Jim Murphy has me scratching my head. I’m baffled. What does he wants? What does he aspire to and what motivates him? Most importantly, if we can understand his ambition, then what are the obstacles to him achieving his ambition, if any?
A quick run through his CV and recent Parliamentary work allows some questions to be answered and for a picture to be sketched.
Of late his star has slipped a bit. Currently he is filling the post as Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, which he took up on 7 October 2013. Prior to this he was Shadow Defence Secretary.
In Gordon Brown’s cabinet he was Secretary of State for Scotland.
So what can we say from this brief sketch?
Does he aspire to high office? Definitely.
Does he wish to be taken seriously? Of course. Don’t all politicians?
To be accepted as a Statesman? Of course.
So far so good then. It appears we have a Scottish MP doing well. Should we be proud of him?
Has he been tainted by the MPs expenses scandal? In a word, yes. A few snippets will suffice.
In 2008 he claimed almost £2000 of public cash in order to pay private accountants to handle his tax returns.
In October 2012 there were reports, that he was among those listed as generating income by letting out their London properties while claiming up to £20,000 a year to rent in the city.
So not so morally upstanding after all. But is diddling expenses an excuse to paint him black. Can he not just be labelled as another dodgy MP out for a quick buck?
There is another side to Jim Murphy that is available from leaked US intelligence files and these are illuminating in an altogether different way. While he undoubtedly contributes to international debate (see the extract from G8 business), it would appear that Jim has been very active in attempting to sabotage Scotland’s Independence Referendum and this activity assists us in answering one of the questions posed at the beginning; ” what are the obstacles to him achieving his ambition…?”
Source: Wikileaks; Public Library of US Diplomacy
G8 LABOR MINISTERS ON THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF GLOBALIZATION
Date: 2007 May 22, 05:44 (Tuesday)
7. The UK’s Jim Murphy said he was interested in the experience of other G8 countries in dealing with those “farthest from the labor market,” which he described as workers left behind domestically and now left further behind in the global labor market, including members of racial and ethnic minorities and the disabled. Canada’s Janice Charlette mentioned the importance of immigration for Canada’s labor markets, but Russia’s Mikhail Zurabov stressed the problems caused by illegal immigration from the former republics of the USSR.
SCOTLAND: ECONOMICS IS CHANGING POLITICS, SAYS SCOTLAND OFFICE SECRETARY
2008 December 17, 17:14
Comment ——- 7. (C/NF) Our Scottish contacts report that Murphy’s appointment was a good one, and Scotland likes having a “full-time Westminster Secretary,” rather than the double-hatting that Des Browne did as Secretary of Defense. The question of Scottish independence does seem to have quieted with the on-set of the credit crunch, which apparently prompted Scottish public reflection on what independence would truly mean, especially in financial terms. And Labour is working to exploit these trends and capture any ground it may have lost in Scotland during the SNP’s “honeymoon” period.
SCOTLAND: INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM NOT MOVING FORWARD IN JANUARY
2010 January 20, 17:17
4. (SBU/NF) Throughout 2009, UK Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy played a leadership role in organizing the opposition parties, hoping to move Scotland toward implementation of the Calman recommendations as an alternative to an independence referendum, according to Murphy’s advisors, Labour party insiders, and opposition party leaders.
So in summary what can we truly understand about Jim Murphy? I concede that this piece is brief and that to construct a comprehensive picture of Murphy to then form an opinion is quite some task. I recommend referencing his profile in Wikipedia to better understand his career history, but I can say that he is a chameleon. He can change his hue to suit his audience. If it were not for the US intelligence leaks would we fully understand his role in attempting to subvert the democratic process in Scotland? I suspect not. So let’s attempt to answer my questions.
What are Jim Murphy’s ambitions?
1. To be a senior Westminster Government Minister.
2. To be a player on the world stage.
What are the obstacles to him achieving his ambition?
1. Scottish Independence.
Is he supportive of Scotland and her people? In my opinion, Scotland is an annoyance to Jim Murphy. It was a convenient vehicle for achieving high office when it suited him but it is now a threat to his own personal career ambitions.
What will he do to limit the threat to his Westminster career ambitions?
Whatever it takes?