Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Squabbles

Day 2 of the general election campaign and already the Labour party has descended into squabbling amongst themselves.  This has been caused by Jim Murphy's announcement yesterday of providing 1000 more nurses using Scotland's share of the proceeds from the proposed mansion tax, most of which will be levied from properties in the South-East of England.  Cue backlash from MPs representing constituencies in that area.

Diane Abbott has accused Mr Murphy of 'cynically trying to buy Scottish votes'.  She's not wrong, but it is rather amusing to see one politician accusing another of trying to bribe the electorate with promises of good things.  Ms Abbott is a prospective candidate for the London Mayor gig, which will, of course, have no bearing on her remarks at all.  Pot calls kettle 'sooty arse' one feels.

The other two prospective London Mayoral candidates have also spoken out against Mr Murphy.  David Lammy said that 'It cannot be right...that the money raised from the London taxpayers continues to be siphoned off to other regions', while Tessa Jowell said 'London's needs are great - we cannot simply act as the cash cow for the rest of the UK' (Both quotes are taken from today's The National).

Well, well, whatever happened to 'pooling and sharing'?  We were told during the referendum campaign that wanting to keep Scotland's income within Scotland and using it for the benefit of the Scottish people was selfish, and that we should think of the larger UK.  Apparently the same principles don't apply to London.

Meanwhile Mr Miliband is conspicuous by his absence, which does not inspire confidence in his leadership skills.

Mr Murphy is clearly trying to distance himself from the London leadership, since his current position requires him to demonstrate his independence from the rest of the UK Labour party (and isn't there a lovely irony in that?)  However, all that has happened is that he has made a vague promise based on a lot of assumptions about who is going to win both the general election and the forthcoming Scottish general election and the amount of money that will be raised from a proposed tax that may never be implemented.  Not exactly the flying start he was hoping for, one feels.

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