Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Solidarity Statement on Sentence

"Scottish justice has notched up another political miscarriage of justice alongside that of Al Megrahi and Muir of Huntershill”
Ian Hamilton QC

Solidarity condemns as barbaric and draconian the sentence imposed today on Tommy Sheridan.

We believe the lengthy jail term imposed by the judge is vindictive. It will reinforce the widespread view that this is the culmination of a brutal vendetta carried out by the rich and powerful against Scotland ’ most prominent socialist. A socialist who has earned their hatred for his uncompromising defence of working class people for the last 25 years.

As such this sentence will be met with anger by tens of thousands of working class people across Scotland and beyond. Solidarity shares that anger.

At a time when Britain ’s rich bankers are raking in billions in bonuses while working class communities and trade unionists are facing the most savage attacks in generations, the millions of pounds spent on the persecution of Tommy Sheridan is a disgrace.

Solidarity regards as outrageous the continued cover-up of News International and the News of the World’s illegal activities by the police and the legal establishment. What a contrast to the lengths that Lothian and Borders police and the Scottish Crown have been prepared to go to try to ruin a working class socialist.   

They will not succeed. Solidarity appeals to all those angered today by this action to join us today and help us build a socialist party worthy of the name.   

Solidarity will continue to give our full support and backing to Tommy and in particular to Gail Sheridan and the family at this difficult time.

We also send out this guarantee today.  Neither Tommy Sheridan nor Solidarity will be broken. We will continue to build our party, offering a real alternative to the despair and brutality offered up by the ConDem government and the other parties of the rich and big business.

We stand, as always, in Solidarity.    


Bunc said...

So Solidarity predictably tries to divert the issue - it's al about TS being persecuted it seems and not whether he lied at the defamation trial.

"Tens of thousands" angry at the sentence? That's not what I hear from people in all walks of life around Scotland. Most echo the view that Tommy simply brought this whole mess down on his own head.

If Solidarity really want to fight for the ordinary folk of Scotland they should abandon their cult of the personality stance which leaves their identity so dependent on their "great leader".

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Bunc, I live and work in Glasgow and the majority of people agree with the jury's verdict. I have seen attempts to label all 'ordinary Glasgow people' (whatever that is) as one force with the same mindset on this Blog and elsewhere and I find it really annoying and patronising.

Anonymous said...

What Brutal vendetta? TS brought this on himself and like others before him thought he wouldn't get caught.

That is the bottom line.

CB said...


There is no "truth" - that is a bourgeois concept. So there are no "lies". The only reality is the class struggle, as well you know.

Anonymous said...

No it wisnae

jimtrot said...

so it ends as predicted. ts in the pokey and the left in tatters. i can't help feeling a wee bit sorry for sheridan despite the mess he left behind. what a waste of real talent and (once upon a time) a real commitment to socialism. but, tommy is not the only culpable party in this sorry affair. the opportunists of the swp and the cwi have much to answer for. without their encouragement tommy might not have taken the stupid course that he did and they must accept that they have scottish left that in my opinion will take a very long time to heal. then again, in my opinion, this is the kind of opportunity that these people were waiting for.

Steve said...

CB 2.19 PM:

If you are not being ironic, does it not have to be "true" that the only reality is the class struggle?

So there is at least one truth after all.

So much for relativism.

not politically affilliated said...

If Solidarity see themselves as a legitimate political force, they should quit with the hero worship and attempted martyrdum of Tommy Sheridan. A jury of his peers deliberated on the evidence and decided Sheridan had indeed lied when as a serving MSP, he decided to bring a libel case against a tabloid. As a convicted liar, Tommy is sadly now just another disgraced former politician and spent foce. It would not be wise imo for any minority political movement to hang on to his coat tails.

marvinfaethescheme said...

This statement in a sense crystalises the entire fiasco, and stands testament to a central failure of political parties (particularly those on the left): failing to hold their leaders to account (and leaders refusing to be held to account.)

The Scottish Socialists held this individual leader to account - the result? He takes the "nuclear option" of dragging this sad and pointless case through the courts, obliterating the small left bridgehead in Scotland whilst various small left organisations cheer him on for some obscurantist and irrational reasons.

Until political parties and organisations, right left or centre, are serious about holding leaderships to account they do not deserve our trust.

At least in the Sheridan case, the fallout was the mere destruction of a promising left unity project and the personal grief inflicted on those close to the case. The failure of the Labour Party to hold Blair and his gang to account resulted in infinitely and incomparably more terrible and consequences.

jim mclean said...

The sentance is on par with the deal offered. 18 months if you plead guilty, out in 9. Plead not guilty, double the time. If TS had stuck with Donald Findlay throughout his trials he would have had community service. Those friends who "stood by" him probably screwed things up big style.
CB. The class struggle was abandoned north of Hadrians wall with the Scottish Turn and acceptance of the now discredited Left Nationalsit route, now thats the truth.

CB said...

I was most certainly being ironic!

Dear God, that anyone could think otherwise comes as a shock to me.

Jimmy Reid - A Real Socialist said...

I too agree with Bunc.

Everyone in my office in Edinburgh and where I stay in Glasgow all think he deserves what he has been given!

Solidarity - please stop talking as if your represent All working class peoples and in particular Glasgow people - You Don't okay!

You represent firstly, your hero TS and secondly the wee gang of hero worshippers!

How about standing up for real socialist values like honesty, integrity , fairness , the rule of law, hard work - remember these ?

TS has just undone any good he has ever done and done god knows how much damage to socialism! I actually doubt if TS has ever done anything good unless it had a spin off to help the TS cause.

Annie said...

re anon 1.51
"Have to agree with Bunc, I live and work in Glasgow and the majority of people agree with the jury's verdict."

well, I live and work in Glasgow too and most of what I hear is about what a waste of public money the whole thing has been and 'watch out' you or your family could be on the receiving end of the travesty of a 'justice'system we have here in Scotland - where the police can do as they like to you.

knock knock said...

jim mclean said...
The sentance is on par with the deal offered. 18 months if you plead guilty, out in 9. Plead not guilty, double the time. If TS had stuck with Donald Findlay throughout his trials he would have had community service.

hate to say it mr findlay does not win many cases these days. in his time he was very good now its more of the reputation that he lives on.
maybe mr s should have had mcbride on his case and not his wifes!

Anonymous said...

Annie, yes you or your family might certainly find yourself in court if you lie and commit perjury, and so you should. And it wasn't the police who determined the outcome of this trial, it was the jury !

Steve said...

CB 4:36 PM

Sorry there, but you know this blog and I wasn't paying attention to your position in particular.

Anonymous said...

Some Juries believe some things others beleive others. How do the other Jury feel about the verdict, they heard the same evidence more or less. Can anyone tell me the probability of having 13 woman and 2 men picked in a Jury selection

Say It Ain't So Joe said...

Knock Knock,
The reason why Donald Findlay may not seem to be the winning-est criminal silk is quite easy to explain. Unlike some others who are careful to dodge cases that are too hopeless, too difficult or unlikely to pay big-time he reputedly takes any case where he is asked to appear and where he has diary space to run it.

If he loses cases then it's not because he doesn't put the hard work and effort in.

A telling comment I heard about him was that he's a fixture in Bar-L or Saughton on a Saturday morning seeing clients when most other members of the Faculty are on the golf course or wherever else.

If Tommy Sheridan had instructed him then I suspect that he'd be home with his wife and wee girl tonight.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those tens of thousands.

A bigger man than any of you has gone to jail for standing up to the real crime.

One where a society is so afraid of being utterly bullied rather than partially bullied - by a corporation that exhibits corruptions for all to see - and wonder what would they do to me.

You are a good man Mr Sheridan (if not your case would have collapsed over the last six years).

Jimmy Reid - A Real Socialist said...

Anon 2:06 am......

For goodness sake grow up! It's this immature, fantasy land attitude that has brought everything crashing down around cult Sheridan!

It's your choice to blindly follow such a liar but you cannot claim to be "one of the tens of thousands" cos you are not, the vote figures do not support that and it's not feel I get from real working class folks.

TS is using you my friend and you have swallowed it hook line and sinker!

No Denys there is "issues" with the press and establishment but rise above it and fight it in an honourable way - don't lie. The ends do not justify the means.

It is the exact same hubris that has caused genocide in other scenarios - think about it and get yourself some self respect!

Anonymous said...

@ So it aint So Joe. Donald Findlay is a man in possession of a razor-sharp legal mind who made one simple over-sight and to this day is endlessly pilloried by daft BBC Scotland produced tripe masquerading as comedy. Donald Findlay works tirelessly for his clients and does indded visit prisons to meet clients at the weekend and all sorts of irregular hours unheard of in regular QCs. Donald may have a bob or two but I don't think he does it solely for the money. DF lives and breaths the law and I honestly think he would be lost without it; he would be devastated at having to hand up his wig.