Thursday 23 December 2010

Tommy Sheridan Found Guilty

Tommy Sheridan has been found guilty on all six of the perjury charges. Blog to follow.


Anonymous said...

No doubt you are delighted given your comments on twitter. Scab.

Phil said...

Hardly. But my sympathy is limited because he brought it on himself. And 14 jurors faced with a pretty shambolic prosecution felt that way too.

Anonymous said...

Oh he brought it on himself did he? Classic line of those who blame the victim.

Your glee about Tommy not being 'Teflon-Tommy' anymore speaks volumes. Go off now and run along to your little Labour Party meeting, the nasty socialist has been dealt with.

Phil said...

Troll on cowardly lobotomy boy.

Customer Service Announcement Desk said...

Bing-bong. Can Andy, 6, from Swindon, please be collected by his mummy. He can be picked up at the complaints desk. Thank you.

Phil said...

I expected the Tommy verdict would bring out the angry. But the weird, too?

Phil said...

SSP Statement:

SSP statement on Sheridan conviction for perjury

Tommy Sheridan’s conviction today for perjury was inevitable.

Six years ago, as leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, he proposed to sue a tabloid newspaper over stories he knew to be true and demanded that our party went along with his lies. All his closest friends and political allies of 20 years urged him not to take such a reckless course of action. He will now be dealt with by the judge. We have no desire for vengeance.

What is more important is that all those who have been falsely denounced by him and his allies as liars, plotters, perjurers and forgers have been cleared. The idea that there was a conspiracy involving Rupert Murdoch, Lothian and Borders Police and the SSP is nonsense and yet this is the narrative that Tommy Sheridan’s supporters publicly promoted for the past 4 years.

By his actions over six years, Tommy Sheridan has disgraced himself and negated his political contribution to the socialist cause over 25 years. History will now record that he did more harm to the socialist cause in Scotland than any good he ever did it. That astonishing conclusion would not have been thought possible at the height of the poll tax struggle he led so well, or during his early period in the Scottish Socialist Party and Scottish Parliament.

The SSP reaffirms that its aim is to defend the interests of working people, the millions against the millionaires and to fight for a socialist transformation of society in the interests of the majority.

We now draw a line under this sorry saga and move on. The Scottish Socialist Party has been tested to the limit over the past six years and has proven it is a party of principles and integrity. In this time of savage attacks by the rich against the poor, Scotland more than ever needs a strong left wing socialist party that can be trusted.

P said...

Shame you've printed the statements of the SSP who colluded with the state and the NOTW to sell Tommy down the river.

It looks like Tommy will spend a considerable amount of time in jail because of the crime of standing up to Rupert Murdoch.

It's every socialist's job to stand in solidarity with him, and with everyone else smeared by the NOTW and it's scab friends.

Phil said...

Get over yourself. I will reproduce the Solidarity statement as and when it appears.

Phil said...

And as if by magic ...

Solidarity Statement on Tommy Sheridan

Solidarity Scotland ’s Socialist Movement today reiterates our support for our Co-Convenor Tommy Sheridan despite the jury’s verdict following the most expensive perjury investigation in Scottish legal history. Tommy Sheridan’s only crime has been to speak truth to power for as long as he has been involved in socialist politics.

For over four long years, Tommy, his wife, their family and other members of Solidarity have found themselves under investigation by the police and the crown office following his libel victory over The News of the World in 2006. During this time and despite the pressure we have found ourselves under, Solidarity as a party has remained united and committed to raising socialist arguments and campaigning on the issues that matter to ordinary people.

We will enter 2011 determined to campaign and fight with renewed vigour against the public sector cuts and austerity measures introduced by a class of politicians determined to make ordinary people pay the price for the bailout of the banks. We will continue to oppose illegal wars, campaign for justice for the Palestinians, support asylum seekers and stand shoulder to shoulder with trade unionists and communities fighting back against the cuts.

We will demonstrate SOLIDARITY WITH those fighting against low pay and oppression. SOLIDARITY AGAINST poverty and discrimination in all its forms. SOLIDARITY FOR an independent socialist nuclear free Scotland .

Between 1999 and 2007, Tommy Sheridan was a fantastic advocate on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable and the working class of Scotland as an MSP in the Holyrood Parliament. During this time he had an unparalleled record in raising the issues that matter most in an effective and mature manner. Tommy took only the average wage of a skilled worker, donating the rest back to the socialist movement and worked tirelessly to build the socialist cause. He is a working class fighter who has waged war on poverty and injustice where ever he has found it.

We in Solidarity are proud to call ourselves comrades and friends of Tommy Sheridan.

Phil said...

SWP statement:

Tommy Sheridan - targeted because he is a socialist

Socialist Worker is appalled that an alliance of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World and the police has secured a perjury verdict against socialist Tommy Sheridan.

Those who gave evidence against him should reflect that only the rich and the powerful will rejoice when, as is very likely, Tommy goes to jail.

The blog which has produced excellent reports on the case tells how, "At 3.40pm today the jury returned to the court and gave their verdict. A hushed court heard the jury's spokesperson declare that on a majority, the verdict was one of guilty on the charge of perjury.

"The Clerk of the court then asked if there were any parts of the indictment the jury wished to delete. The court was told that the jury wished to remove the parts of the charge relating to Anvar Khan and part of the charge that had said Sheridan had a sexual relationship with Katrine Trolle.

"The court then heard from the Advocate Depute who informed the judge of Tommy Sheridan's 'criminal record', which he said were charges relating to 'protest activities'. The judge Lord Bracadale then asked Tommy Sheridan to rise and informed him that he would continue to grant him bail but when he returned for sentencing, on 26 January 2011 Sheridan should 'expect to be sentenced to prison'."

Tommy's real crime was to be a principled socialist and then to win a libel case against the Murdoch press.

That is why he was singled out for a perjury case, an extraordinarily unusual procedure.

Tommy was one of the foremost leaders of the great anti-poll tax movement during Margaret Thatcher’s Tory regime.

He was jailed for his actions, but still managed to be elected a councillor. Later he was voted in as a socialist Member of the Scottish Parliament.

The case that concluded today dates back to 2004, when Andy Coulson, now David Cameron’s media chief, was editor of the News of the World. The newspaper, one of whose journalists has been jailed for illegally tapping phones, ran a story about Sheridan’s private life.

Sheridan sued the paper for libel and, in August 2006, he was awarded damages of £200,000.

News International responded with fury. It demanded that Sheridan be hounded down for daring to fight back.

The Lothian and Borders police launched a major investigation that cost over £2 million.

Mow Sheridan is found guilty but Coulson, who gave evidence in the case, escapes without charge

Solidarity, which the SWP supports, has put out the following statement: [see above]

Alan G said...

There's a CWI (now Socialist Party Scotland) statement too

(too big for me to post content)

Phil said...

Cheers for that, Alan. I think that's everyone's statement now. The question is where does the Scottish left go from here?

Robert said...

Good question. Solidarity is almost certainly finished. The SSP will be having a merry Christmas celebrating the demise of the demon Sheridan but they won't live down their actions such as selling scab tapes to the NOTW. The SWP may be the main force left standing. As far as next May's elections are concerned Galloway appears to be standing. He's not involved in this mess and may represent a way forward. The SSP won't want anything to do with him because he's a unionist and is against abortion but everyone else might rally behind him in the absence of an alternative.

Alan G said...

A statement by Democratic Green Socialist too

The Democratic Green Socialist magazine stated proudly at the outset of the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial that we stood shoulder to shoulder with Tommy and Gail Sheridan in their titanic battle with the reactionary News of the World.

Today, Tommy Sheridan has been found guilty of 5 charges of perjury by a majority verdict. We believe this judgement to be a mistake on the basis of key evidence led by Tommy in his defence, and on the basis of the quality and integrity of the witnesses Tommy called in his defence. We are not fair weather friends. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sheridans, through any appeal process that may take place, and support the continuing fight for justice for the Sheridans and against the intrusive anti-working class agenda of the Murdoch press.

Andy Newman of the Socialist Unity blog recently wrote that ‘Tommy Sheridan may be on his knees, but a giant on his knees is still a giant’. We agree. Tommy Sheridan for over two decades has been a socialist colossus in Scottish working class politics, leading the battle against the poll tax and the privatisation of Scottish water in the eighties and nineties, becoming a focus of opposition to the illegal and immoral war in Iraq, championing a socialist independent Scotland and becoming the first socialist MSP in the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Under his leadership and through hundreds of public meetings all over the country the SSP was built into a party with 3000 members and 150, 000 votes.

Tragically, a section of the leadership of that party seized on the opportunity presented to them by the News of the World to undermine their greatest political asset, ultimately resulting in a bitter split. Democratic Green Socialist is a mature and open political magazine – we understand people can have disagreements, that there can be different points of view, even that people may not like other people. But we cannot understand why socialists, at a time when left unity is needed more than ever to present a socialist alternative to the massive attacks on public services launched by the Con-Dem government, would actively aid the Murdoch Press and the state to put another socialist in jail.

The dignity which Tommy and Gail Sheridan showed in reaction to the jury’s verdict stands in stark contrast with some of his ex-colleagues who couldn’t wait to get on the airwaves and crow about the result.

Tommy may have lost this particular battle, but he has not lost the war. A significant shift in public opinion took place during his trial as Tommy skilfully put the News of the World and its practices in the dock, and exposed the machinations of those who longed to see him brought down. The stunned silence from the public gallery as the verdict was read could not have been more different than the applause and cheering that greeted Tommy’s closing speech and the dismissal of all charges against Gail.

This is not the time for a detailed analysis of the events of the last six years. Undoubtedly we will carry material of a more discursive and analytical nature in future issues. The left in Scotland has much to discuss in relation to mounting a fight against the cuts and a principled socialist challenge at the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections.

For now, we will simply note this – those who think that this is the end of Tommy Sheridan may be premature. And we say to Tommy and Gail and all of the Sheridan family – your friends are with you.