Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/457/5496

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2006

Tommy Sheridan - Murdoch's new offensive

THE NEWS of the World (NoW), which suffered a sensational defeat at the hands of Tommy Sheridan in his defamation case against them in August, has unleashed a massive new offensive against him.

Philip Stott International Socialists, CWI Scotland

On 1 October, NoW claimed to have bought a video tape from a member of the SSP and the United Left faction, which is the de facto leadership of the SSP. The tape for which the NoW paid a reported 20,000, the NoW claims, shows Tommy Sheridan admitting to an SSP member and former friend, George McNeilage, that he did visit a swingers' club in Manchester. Something he denied in court.

The NoW have said that this video tape was secretly recorded by McNeilage in his house in November 2004, a few days after the SSP Executive Committee meeting that effectively sacked Tommy Sheridan as SSP convenor.

Tommy Sheridan has condemned the video as a fabrication. The NoW have handed the tape to the police. In a separate development the Scottish Procurator Fiscal has announced a police inquiry into the whole case to see whether perjury was committed by any side during the defamation trial.

Press attacks

This continued campaign by the NoW, with the backing and the resources of the Murdoch media empire, is an attack on Tommy Sheridan for having the temerity to defeat the biggest media organisation internationally.

But it is also, and is primarily so, an attack on a socialist. Someone who, despite the political differences we have with Tommy Sheridan, has been the most prominent advocate of socialist ideas in Scotland over the last decade-and-a-half. Someone who, when he was a member of the Militant and the CWI, played a leading role in the mass anti-poll tax struggle.

There is no group of workers in struggle, no fighting trade union or socialist leader who has not been attacked, targeted and vilified by the Murdoch press. There is no prominent socialist or trade unionist who will not be attacked by organisations like News International in the future. That is why the International Socialists welcomed Tommy Sheridan's victory over the NoW in August.

We described it as victory for all socialists and the left internationally over one of the most vicious anti-working class, anti-trade union and anti-women gutter rags in the world.

Conversely, if the NoW succeeds in their campaign against Tommy Sheridan it will represent a setback for socialists. The NoW campaign is being waged to intimidate, cow and bully all those prepared to put their heads above the parapet and speak out for workers' rights and socialist ideas.

If Tommy Sheridan were to be defeated by this campaign, which reportedly has the backing, if not active encouragement of Rupert Murdoch personally, it would be used to deliver a message to all those prepared to challenge the big business and capitalist class interests that News International defends.

SSP leadership

IT IS against this background that the actions of the SSP leadership, who are now acting in concert with the NoW and News International, have to be condemned. Rather than accept Tommy Sheridan's victory in August they used it as a green light to go on the offensive against him.

The pages of The Sun and the NoW have become more akin to the in-house journals of the SSP leadership since Tommy Sheridan's victory. With page after page devoted to prominent SSP members who have demanded police enquiries, perjury investigations, and now the resignations of Tommy Sheridan and fellow Solidarity MSP Rosemary Byrne from the Scottish parliament.

But it was the SSP leadership that kept detailed so-called 'minutes' of the November 2004 Executive Committee, which claimed that Tommy Sheridan admitted visiting a swingers' club in Manchester. These minutes, deliberately and consciously kept, were clearly designed to force Sheridan to drop the defamation case or face the consequences in court.

As the NoW case gradually fell to pieces during the defamation case the NoW increasingly had to rely on the SSP members to undermine Tommy Sheridan's case. Eleven SSP members, who the NoW described on Sunday as "men and women of honour" and "decent and honest", gave evidence for the NoW in court. The SSP's website and newspaper has been dedicated to their continued campaign against Tommy Sheridan - no wonder the SSP are being dubbed the Stop Sheridan Party.

Socialist ideas

And now we have the making and then selling of a "video" to the NoW, clearly in an effort to destroy Tommy Sheridan. How ironic it is that the "men and women of honour" in the SSP leadership and their supporters are now prepared to provide the NoW with the bullets and the guns to politically and personally assassinate Tommy Sheridan.

How ironic is it that the "decent and honest" SSP leaders seem to have forgotten the role of News International against the print workers and their unions during the Wapping dispute in 1986-87.

The SSP leadership are dragging the name of socialism through the mud. While discrediting themselves, they seem to have no motivation other than to assist the bitterest enemies of socialism and the working class in their campaign against Tommy Sheridan.

The International Socialists will continue to fight these attacks by Murdoch and others, which are aimed at politically destroying Tommy Sheridan, and through him, the socialist movement in Scotland.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 October 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Our NHS not for sale!

Marching to stop cuts and sell-offs

Action is the only answer to NHS cuts

Fighting the privateers

Health workers told - no money for study

"Our campaign saved our maternity hospital"

Socialist Party fights for:


Socialist Students

Fight for a socialist alternative to Blair's Britain

Students seek out socialist ideas

Age discrimination and the minimum wage


Socialist Party campaigns

Blair more hated than Thatcher

Come to Socialism 2006!

Bush's 'war on terror' fuels terrorism!

MoD hypocrisy on Taliban

BIG OIL

Joe Higgins' speech "tore Taoiseach [PM] apart"

Tommy Sheridan - Murdoch's new offensive

Hamas clashes with striking workers


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 October 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Scottish Socialist Party:

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleShould trade unions be re-affiliating to the Labour Party?

triangleWill Scottish 'Rise' alliance offer a way forward?

triangleCollapse of Stalinism and the 1990s

Tommy Sheridan:

triangleCoulson case collapses amid stench of hypocrisy

triangleA parting of the ways with Solidarity

triangle'Political awakening' continues in Scotland

triangleScotland's referendum: A working-class revolt

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Police:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

Scotland:

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2