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Jim Murphy will play the patriotism card

Jim Murphy MP, Labour Party conference 2014

The election of Jim Murphy as leader of Scottish Labour is the biggest threat to SACC's pro-rights, anti-racist, anti-war values to have arisen in our 11-plus years of campaigning.

Murphy is a ruthless opportunist who has made a career out coat-tailing reactionary politics within the Labour party. He voted for Tony Blair's attack on Iraq in 2003.

He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel and the Henry Jackson Society - an organisation dedicated to promoting Britain as poodle to the American rottweiler. He will try to align Holyrood with the reactionary landslide south of the border, which has main-streamed racist views and allowed far-right parties to prosper. To help the project along, he will give it a friendly tartan hue.

If he succeeds, the progressive, welcoming, left-of-centre political culture built by the Scottish Parliament since 1999 will be left in tatters.

We need to fight back, and fight hard. We cannot afford to be discouraged by the wide support that Jim Murphy has gained within the fast-shrinking Scottish Labour Party.

We need to put pressure on Labour to keep its distance from UKIP. We need to isolate the Murphy wing from the rest of Labour. We need to encourage the growth of other parties that can represent working-class and BME voters, provided that they do not fall victim to their own brand of Murphy-style politics.

Labour members who choose to leave the party deserve applause. More importantly, they need a warm welcome from other parties and political organisations. They need to know that leaving Labour will empower them, not isolate them.

Labour members who choose to fight on within the party need to demonstrate that their fight is effective.

Labour members who do neither are part of the problem, not the solution. They are our opponents as certainly as if they were part of the ConDem Government.

Trade unions need to re-consider their links with Labour. They cannot afford to support a Labour party that will use the dirty glamour of patriotism to duck the business of standing up for the material interests of workers.

Trade unionists in unions that recommended a vote for Murphy need to find out whether the union leadership was truly representative of their members, and then either hold the leadership to account or work to improve the political culture in their union.

SACC's primary aim is to campaign against Britain's terrorism laws. These laws are a central part of a matrix of policies that have pushed Britain far to the right over the last decade and encouraged a culture of racism and islamophobia. They are a permanent propaganda machine, on standby to promote the next war. Almost all of this legislation was the work of Labour governments. There is no reason for SACC to feel sentimental about Labour apparatchiks who won't distance themselves from all this.

The following Labour parliamentarians gave Jim Murphy their 1st-preference vote. They are not our friends.

Labour's Hall of Shame

Douglas Alexander MP (Paisley and Renfrewshire South), Jackie Baillie MSP (Dumbarton), William Bain MP (Glasgow North East), Richard Baker MSP ( North East Scotland), Claire Baker MSP (Mid Scotland and Fife), Gordon Banks MP (Ochil and South Perthshire), Anne Begg MP (Aberdeen South), Neil Bibby MSP (West Scotland), Gordon Brown MP (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath), Russell Brown MP (Dumfries and Galloway), Tom Clarke MP (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill), Margaret Curran MP ( Glasgow East), Alistair Darling MP (Edinburgh South West), Thomas Docherty MP (Dunfermline and West Fife), Brian Donohoe MP (Central Ayrshire), Frank Doran MP ( Aberdeen North), Gemma Doyle MP (West Dunbartonshire), Kezia Dugdale MSP (Lothian), Iain Gray MSP (East Lothian), Tom Greatrex MP (Rutherglen and Hamilton West), Mark Griffin MSP (Central Scotland), David Hamilton MP (Midlothian), Tom Harris MP (Glasgow South), Jim Hood MP (Lanark and Hamilton East), James Kelly MSP (Rutherglen), Ken Macintosh MSP (Eastwood), Hanzala Malik MSP (Glasgow), Jenny Marra MSP (North East Scotland), Paul Martin MSP (Glasgow Provan), David Martin MEP, Michael McCann MP (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow), Greg McClymont MP (Cumbernauld Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East), Margaret McCulloch MSP (Central Scotland), Jim McGovern MP (Dundee West), Anne McGuire MP (Stirling), Ann McKechin MP (Glasgow North), Iain McKenzie MP (Inverclyde), Michael McMahon MSP (Uddingston and Bellshill), Siobhan McMahon MSP (Central Scotland), Duncan McNeil MSP (Greenock and Inverclyde), Anne McTaggart MSP (Glasgow), Jim Murphy MP (East Renfrewshire), Ian Murray MP (Edinburgh South), Pamela Nash MP (Airdrie & Shotts), Graeme Pearson MSP (South Scotland), John Pentland MSP (Motherwell and Wishaw), John Robertson MP (Glasgow North West), Lindsay Roy MP (Glenrothes), Frank Roy MP ( Motherwell and Wishaw), Anas Sarwar MP (Glasgow Central), Richard Simpson MSP (Mid Scotland and Fife), Catherine Stihler MEP.

Photo: Jim Murphy at the Labour Party Conference, 2014
© Anthony Mckeown