In a quite extraordinary article in the online magazine theJC.com Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy has admitted to having apologised to the Jewish community after his recent high profile utterances on the BNP.
Murphy’s recent statements on the BNP afforded the right wing organisation much sought after publicity and led to them announcing that they would field a candidate, Gary Raikes, in the East Renfrewshire constituency in the forthcoming General Election.
Murphy said: “I’ve already apologised to the Jewish community for bringing this guy into our community at the election”.
Murphy was also embroiled in yet another religious furore after statements he made in the same online article appeared to imply that the SNP have had dealings with groups connected to radical Islamists in an attempt at winning the Muslim vote in constituencies like Glasgow Govan and Glasgow Central.
Murphy is quoted as saying of the SNP: “they have got themselves into some interesting company”.
In a bizarre, often rambling series of statements the Secretary of State for Scotland says that he is not responsible for the decisions of the Vatican, he also criticises Israel saying that “it can be poor in it’s argument often clumsy in it’s communications”. He accuses UK newspaper and radio commentators of displaying “mind numbing stupidity” when they comment on the middle east conflict.
These statements follow Murphy’s recent highly criticised attempts at claiming the Labour party were the ‘natural’ party of religious followers. Those comments brought criticism and condemnation from Scotland’s religious leaders.
However, this crude attempt at dragging the middle east conflict into the arena of Scottish politics will cast doubt on the judgement of the current SOS. The last thing that Scotland needs is an igniting here of the fires that are currently raging thousands of miles away.
Indeed theJC.com article itself ends by questioning Murphy’s understanding of the consequences of his public utterances on both the BNP and the middle east conflict.The article suggests that Mr Murphy might be better to focus on practical problems in the election campaign rather than highlight areas that may only serve to feed the ‘divisive rhetoric’ that afflicts all sides.