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« Haven't we seen these health cuts before somewhere...? | Main | Scottish firm gives Ava Gardner her bloom back »

May 17, 2010


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Evolution has no difficulty with altruism. Move beyond the individual organism and consider the genes carried by them. A trait which favours the propagation of the genes, even at the expense of the individual, will be maintained.

As to Mr Murphy's fitness it only applies in the current situation. Were conditions to change and he was interviewed seriously or pursued by the media his success would decrease.

I wasn't talking about the usual stuff that goes on between politicians and incidentally Salmond and most of his team don't sink to the depths Murphy does. The fact is documents were leaked from Murphy's office and questions followed at Holyrood which were meant to smear a Scottish Government Minister and blame HER for the leaks. It was a shocking display of dishonesty from Murphy and should not remotely be seen as just par for the course. Had it happened in England between English politicians the press would have had a field day.

Just incredibly depressing. Rab McNeil's doltocracy have spoken and the word is Margaret Curran.

It would be interesting to know if similar tactics are used down south and whether they succeed or not.

My hunch would be they succeed in Scotland only because the public sphere is so meager. I can't help thinking that if any English politician were to follow this path they would be far more likely to come unstuck as the broadsheets or Guido Fawkes would be onto them.

Perhaps this says as much about the state of Scottish journalism and Scottish democracy as it does about any individual.

But I also think there is something in this about the nature of Scottish politics. It may be true that both Labour and the LibDems rely disproportionately on Scottish representation and so have reason to fear SNP success, but this doesn't fully explain why the invective against the SNP has an almost sectarian intensity that is particular to Scotland. More needs to be made of this because, like sectarianism, it shames Scotland.

Jim Murphy: "voting for the Nationalists or the Liberal Democrats would help the Tories to get elected."

Can someone please tell Jim Murphy that even if Labour won every single seat in Scotland they'd still lose !!

Can't believe no journalist would want to correct him on this nonsense.

"Can't believe anyone could term Murphy an 'effective politician'"

I think Joan is making the same point as I am - lies work, and liars get the results they aim for. Facts, evidence and logic are useless as political tools - they are easily trumped by dramatic lies. He is an effective politician within the system that presently applies, and has always and everywhere applied. Recall that Machiavelli called lies 'effective truths'.

@Jo nobody ever won an argument by underestimating their opponent or allowing their emotions to overcome their analysis and spill into personal abuse. It is always best to attack the argument/behaviour/strategy of your opponent than simply insult him or her as an individual. There are similar attacks on Alex Salmond's personalilty from the other side and I think they demean the people who make them. Also, what is effective? Folk in the Labour party certainly believe Murphy is a highly effective politician. It depends whether you consider a politician's first loyalty to party or to the wider populace. The other point to remember is Big Lie often involves a suspension of critical faculties, people convince themselves it is actually true and blank out facts to the contrary.

Can't believe anyone could term Murphy an "effective politician" or put him in the same sentence as Salmond. And hellooooooooooo, Joan? You joke about the paths around Balmoral. Murphy used that lie to attempt to smear Roseanna Cunningham! Instead it was HIS office who leaked the correspondence. He has yet to admit it!!! You think that makes him "an effective politician"? It makes him dishonest, that's what. I'm disgusted with these remarks today. Dishonesty in politics is not acceptable in any shape, manner or form.

Hey Vronsky, well said. But how well does it serve the needs of the average confused voters to hear the likes of Murphy being termed "an effective politician" when in fact he tells lies? Can't believe what I'm reading on here.

"But he (Cameron) stands up for the union because he thinks we are stronger and better together. Can't fault him for that, even if you disagree with his position"

Every british PM has to stand up for the Union otherwise the Yanks wont let them rise to power.

"The Labour Party in Scotland looks like a parasite slowly eating its host, but never being so reckless as to take the final bite that leads to mutual destruction."

Unionist forces maintain the Labour party up here. If Labour had to stand on it's own feet in Scotland we would already be an independent nation.

'Big Lie is the propaganda technique where you choose a lie so audacious the public think you would not dare make it up. Then you repeat it continually until they believe it.'

- Iraqi WMD anyone?
Or was Bush-Blair's illegal attack and invasion of Iraq about democracy-building, or was it about getting rid of an evil dictator?

Or how about the British government contention that if Britain hadn't illegaly attacked and invaded Afghanistan the Taliban would have come to Britian and murdered us all in our sleep?

Iranian nuclear WMD anyone?

excellent article and so well written as usual GLG

One thing I admire Cameron for is continually banging on about how much of a unionist he is.

He visited Scotland on Friday and Wales today when it would be very easy for him and his party to cast those two countries adrift and therefore become the party of England.

Scottish independence would rob Labour and the Lib Dems of most of their best talent and ensure that England voted the Conservatives as the largest party (even without a majority) on every occasion.

But he stands up for the union because he thinks we are stronger and better together. Can't fault him for that, even if you disagree with his position.

To any intelligent or informed person the lies told by Labour are laughable and easily dismissed. Problem is, there is a large section of the population who although they might be smart enough are very poorly informed - or should I say - very effectively misinformed?

One always has an instinctive feeling that the truth must win in the end, but there is no historical precedent for that. The liars win and keep winning, until there is nothing left worth having, then they move on.

The situation is asymmetrical. Even if one considered it morally acceptable for the SNP to lie in its turn, it could not succeed without the connivance of the MSM - and that will never be.

Evolutionists have difficulty explaining altruism - logically, it should disappear as it disadvantages selflessness. Mathematical game theory can produce models that show that the 'free riders' - those who accept charity but never give it, can never predominate in a society. But they don't need to - a small self-serving elite is enough to control a society even when that society comprises in the main more decent and empathetic people.

The Labour Party in Scotland looks like a parasite slowly eating its host, but never being so reckless as to take the final bite that leads to mutual destruction. They weave a wondrous spell around their victims - the more damage they do, the more people feel they need them. I wish I could suggest a course of action.

I am looking forward to seeing how Iain Gray manages without Murphy in the Scottish office to prop him up, Murphy keeping his seat was a real low point for me.

It will be interesting to see what 'Scottish' Labour do if the SNP get a larger majority next year coupled with years of Tory rule to look forward to, seperatist rumblings maybe?

Murphy may no longer be at the Scottish Office but he is on the Scottish Labour Party's Election Committee which is orchestrating their campaign for the Holyrood elections, along with Ian Gray, John Parks and Frank Roy. He will ensure once more that the Labour Party's campaign is one of Smears and Fears yet again.

Great article Joan.

Jim Murphy is the ultimate "Big Lie" and he is good at it. Now that he has been dumped out of power stand by for Iain Grey.

This sad desperado will chuck everything he can at the SNP from blaming them for the Volcanic ash clouds to the recent electing of a Tory government.

The vile nature of the lies and rants coming from Labour towards the SNP is astonishing and I get the impression they regard the SNP more of an enemy than the Tories.

They need Glasgow to stay Labour because the city and its surroundings is the main power base for Labour and if that goes then they are out for the count, hence the "big lies" circulating around Glasgow that the SNP are going to eat you all up.

Totally agree.

Totally agree with this. Dr Goebbels was another proponent of the Big Lie. I was astonished to hear the Labour candidate in the most recent Glasgow by-election claim that the SNP government was 'ripping off Glasgow.' He went on to list the areas where this was alleged to be happening, winding up with health.

Given that as he spoke more than £400 per patient was being spent in Glasgow compared to Edinburgh, I could hardly believe my ears.

I am wondering where to emigrate to.

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