The Plastic Hippo

December 15, 2014

Tales of men`s shirts

There`s foie gras on your shirt Dave. Image via PA

There`s foie gras on your shirt Dave. Image via PA

A little more than a year ago, on the eve of St Andrews Day 2013, a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub on the banks of the Clyde. In their response to this dreadful event, the people of Glasgow transformed a darkest moment into a finest hour.

A couple of weeks earlier, the Prime Minister stuffed himself into a dress shirt and dinner suit to attend the Lord Mayor of London`s banquet at the Guildhall. After a sumptuous feast consumed with silver cutlery, David Cameron rose from his gold chair to announce that as times were still tough, cuts to public services would continue and “austerity” will be permanent. He sat next to Fiona Woolf who is no longer Lord Mayor and, apparently, no longer employable.

It has been a bad year for Cameron and, indeed, for Fiona Woolf. It would take until the general election in May to lists the gaffes, disasters, scandals, cover-ups and misery caused by this truly awful Prime Minister so it might be best, as he is so fond of saying, to draw a line under them and move on.

It has also been a bad year for the Scottish Labour Party. After making a complete clootie dumpling of the referendum campaign, the socialist lads and lasses north of the border have been served notice by the UK media that they should consider themselves to be in disarray and heading for oblivion. Only by carting Alistair Darling off to Fingal`s Cave and wheeling Gordon Brown out of the care home to rally the troops was disaster averted. The former leader resigned and stated that the Labour Party considered their Scottish comrades as a “branch office”. Over the past week, this comment has managed to knock the “Ed Miliband forgot to mention the economy in his conference speech” off the top spot in newspapers and media broadcasts.

Johann Lamont`s decision prompted a leadership election which has resulted in a victory for Jim Murphy as the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party. The reaction has been, to say the least, interesting. The left scream that he is a Blairite, fiddling war-monger and the right remain silent preferring to let their media chums put the knife in. Compare and contrast the media coverage of Nicola Sturgeon`s succession to SNP leadership to that of Mr Murphy`s “anointment” as leader beyond Gretna and Berwick.

An astonishing “news” broadcast on Radio 4 featured Mark Mardell devoting 20 minutes of a half hour programme to conduct what can only be described as a hatchet job on Jim Murphy. The World This Weekend could have led with UK complicity with torture, a failed climate change conference, Blair about to be held to account or yet another Kipper oaf being discovered to be a complete idiot. Instead, Mark Mardell told us that Murphy had failed at university and that Scottish Labour was “losing its grip”. To enliven the piece, we heard vox pops of former Scottish Labour voters who said that Labour was “not for the working class” and that Mr Murphy has “no charisma” and one individual when asked about her thoughts on Jim said: “who he?” Mark Mardell even asked one of the new leader`s fiercest critics: “what`s wrong with Jim?” Mardell also asked if it was “patriotic” to keep Trident. Sorry Mark, you are now in the bin with Marr, Neil, Robinson and Humphrys.

The left continually bang on about media bias but it seems the media has already made up its mind. If Labour fails in Scotland, Labour will fail in the rest of the UK.

So who is Jim Murphy? We may never know but he did happen to be near the Clutha bar on that terrible night when people lost their lives. Like so many others, he ran towards the disaster to help his fellow human beings. In his leadership campaign and to his credit, he has never mentioned his actions that night and for obvious reasons the media have ignored it as well. It seems he organised a human chain to move rubble and free people trapped the pub that was likely to be engulfed in an explosion of aviation fuel.

Days later, David Cameron praised the fire service, the ambulance service, the police service, the people of Glasgow and the Director of the BBC. It seems strange that this crooked Prime Minister should heap acclaim on the very organisations that he is currently in the process of destroying.

I`m not sure about you, but I would much rather have an MP who runs towards a disaster and offers help rather than one who causes disasters and runs away from any blame and then, a year later, scuttles to the House of Commons in a stuffed shirt when his corrupt government faces defeat on a vote . Cameron is obviously not responsible for an air accident but he is responsible for the fragmentation of what was once called a civilised society.

On that horrible night just over a year ago, I watched a live news stream which included an on the street interview with Jim Murphy. Clearly suffering from shock at what he had seen, Murphy managed to keep control. At the end of the interview the reporter said:
“There`s blood on your shirt Jim”.

Murphy looked down and after a moment of reflection said:
“Aye, and it`s no mine.”

Jim Murphy shirt image via the bbc.

Jim Murphy shirt image via the bbc.

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