Why should this throw Scottish Labour into turmoil?
The leader has resigned – good. Let’s get another one.
It might be someone inexperienced – good. They won’t be tainted by the neoliberal SPAD-U-LIKE claptrap that has harmed Labour’s reputation so badly during and since the Blair years.
There’s a challenge to the unions – then it’s good the challenger has gone. The unions created the Labour Party; of course they should play a role in its development.
Scottish Labour will need to find its sixth leader in eight years from a small and largely inexperienced pool of potential candidates at Holyrood after losing 39 of its 40 Westminster MPs in the catastrophic defeat at the general election.
But as he announced his resignation, Murphy threw down a deliberate challenge to the union movement and the Scottish party, opening up a new battle between new Labour modernisers and the traditional left.
He launched a scathing attack on Unite leader Len McCluskey, who helped orchestrate an escalating campaign against him last week. And in a further sideswipe, he accused his party’s executive of ignoring party democracy before urging them to reform Scottish Labour’s voting and policy making rules.