23 Dec 2010

Tommy Sheridan found guilty

Tommy Sheridan the former Scottish Socialist Party MSP has been found guilty at his trial in Edinburgh.

The News of the World made a series of sex allegations against him.

Tommy sued successfully but has now been found guilty of perjury.

The Sheridan affair smashed the Scottish Socialist Party, the first successful non Labour socialist Party in the UK, since Commonwealth in the 1940s.

I have long thought the whole thing smelt of MI5 but I must admit I was sceptical of Tommmy in this.

The Scottish Socialist Party would never have been succesful without Tommy but reliance on one charasmatic leader is always dangerous.

Rupert Murdoch's grip on everything is stronger......a very sad affair.

Hope Greens, Scottish Socialists and Solidarity can work together but doubt this will happen.


Sam Feeney said...

I feel that today was a victory for integrity on the Scottish left, indeed for everyone on the side of ethical and political integrity in progressive politics. I too had a strong gut feeling that there was something dodgy about a highly charismatic socialist personality abusing his power and trust in this way. It took courage and honesty for those comrades who did end up testifying and Tommy has only brought this on himself. He owes the Scottish left a huge apology and needs to change how he conducts himself if he is to ever hold his head up and ask to represent decent working class people again. It is a shame because he had a gift but sadly he abused it.

Derek Wall said...

thanks Sam,

I don't know everything about this, I do have friends on both sides of the divide and I do know the Murdoch press is appalling but I certainly value what you have said here.

everyone can agree its a 'shame'

Sam Feeney said...

Thanks Derek. I must stress that I have absolutely NO desire to see Tommy imprisoned for this though. He is not a threat to the public and should get some community order rather than a custodial sentence - which WOULD be a political sentence in my view were it to be imposed. The Murdoch press may gun for this and if it does then I have no problem supporting a campaign calling for his release.

It would be good if this could then draw a line under the whole sad affair and allow the Scottish left to regain their strength again without this distraction that Tommy's behaviour and the Murdoch press have caused. Like you say, everyone can agree it is a big shame.

Derek Wall said...

Yes well said.

Its a bit weird for me because I can't imagine any allegations involving sex between consenting adults leading to any kind of debate or scandal in the Green Party.

I am not sure that the wounds will heal quickly on this but here is hoping.

and thanks Sam for commenting....

Anonymous said...

For me personally it's not a question of anyone engaging in consenting sexual activites as adults. That's what the News of the World would have us believe and it's not that which I have any problem with as long as there is no exploitation involved. For me it was that he was in all liklihood lying to his partner about it and then got himself in a massive political pickle and expected his comrades to bail him out with lying on his behalf. That's just my impression of it I hasten to add. One of those bad karma things that has come back round to smack him in the face.

The whole thing has prompted me thinking about the use and abuse of personal power in our complicated personal and political relationships. The late great lesbian writer Audre Lorde had a lot to say about it and it would be worth re-visiting these issues again. May write something about this!

Take care and happy holidays :-)

Anonymous said...

oops sorry I didn't intend to swap identities like that, it's still Sam lol!

Derek Wall said...

Yes I know but could be confusing for others, take it easy any way and happy saturnalia, comrade.

Ben Courtice said...

"I can't imagine any allegations involving sex between consenting adults leading to any kind of debate or scandal in the Green Party."

That is the sore point for me in the whole thing. Why I couldn't understand the course taken by either side at the start. Only Sheridan has dragged it all out to this appalling conclusion, but both sides at the outset could have shown a far more relaxed "so what" attitude and it would have blown over.

Jim Jepps said...

Whilst I'm sure the Green Party can get itself into all sorts of appalling scrapes I think this is one we could never emulate.

The equivalent would be Caroline Lucas coming to a GPEx meeting and saying "The News of the World has found out I'm a swinger, and I want to sue them to save my reputation. That means you'll all have to lie for me in court."

We simply do not have the same kind of approach to the concept of leadership, party discipline and integrity as those from a Trotskyist background.

The idea of lying to a court for political advantage would be unthinkable enough, let alone personal advantage. But in that tradition he felt able to suggest it because he expected party discipline to come above the risk of jail or personal integrity. That he didn't feel the same level of discipline speaks to the fact he felt his own position at the top of the pile didn't require it.

Sheridan said as much in his summing up where he described his political tradition as one that would say anything if they thought it was demanded of them. No one would ever risk trying to get the Greens to agree to something that required so much party discipline and sublimating personal integrity to the needs of the party leader.

Anyway, it is to their credit that the SSP members, by and large, did not feel obliged to lie in court and tried their best to dissuade him from this ridiculous and hubristic action.

P said...

Here's my view of the reasons behind this state vendetta, and of the shameful scabbery exhibited by some so-called 'lefts' http://riversstream.blogspot.com/2010/12/solidarity-with-sheridans.html

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