I first encountered Jim Murphy over 20 years ago. I got a phone call from him where he shouted at me for 10 minutes, telling me that I couldn't have two of the speakers that were due to be at a conference we were running in Bradford University. It was a conference on campaigning, and it was going to be a big one. I'd invited Jim because he was the NUS president, but before the phone call, I'd never spoken to him personally.
The two speakers who he disapproved of were from the campaign for free education. I knew them personally, knew they were good speakers and that their message was important. Jim saw them as a threat to 'Labour Students', who were moving in very right wing direction during the Blair leadership.
Murphy had sold the students out over the campaign for free education, and didn't want it pointed out. The way he swore and shouted at me, trying to bully me into changing the speakers was truly frightening.
I didn't back down, and the conference was a success - Murphy had threatened to 'destroy' the conference, and make sure no one came - but he failed. He even came himself to keep up appearances, and was as rude and obnoxious as expected.
The second time he deemed it important to ring me, was when the NUS failed to back our rent strike. He called me to tell me to call it off, as it couldn't win and was showing the student union movement in 'a bad light'.
We won the strike and set off a wave of strikes throughout the country. He never spoke to me again.
He was a thug them, and has proved himself to be a bruiser for Blair over the years. A smooth political operator, he's now the leader of the failing Labour group in Scotland.
He is one of the many reasons why many left wing activists like myself end up staying clear of the Labour Party - how does it allow such nasty folk to rise to the top? My prayers are with the Scottish Labour Party. They deserved better than this.