and South-Siders at that, ‘East Renfrewshire’ means as much to them as Timbuctu might, i.e. not much (no offence or slight intended towards Timbuctu, which I’m sure is lovely).

    However appealing, dramatic, crowd-pleasing, Craig Murray going up against Jim Murphy might be, it’s a dead loss electorally IMHO; East Renfrewshire is probably the constituency in which as an Independent or on a party ticket, Craig Murray especially is least likely to win, most likely to lose his deposit, if not more. Splitting the growing non-Tory, non-Labour, none of that lot, ever again, over my dead body, I’d rather eat Kennomeat vote, might be Slippery Jim’s only hope of salvation and squeaking back in.

    A “Pony Tax”, “Ten Bedrooms or More Tax”, or some such populist moves, would be sure signs of the SNP writing-off East Renfrewshire entirely. All that can be done then is to declare King Jim, Emperor of Eastwood, bow down before his mighty Jimness and let them twin with Kiev, build a wall round themselves and secede. It’s that hopeless, unless the Barrhead Labour voters see the light and tell Emperor Jim Longshanks, he’s naked and downright repulsive and flush him away, but even then the insufferable Tories would win-a-lot (I promise no more Barrhead in-jokes, m’Gills are already aching) more easily instead, and the net change would be hardly perceptible.

  • Patrick Haseldine

    @Glenn_uk 7:12pm

    Paul Foot sent me the following letter on 9 December 1988, twelve days before the Lockerbie bombing:
    “Dear Mr Haseldine,
    This is just a note to congratulate you in the warmest possible way on your quite wonderful letter to The Guardian this week. It was an act full of defiance and democracy – two rather scarce qualities these days. And I can tell you that there are lots of journalists around who raised a hearty cheer.
    If there is ever anything I can do to help or support you, just get in touch.
    All the very best to you, [signed] Paul Foot.”

    Since you ask, Glenn_uk, I completely disagree with the line ‘Private Eye’ has taken on Lockerbie over the years. PE was well and truly taken in by its sponsor (and MI6 agent) Tiny Rowland (who bank-rolled PE against libel writs from Sir James Goldsmith). Agents Paul Foot, John Ashton, Prof Robert Black and Ian Ferguson were all acolytes of Tiny Rowland, who insisted on suppressing the truth about Lockerbie: that UN Assistant Secretary-General & UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was targeted by apartheid South Africa.

    The truth will out (eventually)!

  • Fedup


    Whilst everyone is too busy making sure there is no anti semi….. or any other untoward ism of sorts happening, Germany is witnessing the rerun of the “anti immigration/anti Muslim” protests, and this time around there is no little Austrian Painter to be blamed for it all.

    Whence history is a pack of infantile stories, there is every probability of it repeating itself, as that “nice” prof. Toynbee contended. After all he should have know that history is just another make believe foible like Santa and the tooth fairy.

    Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against ‘Islamification of the West’

    Last week no less than the director of the bbc was so concerned about Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ say Europe’s Jews

    Never mind the wholesale hate and violence directed at the Muslims, the Arab subhuman deserve it!

  • Herbie

    Absolutely, Miss Castello.

    Nothing worse than Tory boy.

    I’d bet habby was a Tory boy:


    He used to recite Churchill speeches in front of the mirror, as ya do. Found love with Ffion, thirty years later.

    I bet he knows all Churchill’s speeches off by heart.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that Tony M. that was very visual, very educational and good advice, one could propose nose pegs, as the only response to his existence, no need to talk at all to his supporters, its just too awful, might be the answer to bring it over to voters that this man is an apologist to murder in Palestine, child imprisonment and the targeted shooting of young children elsewhere.
    Murphy is weak on economics, he has no clue,imho, an angle to pitch a lever for any Independent with guts and gusto. His neocon brain would get stuck on Ukraine, I feel, he’s tall and can fall, however much he’s up his Jacksy-onian society.

    That Miranda has been invited to be an honorary member of the internationally distinguished Simon Wiesenthal knitting circle is quiet astonishing, it shows the meaning of cross stitching at its best. One would want to keep hold of once reputable status, but, that can all go up in smoke in a jiffy, what a bunch of nincompoops, they could have carried on with the ‘lets save Hungary from its idiots’ shawl, such grand design, just as RD likes it, but now Miranda wants a ‘Honk for Gaza gas guzzle’ T shirt done, pronto, and all other stuff is on hold.

    @ Fred, so feeling for you ,wink, it must have been feeling so good to see the oil price rise to 53,-, jeeeez what a chance after your predictions of its fall to 40 and lower, maybe later, eh.

    Michael Gove, just now, is talking of a ‘binary contest’ and i’m sure within four weeks the BIBIC will take their marching orders from duality, fall in line. This rotten delivery system is rattling and those who dare to allow Parliamentary parties to debate with them, should be ashamed of themselves and their unsustainable policies.

    fact is the lot are piss poor on sustainable ideas, hmmm, very few are trying.

    It means that the other parties have to increase their internet and online activities to keep up with the Govian whiplashes, they have to work the other social network channels, just as the main parties will do, but better.

    The Greens have been winners, known for their party political imagery more than once, I’m sure someone will come up with some interactive experiences soon. I’m coming round to the idea of a Lib dem for Gordon, unless the new membership gets to take a part in reforming the SNP, that must be one good slap.

    And off course the day ends with a promise by a geriatric of a three party split with many SNP gains, not a Green or UKIP promise anywhere, the ray’s have been switched on again, the gargoyles are transmitting shrill sounds, see, watch, there, can you see it…..the electorate obeys and does as the bibic transmits, its true trust us, it really looks as if the establishment can rely on all forms of unsustainable habitual cronyism and tell us how sweet and all encompassing it is at the same time.

    I’m not on twitter and not about to start, but maybe someone would like to start #Hope, don’t answers to pollsters#, because as many already mentioned, its pretty irrelevant, so why give them them your time, the answer they come up with will most likely be twisted anyway.

    Newsnight ends with Kraftwerks Autobahn, all ten seconds of it, was it a metaphor?

  • Tony M

    What scares me is the idea of East Renfrewshire’s insatiable territorial ambitions; given some tattered pages of a ‘sacred’ Glasgow A-to-Z, add spiritual leaders and a large stash of narcotics to the mix, and who knows where it could all end? Promised they say, all the lands from the two Rivers, White Cart and Clyde, to the sea -a barren desert, with only cattle residing, it could all turn rather unpleasant …

  • BrianFujisan

    I’d Love for that Cnut to appear at my Door… Frack loving, War criminal. Lying, Scaremongering Fucktard.

    There sure has been an Awakening, cant count the number of times i found myself asking people wtf did you hear that. ” em..bbc, Daily record.”
    And that includes my wee ol mum, but i see she has taken to buying the National, ( “cos ye don’t get proper information everywhere else” ) At last, my parents were always SNP voters.

    I’m going to Inverclyde SNP meeting next Monday, i still want to know about this bedroom tax marriage with Red tories That Craig had the Balls to stand against.

    And the Actions of the Cowardly Police –



    Craig in Case you are unaware, Deepgreenpuddock was at the meeting and Commented on the ‘ Missy M’s Sin of Omission’ thread 4th Jan @ 3;14pm

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Getting older..no it ain’t that bad if you can survive 50..I went to see my doctor and he told me I should already be dead…so I took his drugs for 3 months…and then gave them up after I had bought a blood pressure monitor from Maplins…

    and when I was relaxed and cool and calm..you know like normal…

    it was only when I saw my Doctor was My Blood Pressure..Off The Scale..cos I really did not like the way he wouldn’t even examine My 85 Year Old Mother..and just told me to call 999..what a Cunt.

    So I wrote this when I got beyond 60 years old…well just now actually..but I am a bit older than that…

    No, unless you know me, or my daughter..I don’t know you..and I am not trying to sell anything..neither photography or music was ever my business…well sure. I know how to handle a camera..but I always wanted to play guitar..and I can’t do it..I am crap..and there is no way I could fake it..cos I never wanted to…I did computers and stuff

    But my love was and is and always will be the music..and now I have just bought a couple of hearing aids from Malaysia..£6.97 including Delivery and Batteries…and I look at these things…haven’t even opened the boxes yet…

    Do these things make the Band Louder or Quieter??..I haven’t tried them YET… and my ears and ear plugs do not get on too well..what the eucj is that carrot that just flew out of your ear and landed on the stage???

    Not mine..quick give us it back…I saw that too..but they were only young kids..and us old sods are getting a bit deaf..(but only a bit)

    Yer What??


  • yesindyref2

    On the surface, the Guardian article looks to be balanced. It does Murphy and Labour, it does Sturgeon and the SNP. But then you get the throwaway line (paragraph) insinuated into the text: “Murphy will claim on Monday that Sturgeon’s pledge that an SNP landslide would benefit Scotland is false. In the 2010 general election, only the Tories under David Cameron benefited from a slump in Labour support.”

    The second sentence is thrown in as though true, but of course in 2010, Scotland elected just one single Tory, compared to 2005 – just one single Tory. So the slump in Labour support didn’t benefit the Tories in Scotland in the slightest, as it won’t in 2015 either.

    I used to post in the Guardian (dadsarmy), you’d think you were getting somewhere with SC as the articles open to comments became more accurate. Then you’d see another article, closed to comments, twisting that truth out of all recognition. At the same time the readership was dropping steadily in Scotland, and because I get around Scotland a lot and blether to people, I found that in many places the only readers who bought the paper were tourists, holiday homers or general visitors. Which meant to me that as an opinion former for the Indy in Scotland it was relatively low value, though it would influence its poor readers in the rest of the UK. It also has a good solid cadre btl of pro-indy posters as it is.

    Anyway, Happy New Year! Thought I’d drop in just the once, with a little olive branch …

  • Puzzled

    BTW – peering ahead, has the record 20% “postal vote” during the referendum entered the Guinness Book of Records yet? How will the “YES” Cons and Labour share it in May? The weedrams need to make sure the postal ballots are not mixed again, but shown separately. Especially in marginal constituencies.

  • Mary

    Tuesday 6 January 2015
    House of Commons

    11:30am Oral Questions
    Deputy Prime Minister, including Topical Questions; Attorney General

    Ten Minute Rule Motion – Sir Alan Duncan
    Internet Communications (Regulation)

    Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill – Report stage

    Adjournment – Bill Wiggin
    Mobile phone signal in Fownhope

  • Mark Golding

    On South Africa Patrick I saw signals marked ‘Not for South Africa Eyes’ that related to the exchange of military technology between Israel and South Africa during the time John Vorster was Prime -Minister. Vorster was jailed by Britain during WWII for his pro-Nazi sympathies!!

    In 1956 Israel voted for a UN resolution condemning apartheid as ‘reprehensible and repugnant’ – By 1970 is was clear a mutual defence pact existed between Israel and SA confirming the notion ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ and hypocrisy rules.

    Israel supplied SA with tritium a source of neutrons essential to the construction of boosted-fission nuclear weapons. Tritium is rare in nature, production requiring a reactor for bombardment of Lithium and other methods.

    Nuclear cooperation was the reason Vorster made a State visit to Israel in April 1976, which Britain monitored. He was warmly greeted by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    Israel tested it’s nuclear bomb in the Kalahari desert while the US turned a blind eye until Russia kicked off after her survey satellite Cosmos 932 took photographs.

  • Muscleguy

    @Ba’al Zevul
    5 Jan, 2015 – 12:42 pm

    The Scottish Greens were part of RIC, the Radical Independence Campaign with the SSP, CND, Commonweal types and sundry others like me.

    So every instance of RIC you saw included the Greens. On at least one occasion while delivering leaflets late in the campaign we were given Green specific leaflets too which we duly delivered. We also helped out Yes Scotland for eg delivering targeted voting registration forms for them. We also shared our canvassing returns with them. Oh and in a personal capacity I helped out at a number of local Yes stalls. The campaign on the ground was a happy, interconnected thing with cross fertilisations and helping out across the board.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I was talking about the 80’s, and the Greens were a struggling – if noble – force then, with other things on their mind. I guess we can agree that Yes offered cross-fertilisation. We may even agree that the SNP were not – as the commentator I was responding to suggested – the sole beneficiaries.

    That said, I accept the SNP has always been rather cautious of radicals. Again in the 80’s, it was very anxious not to be identified in any way with the IRA, for I hope obvious reasons. Hopefully the political climate is changing and the SNP will use the new blood it seems to be attracting from the generalised radical Left….while remaining nonviolent. I’m sure that, given independence and less need to sink differences in the face of a common opponent, the SNP will polarise and probably fragment. By which time, as I said, it will have done its job.

  • Neil Barker

    Jim Murphy is a legend here, and rightly so. You just got here, and bought a house.

    You just pissed off almost everyone.


  • nevermind

    Hi Neil barker, you truly are a joker, Murphy is a Labour apologist for murder, a man who says nothing about Britain’s foreign policy originating from Tel Aviv. he stood shoulder to should with the Tories and lib Dems when it came to the referendum and he’s obviously frit of Craig, just as you are.

    Anything that deals with an equitable distribution of wealth has nothing to do with labour anymore, they are redcoat Tories and it saddens me that you feel that Craig has pissed you off.
    By doing what? by speaking out about the SNP backstabbing moves,informing unionist rags before its potential nominees? Cutting off members voices and votes because the top echelon has been told off by jack Straw, a man who indulged in torturing people who later were ‘innocent’, after years of harassment?

    If you like these bedfellows, suit yourself, but don’t expect other to believe their crap or wonder why young people abandon this unapologetic demented Labour party.

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