Alternative New Year Honours
Hmm, while I ponder that, suggestions ? Categories, people ?
THAT Tommy Sheridan was the most charismatic and gifted revolutionary socialist politician of recent decades is beyond serious dispute, and I always used to admire him for that. I still do, I suppose.
In a period where leftwing ideas failed to find a widespread hearing, he alone proved capable of building a substantial electoral base for basic class struggle ideas. Without him, the Scottish Socialist Party would not have achieved the measure of success it did achieve, and the credit for this can never be taken away from him.
That he used the fame that inevitably ensued to his personal sexual advantage is not an issue that should be of pressing concern to anyone other than himself and those with whom he slept. No one should cast judgement on the consensual relationships or others, be they gay, straight, marital, adulterous, based on auto-erotic asphyxiation, or participated in by however many can squeeze into a bed in a cheap hotel room.
At the time the News of the World published details of his visits to a swingers’ club in Manchester, Sheridan had sufficient popularity North of the Border to take exactly that stance. A dignified ‘no comment’ or a rigid ‘none of your business’ line, and he would have rode out the publicity, in much the same way as any other married politician caught playing away by the red tops.
There are enough broadminded adults out there to ensure that nookie with someone other than the missus is not the automatic end of a political career, as figures from Shagger Norris to Paddy Pantsdown can testify.
I cannot imagine what drove Sheridan to sue for libel instead. In a country where religious feelings are more widespread than in England, perhaps he felt that the revelations were electorally damaging. Perhaps he saw a one-off opportunity to make some serious cash. One day his memoirs will presumably tell us.
But what was inadmissible right from the start was his expectation that his comrades were somehow duty bound to stand up in the dock and commit the criminal offence of perjury in his support.
Sheridan’s supporters have argued all along that it is the elementary responsibility of socialists to defend other socialists against the Murdoch press, at all times and in all circumstances, and at any degree of jeopardy. The reality is that everything depends on the political issues at stake. Where there is sufficient cause for such a risk, then the correct course would naturally be to take it.
But unlike, say, John Maclean or the leadership of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1926, Sheridan was not before the court on charges of sedition. Unlike Jock Haston, Roy Tearse, Heaton Lee and Ann Keen, he did not stand in front of a jury for his support for unofficial industrial action. Unlike Ricky Tomlinson, Des Warren or the Pentonville Five, the issue at hand was not his conduct on the picket line.
Sheridan’s conviction today flows entirely from his insane determination to lie about his inability to keep it in his trousers. As a result, he has destroyed everything he spent the first half of his life building up, just at a time when a party premised on militant opposition to coalition austerity could truly have hit the big time. However sorry one has to feel for the family, the biggest tragedy about what has happened is the setback this represents for the far left as a whole.
Agree wholeheartedly . I also want to send my support to all the SSP comrades who were put in a terrible position because of the ego and stupidity of Sheridan in pursuing this .
Another post to check out is this one , from Scottish Socialist Youth.
The harsh prison detention conditions endured by Bradley Manning – the US soldier who is alleged to have supplied classified government documents to WikiLeaks – have emerged.
For the last seven months, Private Manning, 23, has been kept in a cell six feet wide and 12 feet long, in solitary confinement at a maximum security military jail at Quantico, Virginia.
A typical day for Private Manning begins with being woken at 5am in the cell, which has a drinking fountain and a toilet. He is then allowed to put on his clothes, which he surrendered on going to bed the night before.
Under the rules, Private Manning is not allowed to sleep at any time between 5am and 8pm; if he does so, he is made to sit up or stand by the guards. He is allowed just one hour of exercise a day, even then not in the fresh air, but an empty room where he can walk in figures of eight. Any attempt by him to keep himself busy by, for example, doing press-ups, or sit-ups, is forbidden.
He is not allowed to associate with his fellow inmates and has never seen them, although he does occasionally hear their voices.
Private Manning is allowed to watch local television channels, for up to three hours on weekdays; sometimes more at weekends. But he does not have access to wider news coverage. He is allowed one book and one magazine at a time, from an approved list of 15, and is allowed approved visitors at prescribed times. Lt Col Coombes said the guards have, at all times, behaved correctly towards Private Manning. But, under the regulations, their conversations with him must be minimal.
While the left get all excited about their latest male hero, lets hope they do not forget Bradley .
Labels: the left
Labels: lib dems
Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson today mounted an extraordinary defence of armed protection officers after the worst Royal security blunder in a generation.
Sir Paul hailed the 'enormous restraint' of the team guarding Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, implying the rioters were lucky not to have been shot.
Camilla was left terrified as their Rolls Royce came under fire from a snarling mob of student fees rioters as it made its way to the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
The car was kicked, rocked and hit with paint bombs as up to 20 demonstrators attacked it and chanted 'Off with their heads!' and 'Tory scum', leaving the couple visibly shaken.
The Prince and Duchess were not hurt but the potential risk to their safety raised worrying echoes of the 1974 kidnap attempt on Princess Anne.
So they saw a glimpse of the anger from those at the sharp end of this Government and then scuttled back to their cosseted lives. Tough .
Labels: new labour