Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, December 24, 2010

So, Tommy Sheridan: what will you do when you come out of Barlinnie and have to get a real job?

I can't say I'm surprised at the Tommy Sheridan verdict. It was becoming clear from the evidence that the guy lied through his teeth in his libel action against the News Of The World, so he deserves to go to jail. Moreover, the way he conducted his defence was disgraceful, to the extent that even if he'd been acquitted one hopes his reputation would have remained in tatters. He fired his lawyer and conducted his own defence, not only because any worthwhile lawyer would have told him he had no chance, but so that he could pursue personal vendettas in the courtroom in front of a national audience.

Well, he won't have that kind of audience again. His career is over, and good riddance.

It's not personal disillusionment especially. Tommy Sheridan was always a hard man to like (and an easy one to mock for his studio tan). It certainly isn't any problem with his sexual morality: it is, and always was, Sheridan's own business what he does with his dick and to whom. I don't even have a problem with his paying for sex: sex workers have a living to make and I've no reason to think the ones he came in contact with (as it were) were victims of sex trafficking.

No, there are two things that piss me off equally about Tommy Sheridan. The first is that in the pursuit of a personal (and always doomed) campaign against the News of the World (for having the effrontery to tell the truth for once) he caused massive damage to a respected political party, the SSP, most successful party of the left in Scotland, and probably in Britain. Working-class solidarity, socialist principles: screw that, it was all about Sheridan proving he was whiter than white and that the Murdoch-controlled press were all liars. The second is that by making it clear that the News of the World was in fact telling the truth and that Sheridan lied in court so as to steal a few hundred thousand quid from them, he succeeded in what I would have considered the impossible task of actually garnering public sympathy for the News of the World. (Not even Vince Cable managed that!) With advertisements like Sheridan, who needs Thatcher?

Certainly, I'm looking forward to the NOTW's appeal against the now-discredited defamation payout. If he can't afford the payments, well, maybe Rupert Murdoch will offer him a job making tea for senior executives of the right-wing media to which Sheridan has just proved such a helper.

Meanwhile, here is a marvellous summing-up of the whole affair by Scottish Socialist Youth.

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