By Sean Martin
LABOUR MP Jim Murphy’s latest speech demonstrates the No campaign’s incapability to make a positive case against Scottish independence, the SNP has said today.
Following the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy’s pleas for a more positive campaign from the Better Together camp, Murphy has been criticised by the nationalists, who say he has only reinforced the reputation for negativity the unionists have garnered so far.

In his speech, Murphy, the Labour Party’s current Shadow Secretary for International Development and former Scottish Secretary, said independence could lead to higher mortgage and shopping costs.  The MP for Renfrewshire East also said the Scottish economy would be fragile without “the broader shoulders of the UK”.

He added: “We saw last week that a collapse in oil revenues would have meant a £4.4bn cut in the funding for public services in one year.  Scotland’s big employers, from shipyards to Standard Life, raise the prospect of Scotland losing thousands of jobs [with independence] and the SNP’s lack of a credible currency plan is raising the prospect of a fresh period of financial upheaval.”

Jim Murphy interviewed on Good Morning Scotland

Claims by the Labour MP that a newly independent Scotland’s credit worthiness would be damaged, which would mean high interest payments on areas like mortgages and loans were recently challenged by a leading credit agency.

In an official analysis released on 27th February, Standard & Poor’s said: “Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment.”

Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow, said Murphy’s speech was simply more scaremongering from the anti-independence campaign. 

“That Jim Murphy feels it is necessary to try and frighten those who stand to gain the most from independence into voting No speaks volumes about the worry running through the anti-independence campaign,” said Doris.  “It is ironic that on the same day his No camp colleague Charles Kennedy called for more positivity from the anti-independence parties, Mr Murphy makes a speech designed solely to cause panic and alarm.”

He added: “The fact remains that only independence gives us a real chance to make Scotland fairer.  Our plans to transform childcare will benefit 240,000 children and their families.  In contrast, Westminster cuts will push up to 100,000 children in Scotland into poverty by 2020.”

A report today by Oxfam urged Chancellor George Osborne to look at introducing a wealth tax after finding that the UK’s top five families had more wealth between them than the poorest 20% of the country.  The study also found that, since the mid-1990s, those in the top 0.1% of the country have seen their income rise by £24,000 a year, while the incomes of the bottom 90% have risen by only £147 a year.

Scottish Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance, joined her SNP colleague Doris in dismissing Murphy’s argument that the country would be worse off if it voted for independence.  Scotland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world,” said Constance.  “With independence we can make sure everyone benefits from our wealth, not just the Treasury.”


2014-03-18 07:30

Not only did he refuse to debate with Bob Doris on Scotland Tonight but when susbsequently interviewed his remarks were laughable – Project Fear are running scared by the upsurge in support for YES and it is so Obvious that Murphy is trying to scare traditional Labour voters who have moved to YES. It won’t work
Jo Bloggs
2014-03-18 07:41

Why on earth are these loony extremist unionists given so much publicity? It’s reminiscent of Enoch Powell with his ‘rivers of blood’ speech. It really is time the claith wes ower the parrot.
2014-03-18 08:05

So Jim and the BBC are wrong about the Standard Life.
I have a letter from Standard Life stating they will not pull out of Scotland, regardless of the referendum outcome.
My reply was to state I will pull my pension and savings, because the BBC are not retracting their statements
2014-03-18 08:46

I wonder if this is the BBC starting to finally take note of the amount of criticism they’ve received regarding bias. Jim Murphy was seriously taken to account, during that interview, by Hayley Millar. At one point, I actually thought he was going to burst out crying and leave the interview – and I would not be surprised to discover that the thought had occurred to him.

I’d never heard her before so I don’t know if that’s typical of her interview style but it’s certainly refreshing to finally see the same firm handling of a unionist MP as is generally meted out to the pro-independence side.
2014-03-18 09:15

I thought Jim Murphy looked extremely discomfited on Scotland Tonight and issued responses like he was saying the ten times table, then when I listened to a recording of his other interview on GMS he trotted out the same formula almost word for word with the same intonation, pace and order.

I was about to feel sorry for the guy until the penny dropped; he didn’t need to get himself into that position or spout such utter tripe. So what does that mean for us the poor listener other than we’re getting duped, left right and centre by these NO brigadiers.
2014-03-18 09:54

I believe Jim Murphy found out the reality of how his speech was going to go after his car crash of an interview to promote it on Good Morning Scotland yesterday.

It was just another old fashioned scare story being spouted out in the vain attempt to scare the natives up north. Someone should have told him that crap has no effect anymore, but then again I suppose they have nothing else to offer.
Al Ghaf
2014-03-18 10:01

What we really need to know is; What is Andrew Marrs opinion?
2014-03-18 10:06

What on earth was the oil shock in the 70’s?

There were oil crises in 1973 and 1979, both of which had nothing to do with Scotland, (Yom Kippur and Iranian Hostages respectively) but these quadrupled the price of oil which is hardly the worst news for a net exporter.

The most shocking thing I’ve read from the ’70’s is the McCrone report.

It was no doubt the 73 and 79 crises which prompted the sensible nations to think about setting up oil funds to calm the volatility in oil price precisely to buffer your economy when times are good so it can brace itself for when there are problems.

An independent Scotland would plan ahead and cushion our economy in times of adversity. The Union has done nothing but squander ‘our’ wealth, and already drives our economy over a cliff with distressingly regular abandon, then cheers because somehow, despite being bashed & battered the wheels still turn.

Stick to the ice fishing Mr Murphy.
2014-03-18 10:10

Just another MP fighting for his place at the trough. He will say and do anything to maintain his, tax payer funded, lifestyle.

We must scrape this shit from our shoes and build a better and just society.
2014-03-18 10:36

Was it my imagination or was Haley Miller challenging Jim Murphy’s statements. He didn’t get the easy ride I think he has become accustomed to.
2014-03-18 10:46

Just thinking about that… The volatility in oil price is a consequence of war or unrest in the middle east. The oil price soars, but eventually settles back down to a stable level.

I am struggling to consider what nature of volatility would cause oil prices to collapse downwards away from the ‘norm’ in the way that wars cause it soar upwards.

There are two, maybe three downward pressures on oil prices : running out (prices will sky rocket first), becoming obsolete due to greener alternatives, or less productive to drill. All three of these I might describe as ‘slow burners’. They WILL happen, but there is time to prepare and plan ahead. They are not ‘volatile’ considerations.

Volatility in oil price actually refers to upward spikes in reaction to wars or unrest. Now, provided you do not gear up your economy or recalibrate your ‘norm’ expectations on oil price, this volatility is only a problem for economies without oil.
2014-03-18 10:52

I thought plumbers earned quite well?

Anyway, what is it with the Labour Party and foreigners?

Mr Murphy saying that Scots voting to make the rUK a foreign country is just about the most negative thing there is, he is just the last in a long line of Labour politicians portraying foreign countries and foreigners in a negative light.

Strange for supposed “international socialists”.
2014-03-18 12:27

Well said Lumi.
The British National Labour party are just that,where anyone outwith those geographic borders is now viewed with disdain as a “foreigner”.

This outlook comes as part of the baggage of being a right of centre political party who pander to the Media in England in order to seek electoral advantage.

Scots see this as being alien(or foreign even)to our culture,probabl  y because of the large Scottish diaspora and our subsequent connections with the rest of the world.
Jo Bloggs
2014-03-18 18:09

bringiton, I think it’s probably more to do with our long pre-Union history of connections with continental Europe and Scandinavia, through both trading and soldiering as well as large-scale immigration from the Continent over the centuries.
2014-03-18 20:42

Such a daft thing for JM to say. The people of the UK are currently foreign to 99.086% of the worlds population. I doubt a minor increase of 0.071% will make any difference to anyone. What a Snortiling Buffoon!

2014-03-18 12:38

These unionist NO politicians, of whatever hue, just can’t help themselves. Every time they are asked for their “positives” of Scotland remaining in the UK, all they offer are vague irrelevancies such as, “broad shoulders”; “more clout”; “stronger together”; etc.

Then, within seconds they fall back on the negativity and scaremongering unsupported by any hard facts, of “risk”; “uncertainty”; “volatility of oil”; “busimesses preparing to flee Scotland; “higher food costs, mortgages, taxes;” etc.

Mr.Murphy, why don’t you apply to yourself the foul-mouthed rant you shouted into Pete Wishart’s face a few days ago outside the Westminster voting lobby, and remove yourself from our sight and hearing!
2014-03-18 12:48

Jim Murphy is another on the gravy train who is going to find himself on the dole in September. I truly hope he lives in a house with more rooms than he needs and is hammered with the “bedroom tax”.
2014-03-18 14:49

Slippery Jim hasn’t lost his touch, he can lie with the best of them.

I don’t know how much he paid for the acting lessons but he almost convinces me with his faux sincerity.

He knows he is a potential Senior Cabinet Minister if Labour were ever to become the UK Government again and he is fighting like hell to keep that channel open, selling his fellow countrymen down the river as he does it doesn’t even enter his thinking.

It’s all about Jim Murphy. Having said that, is there much difference between any of the Labour ‘Rat Pack’?

2014-03-18 16:27

In my opinion you can expect a lot more of this over the next six months as every Scottish Labour and Liberal MP does their bit for the No campaign with a view to protecting their cushie jobs at Westminster.
2014-03-18 17:21

I’m not so sure about Sunny Jim’s career, ButeHouse. He has been rumoured as the source of many off-record briefings against Ed (Jim was a manager of David M’s leadership campaign, and is very much a Blairite). I’m Ed’s last reshuffle he got demoted from Defence to DfID. His star is on the wane.

2014-03-18 15:00

Sincerity Jim’s speech and views come as no surprise. He has always been eager to please, like Douglas Alexander, but his career has reached a plateau, and he’s gone about as far as he is going to in Westminster’s Labour ranks. He must dread the thought of a Yes vote and the potential for change. I can understand why: if there is no Westminster seat left for him, will voters choose him in preference to whoever they have in Holyrood at the moment? The chances are, no. Which is why No in September is Mr Murphy’s only rational standpoint. Who wants to be unemployed in a society you have been trying to undermine for the past few years?
2014-03-18 19:12

La Mont’s Devolution Commission has finally spokenwhimpered and published a 20-page summary, aptly named Devo Nano by Rev. Stu over at WoS.


As it offers no useful usable powers, I can’t see anyone who actually reads it being convinced, but the BBC and the Press will clearly push it for all they’re worth in the hope that people will not examine it too closely. Well worth a skim through in order to counter anyone who thinks it might be useful.

Even Brian Taylor, who naturally copies his namesake in trying to look on the bright side of the report, admits:
Quoting Brian Taylor:

Labour has retreated in the face of Westminster complaints. This is a timid package even by contrast with the interim version. In an internal power battle, the MPs have won.


2014-03-18 20:06

I managed to catch some of the BBC Generation 2014 live debate today. Jim Murphy was being rather disingenuous when it came to tuition fees.
No wonder young folk don’t know which way to vote.

John Beattie kept trying get the audience to argue, what on earth was that all about?

And of course at the end after refusing Humza Yousaf any time to talk Murphy was given plenty time to waffle on.
2014-03-18 22:33

So Jim Murphy can’t give a straight answer to tuition fees on Johnnie Beatis show, why is anyone surprised. This man only has one interest in life and it is how to advance Jim Murphy’s carrier, think that will be coming to an end thank god.
Just an aside, in the past I have been happy to listen to Brian Turner but after GMS this morning when he said ” when scotland votes no” the Labour Party will be introducing new powers for Scotland.
Has Brian been to the Andrew Marr school of crystal ball gazing having an inside track on the result on Sept.18.
And sorry to ramble on but when were the Labour Party elected back into power, have I missed something
2014-03-19 00:56

I listened to the BBC Generation 24 debate and wondered who recruited the young candidates ?
Probably answered my own question there.
Was delighted to listen to Humza Yousaf who tried in vain to set a sensible and positive tone only to be talked over and patronised by Mr Murphy
Grow up Jim and enter a positive debate ,lies lies and not even a statistic, some homework required
2014-03-19 12:17

Another senior New Labour spokesperson whose oratory skills are very sadly lacking , or maybe he just hasn’t got a clue !
2014-03-20 07:51

“What we really need to know is; What is Andrew Marrs opinion?”

We’ll never know that Al Ghaf because the BBC has forbidden its presenters from expressing their own opinion,

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