Jim Murphy is calling for sensate people to be excluded from political debates. He said human involvement was a nuisance and caused problems for politicians who had to struggle with leadership instructions to do as they are told while pretending to take account of what voters think.
“This poses a real dilemma for those of us brought up in the Labour tradition of machine politics”, he said. “I have a series of rehearsed answers which fit with Labour policy but when there are people in the audience they often disagree and challenge me and it’s very intimidating. People don’t realise how hard it is to lie consistently, sound plausible and keep a straight face, although, to be fair, I do have a straight face.”
He is offering a radical alternative in which a Labour spokesman is allowed to sit at a long desk with another Labour spokesman on the other side of David Dimbleby and they will answer each question in turn without being interrupted. Meanwhile an audience from a Labour conference applauding will be edited in to respond to the answers given.
“I think this will be a much superior format and allows viewers to fully understand the Labour message. It also means that if SNP voters are stuck at home staring wide-eyed at a screen they may be more receptive as we will catch them when their force field of bigoted hostility is down.”
Mr Murphy, one of Labour’s Big Hitters, complained that he had been attacked by members of the public who had deeply hurt him by calling him names. “Someone called me a Soc***ist and another threatened my family by asking: What happened to nuclear disarmament? It’s difficult to describe how insulting these remarks are. I’ve even been called a Lef****ger. That kind of language belongs in the nazi era and shows the depths to which my opponents have sunk.”
It would be better all round, he said, if people didn’t get so excited about politics. “It’s not as if replacing nuclear missiles is a matter of life and death.”
Read Mr Murphy’s column in the Daily Mail.