Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tommy Sheridan says "Fuck you!"

This is a little late, Tommy Sheridan won his case on Friday, which was actually before the demonstration which has been covered below. Socialist Worker released this statement.

Let's go down to brass tacks, this isn't about sex, it's about the faction fight in the SSP. On the one hand, there are the group called the United Left (hardly) who while leading the SSP, has led it down a sectarian alleyway and alienated the party from the anti-war movement which it benefited so much from in 2003 when it won 6 MSPs. On the other hand there are those around Sheridan who have always seeked to drive the SSP into the movement, build the anti-G8 conference and Make Poverty History demonstrations, to unite the party with sections of the left breaking with Labour over issues like war, pensions, asylum and islamophobia. The United Left have consistently argued for SSP 'campaigns' instead of uniting with those outside the SSP.

They have achieved complete bankrupty by forcing Sheridan to resign as convenor because of the first hint of a smear by the press, but also because these smears were about his sexual life, which should remain his and his wife's issue rather than the SSP's. They then testified for the News Of The World.

Here's Rosie Kane, a MSP:
I can never work with Tommy again and I am not alone. Where that leaves the Scottish Socialist Party, I have no idea.

And Carolyn Leckie, another MSP:
I’m still a socialist. I don’t consider Tommy Sheridan to be one.

Their attempts to remove Sheridan at all costs has cost them their poltical dignity. There will be a special conference in October, Fox and his scabs should be removed.

14 comments:

Ed said...

Do you really believe this?

Sheridan dragged the executive into the courts in a desperate and slimey attempt to save his own skin expecting them to lie on his behalf.

Now certain factions and their supporters have the temerity to label the majority of the Executive 'scabs' and traitors in an extremely unpleasant witch hunt. If you can conceive of the possibility that the anti-Seridan factions were using the crisis as an opportunity to take over the party then surely you might conceive of the flip side possibility - that the SW platform with help from the SWP in England who are eagerly sniffing around at the moment, is using this crisis for their own advantage and to push rival factions out of the alliance.

This is disgusting.


Still, I understand that you are under party obligation to repeat whatever the editorial of SW tells you to believe.

Roobin said...

Yes, it's the evil, heinous SWP again. Is there no machiavellian depth those pre-programmed, evil genius automatons won't stoop to. Why, if it wasn't for the SWP we'd have socialism already.

If only all those SW platform members who bust a gut to build G8 Alternatives last year could have realised their error of their evil, heinous ways and thrown their weight in behind the mighty, 50 strong "red contingent".

THOSE BASTARDS!

If only someone were here to insult my intelligence, eh?

TAXI FOR MR ROOKSBY!

morbo said...

Ah come on, do you really believe the stuff you talk?

Why did then, if it wasn't about the 'remove-sheridan-at-all-costs' factor, they force Sheridan to resign because of 1) a smear from the press (proven to be false) 2) and the fucking cheek to do it over a personal matter - his sex life. What a revolutionary does in the bed should have no bearing at all on politics, or are you saying it should?

Ed said...

No I don't care about what a socialist does in the bedroom - the problem is that Sheridan and his wife clearly do care about it a lot. Sheridan dragged this case to the courts in order to 'clear his name' - essentially to safeguard his 'respectability' as a 'family man' which is why we've been treated to the nauseating spectacle of Tommy at home with the charming lady wife, holding hands and doing the respectable family values bit for the media.

Sheridan has conducted his whole campaign through the bourgeois courts and the bourgeois media (and how they love it). His wife has now signed a lucrative deal to sell her story to some right wing tabloid - a principled socialist move of course.

When Sheridan decided to take this through the courts, he also decided to drag the party Executive into the courts to save himself. They faced a choice -either lie and commit perjury in court (since the evidence is clearly minuted - a mistake to have minuted it in retrospect, but then the SSP has always been a democratic and open party) in order to salvage Sheridan's respectability, or tell the truth. Interestingly 11 of the exeutive (including Colin Fox who initially pleaded with Sheridan not to take it through the courts) testified against him - understandable since they were being asked to risk a jail sentence and being asked to call themselves, or others, liars (the ones who had been present at the meeting in which Sheridan's comments had been minuited) in return for saving Sheridan's bacon.

Now an extremely nasty witch-hunt has begun and it's clear the Sheridan support are gunning for a total purge. They are being supported in this, as you must know, by a couple of platforms SW and CWI who've chosen to hitch their bandwagon to Sheridan. Incidentally, they both, i think, did a complete U-turn on this matter. I note that Socialist Worker is openly calling for a purge (what has it got to do with them to interfere in the SSP?). I note that the SW statement includes the frankly Stalinist threat, that United Left supporters and so on must repent or face the consequences. This is dressed up as an olive branch offer of rapprochement - they've been 'misled' and would be welcomed back into the fold if only they confess - the intention of this offer of forgiveness, however, is clearly to threaten dire consequences.

I think it's appalling that people like Rosie Kane are being labelled 'scabs'. Do you think she might have bust a gut trying to build the party and the movement too?

I agree, incidentally, that the SWP are often unfairly caricatured as 'machiavellian schemers'. Is it possible, however, that sometimes the SWP may make mistakes or act in an unprincipled way? I wonder if some people may have good reason to hold the views of the party that they do when all criticism is met by hysterical defensiveness - and with the argument that to criticise the SWP even on one matter, means that you must necessarily hold a caricatured view of it (which is the move you have made on me above, Roobin).

Roobin said...

Let's get one thing straight, we're machiavellian schemers AND automatons. A weird admixture if ever there were one.

Now, silly jabs and caricatures (without justifying context [and I decide the context]) are not on here. Nor should they be anywhere. That said:

"Sheridan dragged the executive into the courts in a desperate and slimey attempt to save his own skin expecting them to lie on his behalf.

Now certain factions and their supporters have the temerity to label the majority of the Executive 'scabs' and traitors in an extremely unpleasant witch hunt. If you can conceive of the possibility that the anti-Seridan factions were using the crisis as an opportunity to take over the party then surely you might conceive of the flip side possibility - that the SW platform with help from the SWP in England who are eagerly sniffing around at the moment, is using this crisis for their own advantage and to push rival factions out of the alliance".

Is a perfectly reasonable point. Provocative but reasonable. On the other hand:

"Still, I understand that you are under party obligation to repeat whatever the editorial of SW tells you to believe".

Is gratuitous, don't you think?

Roobin said...

Meanwhile, back in Gotham, I know very little about the insandouts of this case (to coin a phrase).

I don't believe that Tommy Sheridan would be ousted over anything consenting adults might reasonably get up to. In these kinds of cases there is usually something political behind the trivia and intrigue.

I remember distinctly the headline after Tommy was removed. It was "No Coup For Convenorship". Which was odd because no-one I knew had suggested such a thing.

In my limited experience (the antiG8 events), the real split in the SSP lies between the sectarian grouping and the outward looking sections of the party, of which, I am proud to say, the SW platform is one. Tommy Sheridan, in his own peculiar way, has also grasped the essential fact about the post-Seattle movements.

This, as far as I can see, is very little to do with the Sheridan case, and has much more to do with whither the SSP.

Ed said...

"Is gratuitous, don't you think?"

OK, yes I'll accept that. My apologies.

I've had time to calm down about this whole thing now. I was going to blog about it - and I've seen and heard some shocking things about what has been going on (I've seen some lengthy, angry statements from Murray Smith which I'm tempted to publish) but have changed my mind now. Can't see any point in writing some accusing piece - won't achieve anything but possibly some almighty falling out between me and others. I'm in England anyway, I'm not in the SSP, and this is for the SSP to sort out themselves.

Anyway, I've just nipped over to Harry's Place to remind me of who the real enemy is. Always the thing to do.

Redaspie said...

What? No, no, no, the real enemy is the AWL! Any fool knows that.

Meaders said...

Sheridan dragged the executive into the courts in a desperate and slimey attempt to save his own skin expecting them to lie on his behalf.

Bloody hell. "Slimey" is here being applied to a man bringing a libel case, and not to those "socialists" supporting the Murdoch press in court.

Utterly, utterly incredible stuff. Are you feeling alright, Ed?

Meaders said...

...a mistake to have minuted it in retrospect...

It just gets better.

Sebastian Lamb said...

I'm in complete agreement with Ed. Sheridan's ego-fuelled court case should never have been launched. As Ed wrote, "When Sheridan decided to take this through the courts, he also decided to drag the party Executive into the courts to save himself. They faced a choice -either lie and commit perjury in court (since the evidence is clearly minuted - a mistake to have minuted it in retrospect, but then the SSP has always been a democratic and open party) in order to salvage Sheridan's respectability, or tell the truth."

Sheridan's reckless actions and methods have driven some people who until very recently were politically (and in some cases personally) extremely close to him into the other camp.

The nasty debate around Sheridan that threatens to rip apart the SSP makes it exceedingly difficult to discuss questions of political perspective for socialists in Scotland. I have no doubt that the SSP has lots of flaws, but its merits as a united, pluralist, democratic class-struggle socialist formation were inspirational to socialists far beyond Scotland. Sadly, it's this that's now threatened by the SSP's crisis.

SL

Redaspie said...

It's the bit about how the 11 other people were 'forced to lie' that really gets me. There were two sets of minutes flying around if I can recall correctly, and five others actually did stand there and deny that they had heard Sheridan commit adultery. The judge declared it was impossible to know what the truth was. If the other 11 had all denied *remembering* that Sheridan had admitted the allegations, which wouldn't have been a provable lie, then the case would have collapsed forthwith. Incidentally, all of this assumes that Sheridan and the other five witnesses were lying, and Fox et al telling the truth. Not an assumption I'm prepared to make.

John said...

Rosie Kane = only real-life Socialist legend I have ever met. How did factional splits ever possibly survive as a campaigning strategy?

morbo said...

Which is why nobody had ever heard of her outside of Scotland until she testified for the News of the World (and lied) and also goes around beorgious papers telling them how crap Sheridan is, socialist legend ha tssfk