Scotland ‘cannot escape cuts’ says Jim Murphy



Labour MP and Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy was today embroiled in a squabble with Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne over cuts to the Scottish block grant.


Murphy called Osborne’s claims that the Scottish grant could somehow escape Westminster cuts as “bizarre and confused” and showed that “Osborne was not up to the job”.


The Conservative change in approach is seen as a reaction to demands by SNP leader Alex Salmond that Scotland’s funding for next year be safeguarded against any cuts from whichever party formed the UK Government.  The First Minister has repeatedly said that the SNP will use whatever influence it has in order to protect Scottish funding.


Murphy responded to suggestions of ‘ring fencing’ by saying:

“The Tories are in effect saying that the only part of the UK that will be safe from cuts is Scotland.

“It is bizarre and confused and shows that he [Osborne] does not know what he is doing.”


The Conservatives accused the Labour MP of resorting to personal attacks.


Labour have thus far refused to confirm whether they will safeguard the Scottish grant should they win the general election.


The SNP insist that the only way to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard is by sending SNP MP’s to Westminster.


MP Stewart Hosie said:
“Now, more than ever, Scotland’s communities need local and national champions who will put their interests first.

“The SNP’s Westminster team have a strong track record of delivering on both local and national campaign.  With the support of Scotland’s voters at this election we can see more local champions join the SNP group in Westminster, campaigning for local issues and arguing for Scotland’s best interests.

“The London parties have announced their intention to slash Scotland’s budget hard and fast with cuts which COSLA have said will be ‘disastrous’ for Scotland’s public services.
“At this election, it is not about who gets the keys to Downing Street but about electing strong local champions who will speak up for Scotland.”



Meanwhile, it is being reported in The Telegraph that ex Labour First Minister Jack McConnell has been accused of offering electoral advice to the Conservative party in a recent meeting with a member of David Cameron’s shadow cabinet.


Mr McConnell is alleged to have suggested that the Tories could win up to six seats if they allowed Cameron to visit Scotland as often as he could.


McConnell responded to the claims by admitting attending the meeting but insisted they only discussed his work as an unofficial ambassador on international development and conflict resolution.


Mr McConnell said of the allegations: “ It is plain ludicrous to suggest that I am or would advise the Tories on how to win seats in Scotland.”




    • I must be losing my mind?

      Jim Murphy is still the Secretary of State FOR Scotland?

      Because these comments make it seem that he is all for cutting Scotland’s budget and causing chaos in the coming financial year, instead of seeking assurances that the budget which has been SET, by the current LABOUR Government will not have additional cuts imposed on it.

      And that simply can’t be what Viceroy Murphy wants to see, can it?

      • Now that I think about it; did Murphy mean to say “Scotland cannot escape cuts if I have any say in tha matter”?

  1. Fear not, Ian Gray says that the Scottish block grant will rise in real terms and be the most generous since devolution…

  2. I think it best just to let Mr Murphy waffle on . He hasn’t got long.

    I see it is rumoured he is pulling out of “question time”. Couldn’t the BBc guarantee a pro-labour audience ? Or did he just want to avoid questions about purcell, haughey and Glasgow’s lack of schools ?

  3. As a Conservative,I really think we would be better to struggle along without help from Jack McConnell

  4. I have just had a number of posts strangled at birth on the BBC blog “blether with brian”.

    The posts only mentioned the fact that a number of English newspapers and bloggers are now looking closely at the cosy relationship between labour politicians and the Scottish media, especially the BBC (as we pay them).

    As a joke I also placed the last, seperate, post and all it said was :

    “Have the BBC closed a whole department before?”.

    As this post was also moderated out of existence I am thinking that I may be nearer the truth than I imagined.

    Is something about to happen ?

    • I suspect you may have touched a nerve there Astonished.

      I’m pretty sure we won’t be the only 2 people in Scotland who would have cause for celebration if the Labour/MSM “pact” started to unravel, and most particularly the tax-payer funded EBC.

  5. Astonished/brusque,
    There may be one or two others,but you two seem to be the most paranoid about not getting the press coverage you would like.It’s just as bad for other parties too, you know.

    • [quote name=”Somerled”]Astonished/brusque,
      There may be one or two others,but you two seem to be the most paranoid about not getting the press coverage you would like.It’s just as bad for other parties too, you know.[/quote]

      I’m not in the least paranoid, proof, if proof were needed, can be viewed any Sunday afternoon when Glen Campbell can be found with his tongue in Jim Murphy’s ear – or very close to it!!!- on the Politics Show.

      His blatant discourteous behaviour towards any SNP politician, and even the First Minister of Scotland, are legendary.

      I can only assume you don’t read or watch media outlets in Scotland?

  6. Somerled – Paranoia ?

    Away and chase yersel !

    My post and brusque’s merely point out that the BBC in Scotland are not reporting, undereporting or misreporting the facts. And they are censoring posts which are not abusive.

    This affects democracy which in turn affects everyone.

    I would suggest you look up the word “paranoia”.

    P.S. Please don’t feel I am out to get you 🙂

  7. Astonished:
    I have and it is:” Mental derangement with delusions of grandeur,persecution etc.;abnormal tendency to suspect and mistrust others.”
    I rest my case.

    • Somerled, please be careful with the comments – ad-hominem attacks on other posters can cause the thread to end up resembling one from The Scotsman.

      If you disagree with the sentiments then there must be other ways to counter than posting mild insults.


  8. What a difference a day makes –

    [quote]Murphy called Osborne’s claims that the Scottish grant could somehow escape Westminster cuts as “bizarre and confused” and showed that “Osborne was not up to the job”.[/quote]

    Now it’s –

    [quote]Mr Murphy said: “The Chancellor’s Budget shows that the British Government is going to stand shoulder to shoulder with Scottish families and businesses as we continue to invest in growth and build confidence while we recover from the recession. We are not turning off the help tap when it is needed most.”[/quote]

    Which is it Jim, investment or cuts? It can’t be both, surely?

    • I am absolutely staggered at Jim Murphy’s front!!!

      He seems to be suffering from short-term memory loss, and has completely forgotten that he derided Osbourne in NATIONAL newspapers in the last few days.

      Murphy is a liability, to Labour which is a good thing, and to Scotland which is a very bad thing if rumours of his ambition to head the Labour Party in Scotland are true.

      The voters in his constituency must surely be gearing up to give us a Scottish version of the *Portillo moment*?

  9. Back in the days when the beeb allowed posts to Brian’s blog I had one moderated which related to a little matter in the SofS constituency which I found amusing.
    At the weekend I attended a footie match in his parish, an area which may be viewed as the red tory bit and a terrace which said SofS has been known to frequent, especially pre-election. My attention was grabbed by a pitch-side advertising hoarding, especially as I knew of connection with said SofS and also that one of the home team committee was also a cooncillor in the parish, flying same flag as Jimbo.

    The advert was seeking votes against the SNP box on the ballot paper.

    Not sure if cooncillor has any responsibility for advertising at club, but Jimbo was probably kissing babies in the blue tory parts of his constituency (and thereby will have failed to witness Lafferty-type antics of home goalie which is another matter altogether and a source of even greater distress)

  10. On line editor:
    I certainly did not intend to insult anyone.I was asked by “Astonoshed” to – “Away and chase yersel”. It was also suggested that I “look up the word paranoia”. I did this and merely stated what I had found in the dictionary.
    I will repeat,if any political party in Scotland should feel agreived at the coverage it gets from the BBC in Scotland,it is the Conservatives.The SNP do not have a monoploy on bad reporting.

      • Somerled, I have found that the only way to make your feelings known, is to email/write to Political Editors on Newspapers and Television. I have probably lost count of the number of times I’ve complained about the Politics Show, and Newsnight Scotland.

        I have sympathy with the way you feel about the bias shown when reporting matters relating to the party you support. I expect many people would sympathise with you, but I think that your frustration may be directed at the wrong people?

  11. Well, I have had two posts rejected, and on reflection I gave them scope.

    I said that their auditors, who are not censors as such, more morons applying rules were too much rule orientated.

    I was knocked back twice, and as far as I can tell, it is for being rude – and I was – to censors.

    This is a new world we live in. Censors rule and debate dies.

    I now await a decent answer from London about what the local branch determines as reasonable, and what it does not.

    Don’t hold your breath. Censors are very delicate creatures and tend to stick together. That is what they do. And you must never, ever, disagree with a censor.

    I have complained to the BBC Trust about this apparent superiority, which I have just experienced.

    It seems to me that they are drawing the waggons into a circle and are completely incabable of allowing true debate.

    Given that I do pay my lisence fee, I expect better than that.


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