Sunday, August 06, 2006

Car Crash TV

Painful to watch, and I don't just mean the shaky camcorder camera work. This clip posted on Youtube is, I'm guessing, something that has been put together at short notice by the United Left, the main anti-Sheridan grouping within the Scottish Socialist Party. By all accounts, the two opposing sides are now entrenched and the National Conference of the SSP, which has been brought forward to October of this year, will be the occasion when the rest of us will see who will be left standing from the political fall out between Sheridan and his former colleagues.

Sheridan and his supporters - which includes the Socialist Worker and the CWI platforms within the SSP amongst others - will be contesting the leading positions at the Conference, and I understand that Sheridan will be standing against Colin Fox for the 'leadership' of the SSP. I'm sure if the Conference and the leadership contest was held today, Sheridan and his supporters would be odds on to win but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a greater fall out in the time between now and October, and I wonder if Tommy will still be considered the 'working class hero' a few months from now.

From following the case and the reaction to the verdict from a few thousand miles away, it does appear that the immediate reaction to the verdict is that - whether he was telling the truth or not - most people are happy that Sheridan gave the News of the World a bloody nose. Not sure how those same people feel about Sheridan promptly selling his story to the Daily Record, but they seem to be happy to overlook the fact that Sheridan accused eleven colleagues of being liars; Some of whom were his closest political allies, spending the last twenty years working alongside him in the Militant Tendency, Scottish Militant Labour and the SSP and, whatever else you think about the politics of all concerned, were as integral to the growth of the SSP as Sheridan himself was.

And maybe the thought of SSP members going into the witness box and giving evidence that would corroborate part of the News of the World story against Sheridan does stick in the throat, but I find it less than credible that there was a grand conspiracy involving the News of the World, the 'Establishment' and political opponents of Sheridan within the SSP - "the mother of all stitch ups", no less - that came together to bring down Sheridan. It's the stuff of an over inflated ego and bad political fiction, and my cynicism about the case is compounded by the fact that opportunists such as the Socialist Worker Platform have lined up behind Sheridan. If anyone is seeking to make political capital out of this whole sorry business, it's not the United Left but the Socialist Worker and the CWI Platforms hanging onto the coat tails of Sheridan.

Whatever else happens, the Scottish Socialist Party, as we now know it, is going to be shattered into a thousand pieces.


figurepornography said...

Can't say that I know anything about Mr and Mrs Sheridan, nor the in and outs of the libel case, nor of politics inside the SSP.

However, loved the bit in the Record interview where Mrs. Sheridan, in response to the assertion that Mr. Sheridan liked having an ice cube run down his body during sex, stating that the person who swallowed the silly thing afterwards would have "swallowed a hair-ball" to be both very funny, especially because it's the sort of thing that only a wife or long-term partner could say about their mate in public and get away with.

ajohnstone said...

1ngram said...

Since the SSP, Sheridan and the rest of them have preciuous little to do with socialism, who cares?

Imposs1904 said...


as I alluded to in the post, as a member of the SPGB I have fundamental disagreements with the reformist nationalism of the SSP but I can't help feeling a wee bit sad about the human tragedy of it all.

I remember a few years ago chatting to an SPGB sympathiser who was a one point a member of the Militant Tendency in Pollok, and knew Sheridan as the y were in the same branch, and though he now politically disagreed with him, still thought of him as a decent and sincere bloke.

The events of recent months has sadly revealed his hubris - or his soon to come hubris - and the whole business is a cliched variation on the radical firebrand who sees himself and the movement he played a built in building as indivisible.

I take no pleasure at the spectacle of twenty year old friendships ripped apart, and the personal recriminations that are now doing the rounds.

If that makes me appear to be too soft or lightweight, then so be it.