These are my opinions, nobody else's. As I have stated previously I am a member of a political party, but I hold no elected position in that party nor have I ever stood for any, and do not in any way speak for or on behalf of that party. Only for myself.
The sentencing of Tommy Sheridan today brings to an end a sad chapter for the left in Scotland. It is well detailed elsewhere but to sum it up Sheridan got himself involved in a sleazy lifestyle. Not that uncommon, but he got caught. He tried to turn the tables and obtain for himself £200,000 by lies and deception and when honest people wouldn't back him up he labelled them liars and scabs. He demanded that comrades conspire together with him to commit this greedy theft, they refused, and the jury decided. So he goes to jail on a three year sentence and I hope they can give him the help he so obviously needs.
If only it were that simple, but there were those who decided that they would support him and that split the SSP down the middle.
Some of his supporters knew exactly what he was doing because they were present at crucial times. They are the low. A self seeking bunch of liars who should never be allowed anywhere near a socialist again.
Others only knew the Sheridan spin and like many charismatic leaders (Jim Jones springs to mind) he was able to shepherd them along a suicidal path. Those I feel nothing for but sorrow. They got it wrong and they live with the consequences.
But there is another group and in my opinion they are the lowest. They are the ones from other parts of the left who said, 'We don't know all the facts so we'll reserve judgement'. They kept their heads down and hid in their bunkers like the cowards they are offering neither words of support nor assistance to those they had worked hand in hand with for years. They may not have known all of the facts, but they knew all of the people, and if when the words 'Scab' and 'Liar' were being thrown around by Sheridan they could not identify the lie then they are not fit to be making judgements on behalf of the working class. They knew all of the people involved and still chose Sheridan to be a candidate to run for election. They knew he was a liar and that the people he had insulted in the worst way were no scabs, but they chose personality over integrity. They thought they saw a short cut to socialism via personality politics, but that is a house built on sand, and we can now see clearly that socialism is built by hard work and not headlines. They embraced a model of personality led socialism that is now seen to be a failed and discredited model. So don't come to me preaching left unity, please. I want nothing to do with the SWP, TUSC, CWI or anyone else with a catchy set of initials. They are only passing through, like Galloway, and their loyalties lie elsewhere. And as for McCrowe. When did come to believe he was the saviour of the Scottish left. Bob, take your 59K plus expenses and go back to wrecking the left across the border. I want nothing to do with you.
The SSP should be fighting for a united left. We should be fighting to unite ourselves with the people who have lost faith in all politics and don't vote any more. We should be fighting to unite ourselves with good honest trade unionists and others who believe in justice, integrity and honesty, often despite their leadership. We should be uniting ourselves with the poor and the soon to be poor and fighting the upcoming war on their behalf. But we should not be sucked into alliances with the cowards who hid themselves away. They are beneath contempt.
There are no short cuts.