Last Monday saw the “Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign” (DTSC) stage its first public meeting in Glasgow since Sheridan was sentenced to three years in prison for having committed perjury.
The DTSC is backed by “Solidarity — Scotland’s Socialist movement”, a flag of convenience for the SP and the SWP. Its website is headed by a quote from Ian Hamilton QC:
“Scottish Justice has notched up another political miscarriage of justice alongside that of Al Megrahi and Muir of Huntershill.”
According to the DTSC leaflet advertising last Monday’s meeting:
“An unholy alliance of the Scottish Crown Office, Lothian and Borders Police, the News of the World, and senior members of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) conspired to secure a conviction against him (Sheridan).”
The claim of a “conspiracy” involving the state and the SSP has been a consistent theme of the DTSC from the outset. Since the end of Sheridan’s trial the rhetoric about a “conspiracy” has been ramped up even more.
SSP leaders can be accused of all kinds of things. But engaging in this kind of “conspiracy” is certainly not one of them. The SWP and SP should publicly dissociate themselves from what they know to be a slander against fellow socialists.
They might also question one of DTSC’s choice of speakers for its public meeting — George Galloway.
If Galloway is concerned about wrongly-imprisoned political activists, maybe he could use his cordial relationship with the rulers of Syria and Iran to try to secure the release of the thousands of political activists imprisoned in those countries.
Of Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad, for instance, Galloway has had the following to say:
“I was very impressed by his flexible mind. Syria is lucky to have Bashar Al-Assad as her president. … For me he is the last Arab ruler, and Syria is the last Arab country. It is the fortress of the remaining dignity of the Arabs.”
All of which adds an element of farce to a Glasgow University Palestine Society public meeting addressed by Galloway the following day:
“Turmoil in the Middle East: George Galloway Speaks Out Against Injustice, Dictators and Oppression.”