Tommy Sheridan and Gail Sheridan face trial for perjury on Monday. This is a disgraceful attempt to smear socialists and underline the power of the media to smash those they oppose and fear.
Tommy was one of the foremost leaders of the great anti-poll tax movement during Margaret Thatcher’s Tory regime.
He was jailed for his actions, but still managed to be elected a councillor. Later he was voted in as a socialist Member of the Scottish Parliament.
The case that opens in Glasgow next week dates back to 2004, when Andy Coulson, now David Cameron’s media chief, was editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World. The newspaper, one of whose journalists has been jailed for illegally tapping phones, ran a story about Sheridan’s private life.
Sheridan sued the paper for libel and, in August 2006, he was awarded damages of £200,000.
News International responded with fury. It demanded that Sheridan be hounded down for daring to fight back.
The Lothian and Borders police launched a major investigation that cost over £2 million.
Officers spent tens of thousands of hours digging.
In December 2007, Sheridan was charged with perjury. His wife, Gail, was similarly charged two months later.
The trial—which is expected to last up to eight weeks—pits working class activists against the might of the media and police. Tommy and Gail Sheridan deserve full support.