All members of the Socialist Worker Platform offer their heartfelt congratulations to Tommy, Gail and Gabrielle Sheridan, their families and supporters on the success of Tommy's court case against the News of the World.
The Socialist Workers Party joined the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in 2001 and in doing so, helped to achieve the tremendous result in the May 2001 elections when five SSP MSPs joined Tommy Sheridan in the Scottish parliament. The Socialist Worker Platform of the SSP was absolutely appalled when the News of the World printed stories about Tommy Sheridan's private life in 2004. These stories were deliberately designed to destroy the most charistmatic socialist politician in Scotland.
We were not surprised that the Murdoch empire, which set out to smash the trade unions in the 1980s, were more than willing to do this. However, we were deeply saddened and dismayed to see other socialists and members of the SSP stand in court as News of the World witnesses. This has caused huge rifts in the SSP and has damaged the party's reputation amongst all those people who voted SSP in the 2001 Scottish parliamentary elections. We call on these News of the World witnesses to do the honourable thing and resign from the Scottish Socialist Party.
The court case was taking place at a time with war raging in the Middle East. The Socialist Worker Platform of the SSP call on all progressive forces in Scotland to unite against this war. Israel’s offensive against Hizbollah is perceived by the White House as an opportunity to eliminate a powerful anti-imperialist force that has close links with Iran. This is why Bush and his close accomplice, Blair, have blocked calls by the United Nations for an immediate ceasefire. Qana, where more than 30 children were killed, is the direct consequence of this imperialist offensive. We oppose Israel’s war against Lebanon, out of solidarity with the Lebanese people. We do not want to see another so-called ‘peacekeeping force’ in Lebanon because it will be a repeat of what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, where foreign troops act as an army of occupation.
We are delighted that Tommy will be back on the streets campaigning against war and injustice and for peace and socialism.
Iain Ferguson, SW Platform spokesperson