As the 2015 election approaches – introducing Jim Murphy

Jim_IrnBruTop 10 things you might not know about Jim Murphy –

1/ The famous street heckler on an Irn Bru crate actually made two claims for Irn Bru on his expenses; an astonishing total of £1.30.

2/ In 1979, Jim and his family emigrated to Cape Town. But in 1985, aged 18, Jim returned to Scotland to attend university. Coincidentally, this meant that he avoided being called up for national service with the South African Defence Force.

3/ He attended Strathclyde University where he studied Politics and European Law. He ‘attended’ university for nine years but, sadly, he never graduated.

4/ Jim is a political council member of the right wing think tank The Henry Jackson Society. Among their ‘principles’ the society say it “supports the maintenance of a strong military” and “gives two cheers for capitalism”.

5/ Jim has a habit of benefitting from the pains of others. He won the East Renfrewshire seat in an election caused by the incumbent, Tory Allan Stewart, suffering a nervous breakdown and being hospitalised. His rapid ascent to PPS for the Secretary of State for Scotland came about because Frank Roy was forced to resign following a row over a visit by Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to Scotland.

6/ Having apologised on behalf of politicians for the expenses scandal, it was subsequently revealed that Jim had claimed expenses in excess of £1m between 2001 and 2012 and that he had rented out his own London flat while claiming rent on another property. He also, for a period, designated his East Renfrewshire home as his second home and reclaimed the mortgage payments of £780 a month.

7/ In 2011, Wikileaks revealed that a US official in the US Embassy in London was reporting that throughout 2009 Jim Murphy was leading a coalition of ‘Unionists’ working to ensure there would never be an independence referendum in Scotland.

8/ When asked by ‘Labour Uncut’ to say which non-Labour MP he most admired, Jim chose Ian Duncan Smith citing IDS’s  ‘awakening about poverty’ following a visit to Glasgow as a reason.

9/ While President of the National Union of Students, Jim was censored by parliament in a motion sponsored by Ken Livingstone. The MPs condemned his “intolerant and dictatorial behaviour” as he sought to suggest the NUS was in favour of university fees. The motion was signed by other Labour luminaries including Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner.

10/ Surely the above 9 are enough? Oh, OK.

Jim’s coat’s on a shoogly peg right now. Ed doesn’t really like him, Labour in Scotland don’t really like him and the voters of East Renfrewshire don’t really like him. Sadly, if he does get thrown out in this General Election, it’s likely he’ll return to Holyrood as a ‘list’ MSP next year. Or maybe not.