Wednesday 24 March 2010

Jim Murphy - running scared?

I'm a fan of Question Time (geeky, it's true), and was looking forward to seeing Jim Murphy get grilled this Thursday when the show comes to Glasgow. Sadly, it seems he has pulled out.

I would have thought, with the 'Scottish' Labour Conference coming up this weekend, he would have wanted to make a bit of a splash, promote whatever policies they're keeping under their well-worn hat, and do a bit of fighting for his own political life in East Renfrewshire. However, the SecStatSco's most recent big party event was the Labour party fundraising dinner held immediately prior to Steven Purcell's resignation. I wonder if he's worried about a Glasgow audience posing the questions that the local media were too nervy to ask.

The lineup for Question Time is a bit disappointing - I see the shows located in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as a wee window for the rest of the UK to peer in and see who our politicians are and what devolution means in practice. There's so little
reporting of devolved issues in the mainstream media as it is - I really don't see what's gained by putting up Liam Byrne (Lab, Birmingham Hodge Hill), Baroness Warsi (Cons, from Dewsbury), Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem, Falmouth and Camborne) and Sir Martin Sorrell. Since the show's coming to Glasgow, surely it's worth putting up a majority of Scottish politicians and commentators?

Of the last 37 episodes, the following five have been outside of England - Cardiff (26.02.10), Belfast (11.02.10), Edinburgh (26.11.09), Llandudno (01.11.09), and Dunfermline (07.05.09). Most of these have featured what I would consider to be prominent and appropriate politicians.

I've heard that there is hope for some relevant debate tomorrow night in the form of our First Minister, Alex Salmond. Fingers crossed! As Alex Neil joked at conference, give people in England the choice, and they'd probably vote SNP!


Unknown said...

Ref the comement by Alex Neil, England is rarely canvassed on these matters but no doubt you'll recall that a Telegraph poll in 2007 found a majority support in England (and Scotland) for Scottish Independence.

Doug Daniel said...

I remember the Belfast one was pretty much all Northern Irish politicians, plus the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. I'm also fairly sure the Labour rep on Welsh editions is usually the Secretary of State for Wales. So yes, it's certainly suspicious that Jim Murphy has pulled out - although I suspect that it's the prospect of a battle of wits with Alex Salmond that is more daunting for him. It's a shame, because I would have loved to have seen it.

I was actually going to be in the audience, but I missed their call and by the time I phoned back, they'd filled all the places. Damn! Anyway, I wonder if anyone will bring up the Prime Ministerial Debates and how they'll be discussing devolved issues and omitting the governing party of Scotland? Hopefully "Trains Not Trident" will get a look in too.

joe90 kane said...

People might find this resource handy.

A list of panellists to appear on the BBC 'flagship' Question Time from 2003 - 15 Oct 2009 -

A list of Question Time panels
by Vegetable Man
Media Lens

all the best

Media Lens is also an excellent website for analysis of corporate news media in the UK.

Speaking of news media, I see the organisation which owns the Herald newspaper has won the contract to supply news to Scottish TV - obvioulsy it won the contract on price. It certainly wasn't on the quality of its news journalism that's for sure.

BellgroveBelle said...

That's an incredibly helpful link Joe90! Thanks!

joe90 kane said...

My pleasure BB.
Sorry I don't have an up-to-date list.

Here is the QT website where back epsides from 30 April 2009 are available to listen to, but hurry, as they get scrubbed after a year -
Question Time
Page 1 of 4 - previous 38 episodes


You also might like to know that the radio version of QT, Any Questions will be visiting leafy Balfron soon -
Any Questions
BBC Radio 4

Balfron High School Roman Road, Balfron G63 0PW.

all the best

Budget Statement by the Scottish National Party
BBC Radio 4
Sat 22.55 - 23.00
27 Mar 2010

Anonymous said...

I think it was Johnson who said that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Someone else said it was the first.

Jim Murphy has the Murphy sub set, the Glasgow Defence.

Anybody who says anything bad with the word Glasgow in it besmirches the dear green place and should be hounded for that.

Jim Murphy's Glasgow Law is also closely related to Godwin's Law

BellgroveBelle said...

Bugger - it's true. The SNP aspire to better things for Glasgow, but Labour see it all as a criticism of the 'perfect' world they've build themselves.

joe90 kane said...

The SNP aspire to better things for Glasgow, but Labour see it all as a criticism of the 'perfect' world they've build themselves.

Calamity Jim said much the same thing about British Jews in relation to people supposedly giving them the blame for crimes committed by the Israeli government -
Jim Murphy does God. And then some
SNP Tactical Voting
Mar 11 2010

I give the British Government the blame, of which Jim Murphey is a member of, for crimes committed by the Israeli Government. Only with support from the likes of the British Government is the Israel state able to continue with its war crimes of illegaly occupying and ethnically cleansing other peoples land, such as Occupied Palestine.

I'm not knocking Glasgow nor am I knocking British Jewish people - I'm actually criticising Jim Murphy, his government and his political party.