Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/458/5508
Huge meeting greets socialist movement
TOMMY SHERIDAN'S whirlwind tour of Dundee on 3 October was a good day for 'Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement'. He spoke to 50 students at Dundee University, where 13 showed interest in joining Solidarity. Then Jim Malone, Fire Brigade Union Secretary took Tommy to see workers in a closure-threatened fire control centre.
Harvey Duke, International Socialists (CWI Scotland)
This important issue of closure was then highlighted in the local press. It wasn't just local reporters who turned up at the Queens Hotel however - BBC, STV, Channel 4 news, the Herald, Scotsman, and tabloid reporters were out in force - including a few "freelancers" sounding suspiciously like they were from Rupert Murdoch's News International empire.
Tommy launched into a no-holds barred attack on the latest News of the World (NoW) smear campaign - an alleged video-confession about visits to a sex club, filmed secretly by George McNeilage, an SSP member. If these people are attacking you as a socialist, Tommy said, then you know you're doing something right.
He pointed out that it was the Sun that called the miners "scum" in the 1984-85 strike; that called striking fire-fighters "Saddam's stooges"; and that claimed that Liverpool fans had robbed the dead at the Hillsborough tragedy, under the heading 'The Truth'. As Tommy explained, "It was all lies."
Tommy's message was that he and Solidarity are being attacked because they are seen as a threat to big business and are clearly opposed to Bush and Blair's wars, and because they are fighting for socialism. The message to Rupert Murdoch was: "If you want a fight, come ahead! We'll take you on."
Another highlight was Tommy Sheridan's demolition of NoW Scottish editor Bob Bird on Channel Four news. Bird feebly claimed the attacks had "nothing to do with politics" and Tommy taunting him with "When will you pay up, you owe me two hundred thousand?"
The best part of the day was that evening's rally in the Marryat Hall where people of all ages streamed into the hall. Around 250 attended - a real working-class audience giving a standing ovation for Tommy after he spoke about the need for public ownership and building the socialist movement.
International Socialists member Sinead Daly chaired the rally. There were speakers from the anti-war movement, a local Muslim youth worker, speakers from PCS and Dundee Solidarity.
Jim Malone from the FBU spoke and agreed to join. £300 was raised and dozens expressed an interest in joining Solidarity.
Big Brother Murdoch
RUPERT MURDOCH'S Sky News evidently applied the maxim used by Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984 - "Ignorance is Strength" when reporting on Tommy Sheridan's press conference in Dundee.
Roy Johnson, RMT member
While millions watched on TV, many on giant plasma screens reminiscent of the 'telescreens' used by Big Brother, the idea they should hear the truth of what Murdoch's press says about the working class and socialists was too much for his editors in the 'Ministry of Truth' to stomach.
Tommy was reminding those present of the track record of Murdoch's Sun/News of the World. So, rather than let the viewers hear the real history of Murdoch's press and how it attacked socialists and the working class the solution was simple. Cut Tommy Sheridan off in mid-sentence.
Sky 'telescreens' went blank and the test card went up instead. Murdoch's democracy in action. However, they won't prevent the socialist case being put or the role of Murdoch, Blair's friend, from being exposed.
In The Socialist 12 October 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news