Cybermen v Cybernats?

Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph has written that: “This commentator once, foolishly as it now turns out, suggested that Mr Murphy, a recent past Secretary of State for Scotland, might be the man to be the new leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. Even more foolishly, his name was recently mentioned to me by a vastly experienced Labour grandee, as the person to lead the “Yes” campaign in terms of the campaign to maintain the Union in the face of the SNP’s determination to break up Britain. It is clear today that Mr Murphy cares nothing for the mission of maintaining the Union; all he appears to worry about is his future in the Labour Party at Westminster.” More on this at Newsnet Scotland here.

If not Murphy, Who? Or should that be Dr Who? The suggestion might seem ridiculous, sci-fi even, but given events this week concerning ghost particles maybe, just maybe time travel is possible? Such a thought was given credence by Angus McLeod of the Times, on Radio Scotland’s Newsweek  who suggested either Billy Connolly or Dr Who to defend the Union in the upcoming referendum. The idea of David Tennant and the BigYin stepping up into politics is an intriguing one. What sway would Billy lobbing jobbies in his banana boots and The Doctor flanked by Cybermen have on the public consciousness? Crass desperation? And is it the role of paid pundits to help shape the Unionist platform? Somebody has to.

The Daily Record’s Torcuil Crichton suggested Jim Murphy is suffering from a sort of Stockhausen Syndrome in relation to the Tories. This was a useful diagnosis but more desperate was unearthing the idea that David Cameron would step in and set up a referendum on Scottish independence (a position unequivocally ruled out by Michael Moore in interview here.)

Bathgate-born David Tennant is likeable, fancied, contemporary and funny. And if – mixing my sci-fi metaphors (crossing the streams?) – you are to look for Brit-Borg-like fully-assimilated slebs, the anti-independence lobby could do worse than Connolly and Tennant. But the seriousness of the referendum deserves better than this.

Iain McWhirter’s question remains unanswered.

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  1. Andy Simpson says:

    An actor and a comedian to lead the dependence campaign! surely the unionist partys have enough of them already.

  2. J McIllaney says:

    You say crass desperation but I’d like to know the impact of the SNPs queue of celebrities endorsing Salmond? Was this the icing on the cake or the flour? Alot of the referendum is about confidence and narrative – I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour-Tory efforts to frame the debate had a big impact

  3. Lena says:

    No, it’s not April 1st. I seem to recall a certain cross-dressing comedian called Eddie Izzard was rolled out to support the Labour Party – to no avail. And then there was Tory favourite Kenny Everett – best forgotten.
    It’s just totally ridiculous – but funny.
    Good title by the way.

    1. Ray Bell says:

      Eddie Izzard and Kenny Everett are both funny, but would they sway my vote? No…

  4. Peter Curran says:

    Given Billy Connolly’s notorious derogatory reference to Holyrood as the “wee pretendy Parliament”, how will the unionists parties, now all enthsuiastic devolutionists, square that one away?

  5. Laurence McHale says:

    Connolly should fit well contributing to the incomprehensible drivel that is being presented as a case for the Union up until now. Do we not deserve some real debate and honest presentation of the facts rather than some political showbiz hybrid circus to feed us a diet of soundbites and glitter.

  6. Ray Bell says:

    If the unionists are to look for anyone I suppose Tennant’s their man, he is, as you say much more likeable than most of the other candidates. Tennant’s someone I could agree to disagree with perhaps.

    However, I would prefer Murphy and Connolly. Both are has-beens who are now only funny when they don’t intend to be. Connolly hasn’t been funny since roundabout when he shaved off his beard, and/or advertised the lottery.

  7. James Morton says:

    He does know that the conservatives are deeply unpopular in Scotland? he can appreciate that Murphy may not want to take a podium with Cameron because of the kicking he would then take from the Scottish electorate. He most likely wishes to avoid any association with the conservatives and what would be a largely negative campaign from them. Of course I say this not knowing what approach he favours. But as I have said in an earlier thread, the pro-unionists seem unwilling or perhaps unable to share their passion for the union with us.

    On one hand you have what LPW would describe as black hearted unionists attacking Scotland and the other is to look through a glass heavily rose tinted. They really need to up their game.

  8. JPJ2 says:

    Tennant & Connolly together might well immediately fall to disagreeing with each other-Connolly is one of that ridiculous type who favours Irish independence but opposes it for Scotland, while Tennant’s ancestors include elected pro-union politicians in Northern Ireland 🙂

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Interesting, didn’t know that

  9. Dennis Smith says:

    Alan Cochrane’s article displays a fascinating contradiction between its unionism and its Conservatism. He says that the defence of the union is so important that it transcends party politics, then demands that Jim Murphy cooperate with the Conservatives rather vice versa, despite the fact that Labour has an arguable mandate in Scotland (the May 2010 Westminster election) and the Conservatives certainly don’t.

    Murphy is a wily operator, so what is he up to? Maybe his reasoning goes something like this. A) The Tory brand is still toxic in Scotland, so any pro-union campaign openly led by the Tories is likely to do badly. B) Labour is already struggling in Scotland and the last thing it needs is to be contaminated by association with the Tories. So Labour can’t afford even to give the appearance of fronting a pro-union campaign that is ultimately driven by the Tories. C) David Cameron’s long-term strategy is far from clear. He is apparently unwilling to commit himself to any form of devolution that goes much beyond Calman, though there is lots of evidence that most Scots, even if wary of independence, want more – something like devolution max. If Cameron is planning on a referendum phrased as Independence versus Calman, this is a risky strategy from a unionist angle: there may be a critical group of voters who dislike independence but dislike Calman even more. But this strategy could play well from a Conservative angle. It would appeal to middle English voters who don’t want to make any more concessions to the pesky Scots, and if the union gets shipwrecked in the process, well at least this scuppers Labour’s chances of winning at Westminster in the foreseeable future.

    So (Murphy might be thinking) the key thing is to distance Labour both from the Tories and from Calman. Calman started off in 2007 as a Labour-controlled project. Labour was in power at Westminster and could also call the shots at Holyrood as long as the Tories and Lib Dems cooperated. Now Labour is out of power at both levels and Calman has effectively been hijacked by the Tories – better bail out.

    Obviously Labour can’t move till they have a new Scottish leader. But if this analysis is anywhere near right, what are the odds on Labour on dumping Calman in favour of something that looks and smells like devolution max. Alan Cochrane may not like it, but it makes a lot of sense for Labour – and maybe for the unionist cause in general. Whether it will ever get off the ground is another matter.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I don’t see Labour having the nous or chutzpah to bail out of Calman.

  10. Ard Righ says:

    A few things could be simplified to the essence…..

    Capitalism is the new Communism, its going to fail.

    The Union is dead and in a state of collapse.

    Independence has all ready been voted for.

    Devo Max or Independence lite is like a meat pie with out the meat.

    Kick out the parasites.

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