Yesterday, Ed Miliband put his brother’s leadership campaign manager, Jim Murphy, in charge of the review of Scottish Labour following the disastrous showing in the Holyrood elections last week. Jim Murphy is a bright man, who no doubt has many interesting things to say about the Scottish election result, and no doubt said some of them to the Shadow Cabinet on Monday, but he is no friend of Ed Miliband, and completely lacks Ed Miliband’s commitment to change — change that it is now clear the Scottish party needs just as badly as the English. How can you rely on the Blairites to conduct a review of their own stewardship of Scottish Labour? As the Policy Network’s latest mutterings demonstrate, the Blairites are as determined as ever to resist change. On this as on other key appointments, Ed Miliband needs to sort out his myopia. If you want change, you can’t rely on those who don’t to deliver it.
Left Futures does not advocate triangulation. Sooner or later, as New Labour discovered, the electorate, and especially our core supporters, see through it and realise that you have abandoned principle and abandoned them. But if you applied it in Scotland, it is the basis for moving the party to the Left.
Last year, at the General Election, Labour was outflanked on the Left by both the Lib Dems and the SNP. Small wonder that Lib Dem voters who felt betrayed switched to the SNP. And that so many core Labour voters in our heartlands lent theirs too. If you want an outsider to review what happened in Scotland, and Jim Murphy, as someone who chose Westminster over Holyrood, is an outsider, you’d be better off with Rhodri Morgan!
Unfortunately, Ed’s myopia doesn’t stop with this appointment. For General Secretary of the Labour Party, we are told he wanted Matthew Taylor, Blair’s former Head of Policy and Chief Advisor on Strategy. We’ve also heard some other pretty astonishing names for both this post and Ed’s Chief of Staff.
It isn’t easy supporting a Leader who doesn’t look out for himself!