Monday, 4 May 2015

See, this is why I am not impressed with representative democracy

Jim Murphy has been kind enough to supply some great comic moments during the election campaign. He looks a bit like Skeletor off He-Man - childish and irrelevant, I know, but still - and that video where he spells S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M and looks really pleased with himself is a priceless moment of a man missing the point. 

And while I know many lovely people who support Labour, his appointment as Scottish leader is a glaring example of how the people's party is out of touch. He's old school, tough guy, West Coast Labour - exactly the brand that looks reactionary against the SNP's lady leader and optimistic futurism. He clings onto the idea that shouting over people is a valid debating process. He might be able to spell socialism, but he skipped the chapters where Marx adopted dialectic.

So it is really disappointing that there's a media fuss around his appearance with Eddie Izzard. I assume that Izzard joined him to allay the hyper-masculinity Murphy exudes like Old Spice on a drunk uncle... but the heckling was so extreme that Jim can moan about his 'free speech' being denied.

Ironic as it is for a man who gets to go on telly to complain that his opponents wouldn't let him be heard - when my free speech gets infringed, I have to write a blog about it, not tell my mates in the Big Media to write it up for Channel 4 - it seems counter-productive to heckle Jim. After all, there is a good chance that he is going to provide some more comic gold. 

The best joke, of course, was when the bloke writing it up for Channel 4 asked why the SNP couldn't do something to control mobs like this - even though the hecklers weren't even SNP members. So - the best way to protect the freedom of speech of Jim Murphy is to inhibit the freedom of reply. Sorry you got shouted down Jim - but that's freedom of speech all over. 

Mind you, I still hope that, one day, these political wonks will work out that having 'the right position' isn't actually political best practice: rather, being able to engage in a dialogue and recognising other points of view - even compromising - is how it works. In the meantime, I'd like the next protest to feature a beat-box with Matthew Whiteside's album playing. 

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