Saturday, August 05, 2006


Sheridan Victory

I must say I was pleased to hear about the Tommy Sheridan victory. It was a victory for the left, and I admired his oratary in court. However, there are lessons to be learnt. If there was any truth behind the allegations (and I find it hard to believe there was none at all, albeit exagerrated) then it highlights several issues. News of the World would not have had such a field day had he not capitulated in the first place to the puritan mentality on the left by claiming to be a teetotaller and an ideal family man. Had he not claimed this then he could have simply told them his sex life was simply none of their business, end of. It would have simply been between him and Gail, as it should be.

A post on Stroppyblog summed up my view on the matter pretty well. Pretty much as the Bill Clinton scenario - I'm not interested in the sex lives of politicians, providing they do their job. It is ideas I am interested in. But one should practice what they preach.

Tommy was treated quite badly by members of his own party, it would appear, as some testified on the side of NOW. Thar kind of factionalism and rivalry should be beneath socialist politics, and his comrades should have stood behind him without exception.

But it is over now and I send him my regards on his victory. Wither the Scottish Socialist Party from here, is the question now. Let's hope it picks up again to be the promising body and hope for the left that it once appeared, and not a bastion of neo Calvinism. May it once again be an example of the ability to organise that is still lacking on the English left, partly due to first past the post.

5 comments:

Jim Jay said...

I'm not sure Tommy was treated badly my other members of his party - I think he treated them badly.

He wanted the case to be a party matter, but when the party said drop it he continued - this led to the imprisonment of a leading SSP member, the searching of SSP offices by the state and SSP members being called to testify in court - none of them choose to do this.

A widely reported case in a court of law is not the place to tell lies and these members were not testifying for the NoW but were obliged to attend and answered direct questions honestly, I think.

What was their alternative? Refuse to answer questions and then go to jail? Lie and then go to jail?

I'm very concerned that TS thinks he is above the SSP and I think this whole affair could be the end of the organisation all because of an ego the size of an elephant.

Liz said...

Jim - I guess I can see it from both sides. But is it not possible to appear in court and just refuse to comment? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that there were factions within that did use this to their advantage. There seems to be a lot of bad blood and feeling in that group. So this may be the end, but I think it would be wrong to blame it all on Sheridan. I would blame it on the factionalism and the cult of personality.

Jim Jay said...

"But is it not possible to appear in court and just refuse to comment?"

Well, I'm not an expert on law but I'm pretty sure that's contempt of court - for which you can be sent to jail.

"There seems to be a lot of bad blood and feeling in that group."

There definately is now - but my impression is that it's been caused by this episode.

I really don't buy Sheridan's line that this was a factionally motivated attack on him - because absolutely all of these people begged him not to take the court case forwards - they did all they could to not testify in court against him.

There was no move to replace him as convenor until he insisted on going against the democratically decided position of the party.

I'm sure the other side isn't perfect - but at the end of the day this could be the end of the SSP, and Sheridan did all the running.

Liz said...

Jim - wasn't it NoW who asked some of the people to testify against him? That was the impression I had, I'm not sure all of them were obliged to attend.

a feminist said...

I'm just confused on the whole Sheridan issue. I certainly don't think that as a member of the public I got the full story, and I suspect the court didn't either. I do wonder if we ever will - everyone involved seem to be swearing that they've told the truth, and to be honest I've grown a little tired of it being played out in the media now. If only this much energy was spent on other, more important issues such as debating our involvement in the Middle East, or third world debt, or housing policies... frankly, anything but the sex life of TS!