Instead there was a sense of studied detachment and objectivity from the political elite that since perhaps 1990 has quite disappeared. Now one is left with a strong sense that the foot-soldiery of the MSM is so pally with the Master Class that it has lost the inclination and stomach to call a spade a spade.
Viewed from a distance, indeed through a long lens from the depths of East Northamptonshire, one has the feeling that, though political journalists may engage the establishment at a superficial level, your average political journalist (there are honourable exceptions) is so much in and out of the pocket of the political elite that it has to a very great extent decided not to bite the hand which feeds it and thus produces a gruel of dreary blandness for our delectation.
How else can one view this panegyric by Fraser Nelson of the Spectator for Jim Murphy, Minister for Europe (quite literally) in the Socialist administration that will govern us awhile yet until the Treaty of Lisbon, which he is ramming through Parliament, comes into force?
How one longs for a proper cross-examination of someone whose position is so obviously founded on a series of huge lies that, with some forensic skill, could be shredded. Instead we are fed pap.
So let us take a closer look at the wonderful, not to say quite cuddly, Mr. Murphy. This is not so easy as the internet is strangely lacking in detailed information. His own website is bereft of anything other than the barest details of his life. He went to Strathclyde University yet nowhere on the internet is there any indication he actually has a degree in anything. It may well be that he has one and is simply terribly modest about it, but it is, to say the least, unusual for a politician to be quite so diffident about his education.
Whether or not he has any qualifications, he ended up as President of the National Union of Students for Scotland, a non-job if there ever was one. This post he occupied for two years from 1992 to 1994 whence he graduated to being President of the UK NUS, thus following in the steps of Jack Straw, which post he held until 1996 when he was 29. By that time most people have had proper jobs for several years.
Thus upon being elected to parliament in 1997 he had been a perpetual student since going up to University. Scarcely a great qualification to be an MP and then a minister, some might say.
Whilst engaged in the business of the NUS Mr. Murphy seems to have been nothing if not opportunist. He started off by campaigning hard for restoration of the full student grant, i.e. taxpayer funded University education, as The Guardian of 30th. August 1994 tells us:
He talks about his plans with a quasi-evangelical fervour. ‘The number of students in higher education has expanded,’ he says, ‘so that many people now have a brother or a cousin or a daughter or a next-door neighbour in education. I hope to ensure that many of those students become carriers of the message.’ The message being that students should be funded properly by the state, that the Student Loans Company should be abolished (‘It costs more to run than returning students to state benefits, and that’s an obscene waste of taxpayers’ money’) and that action, as showed last year, can make a difference.
On this last he is nothing if not ambitious. Last year the union, led by Lorna Fitzsimons, used lobbying rather than confrontational techniques to get virtually all the offending clauses removed from the Education Bill. Government insiders privately acknowledged that one idea behind the Bill was the eventual collapse of the NUS itself, but that’s now out of the question, luckily for Jim. And he hopes to build on this achievement by overturning the 30 per cent cut in grants over the next three years that Kenneth Clarke announced last autumn.
He’ll be too late to do anything about this year’s 10 per cent cut, ‘but I think that went through the Commons with a 21-vote majority,’ he says. ‘And that’s not the biggest majority in the world.
Yet within two years of adopting this position he had done a complete volte-face, playing a key role in securing the NUS’s support for a graduate tax to fund higher education. Could it be that this about-turn came upon him as his nostrils began to twitch with the first whiffs of power?
Whilst he was at it, he exhibited a certain ruthlessness, not to say disdain for free speech, in suspending his NUS Vice President, one Clive Lewis, for daring to come out in support of free education. In so doing he provoked a number of Labour MPs into signing an Early Day Motion in the following terms:
That this House condemns the intolerant and dictatorial behaviour of the President of the National Union of Students, Mr Jim Murphy, who has unconstitutionally suspended NUS Vice President, Clive Lewis, because he took part, in a personal capacity, in an open debate at Queen Mary and Westfield College on the issues raised by the Campaign for Free Education;
Mr. Nelson praises Mr. Murphy for not being a member of the ‘greasy pole’ brigade, yet it is difficult to separate this sudden reversal of opinion from its propinquity to the General Election of 1997 and Mr. Murphy’s interest in standing for the Labour party as a candidate in that election. If that isn’t greasy-poleism, it is hard to think what is. Oh and the Student Loans Company sails on, notwithstanding Mr. Murphy’s former, shall we say, reservations.
Murphy was elected first for the constituency of Eastwood in 1997 but now sits for East Renfrewshire where he has a majority of 6,500. He had a stint on the public accounts committee and was then briefly Parliamentary Private Secretary to Helen Liddell. After the 2001 election he started up the greasy pole with a job in the whips office and then in 2005 he became Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office. His last job for Blair was as Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform and it was thus fellow-Scot Gordon Brown who, no doubt recognizing a kindred spirit (Brown has a pretty serious problem with the honesty thing and the honour thing), gave him the Europe job in anticipation of the Treaty of Lisbon being signed and requiring ratification.
Thus he has, from the word go, been in on the conspiracy to deny the British people that which was promised by him and every other Labour candidate at the 2005 election: a referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty which is reproduced in its entirety (save for the Christmas Decorations of flag, anthem and all the other ludicrous trappings of Statehood affected by the EU) by the Treaty of Lisbon.
This conspiracy he pursues with Stalinist relentlessness, never veering for a second from the script from which he bleats with monotonous regularity: “Four Legs Good, Two legs better”, in unconscious imitation of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
He has also been involved in his own grubby little expenses scandal. In late 2001 he and another Labour MP were caught subletting their constituency offices while claiming the full MPs’ rent allowance without declaring it to Westminster authorities, a serious breach of the rules on the face of it: for a similar offence the Labour leader at Holyrood, Henry McLeish, then Scottish First Minister, was forced to resign. Murphy survived on the back of an excuse that would not wash now: “I made a mistake”.
His other claim to fame is to have steered the Orwellian Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill onto the Statute Book, a bill that would, in its unamended state, have allowed the Government to make laws without having to bother with the tedious business of Parliament approval. Only sustained pressure from the press, the opposition, lawyers, bloggers and other assorted commentators forced the government into changes that left Parliament with some control over the process.
And he has now got the hang of the expenses thing: in 2001/2002 he cost us £98,782. Last year he wet his beak to the tune of £147,121.
So there you have him: far from the cosy family man who does Socialism with a human face, he is in fact a typical sleazebag Labour Apparatchik who has never had a proper job in his life before graduating to Parliament, who learnt very quickly how to get his snout in the trough with what was obviously a well-known Scottish Labour expenses scam, and who now spends his weekdays mired in deceit, dissemblance, deviousness, duplicity, dishonesty and dishonour as he plays the Quisling alongside Brown and Miliband.
His latest lie, when faced with I Want A Referendum’s decision to hold a referendum in his constituency, has been to assert that this exercise is wholly funded by the Conservative party. This is, quite simply, a bare-faced lie, as you might expect from a man who, when faced with the truth or a lie in the matter of the Treaty, reaches very carefully for the biggest whopper he can find. Interestingly on his website he now bases his objections to a Referendum on the Treaty on the fact that it is going to cost £110 million which suggests (a) that the usual mendacity is wearing rather thin these days and (b) that someone has actually costed the Referendum. I wonder why they would do that if we are not going to have one……
Also on his website he cites a whole range of organisations which are said to be in favour of the Treaty of Lisbon. There is the NSPCC and Save the Children, BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development: just look at the list of NGOs which this outfit has under its umbrella to see how representative it is of the British people as a whole) and none other than Mr. Sepp Blatter of FIFA (who was not, last time I looked, a British Citizen entitled to a say in our politics) who apparently has said the Treaty is:
“is a major event that is crucial for the management of sport in general and especially football”.
It is so good to know that the independence of the United Kingdom is to be sacrificed so that sport in general and soccer in particular can earn yet more moolah.
One is bound to ask the question: if it is good enough for the likes of the Centre de Développement Africain Francophone, The Peru Support Group, Centre for the Study of Women and Gender and Lithuania Link, then it really ought to be good enough for us. So, if these organisations are so fired up for the Treaty, why not ask the British public what they make of it all? So, why not ask us?
Not a nice man, I think, Mr. Nelson, of whom the kindest thing one can say is that you have had the wool pulled firmly over your eyes by a lying careerist who makes a career out of lying.