SSP executive comment on Sheridan's new party plan

SSP media statement

The SSP executive notes that Tommy Sheridan and others plan to launch a breakaway party, thus rupturing asunder the most successful socialist unity project in Europe.

We reject the claim by Tommy Sheridan that Scotland is big enough to accommodate two socialist parties.

The creation and building of a unified Scottish Socialist Party represents an inspiring break with the petty division and conflict that has for generations weakened the left internationally.

Tommy Sheridan and his supporters are guilty of an act of political irresponsibility which can only delight the enemies of socialism in Scotland.

There is absolutely no  justification for this damaging split which is a betrayal of the hopes of tens of thousands of people who have looked to the SSP as a beacon of hope for the future.

This breakaway is not based on any political principle. It is a vehicle for the out of control ego of an individual and is based on the fiction that Tommy Sheridan has been the victim of a conspiratorial frame up by his own party.

The SSP is the most open and democratic and tolerant political party in Scotland. Factions and platforms exist unimpeded within the party. All decisions are arrived at democratically by the membership of the SSP via the Annual conference and the bi monthly national council meetings. Elections to the executive and other key posts are conducted by secret ballot under the single transferable vote system.

Despite his abominable behaviour before during and after the recent libel case in the Court of Session, there was never any threat of disciplinary action against Tommy Sheridan. Indeed the door was left wide open for him to pursue his ambition of returning as party convenor if he could muster enough support.

The SSP executive even brought forward the conference form March 2007 to October 2006 at the behest of Tommy Sheridan and his supporters to enable him to immediately stand against Colin Fox for the post of national convenor. We also agreed, again at the behest of Tommy Sheridan and his supporters, to devote an entire day of the party conference to a discussion on the issues surrounding the libel case.

Despite the extraordinarily tolerant attitude of the party towards him, Tommy Sheridan has chosen to run away from the SSP and wreak as much damage as he can in the process.

He has opted out of the party, not because he is the victim of a  vendetta. In fact, Tommy Sheridan himself started the war of words which has recently engulfed the SSP with his vitriolic open letter, he intensified that war during his court action when he accused honest members of the party of perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and the mother of all stitch-ups.

He further escalated this war with his vow in the new labourite Daily Record to 'destroy the scabs' who defended the integrity of the party in the Court of Session.

Tommy started the internal civil war in the party in order to give credence to his false accusations in court of a conspiracy against him.

He has now lost comprehensively because the membership of the SSP were not prepared to sign up to Tommy Sheridan's fictitious rewriting of the party history, nor were they prepared to stomach Tommy's thuggish and insulting behaviour towards his party comrades.

Tommy is now walking out of the party because he cannot win a majority. His actions are those of an egotistical politician who is contemptuous of democracy. To paraphrase Bertolt Brecht, the party membership has forfeited the confidence of the great leader so the great leader will now elect a new membership.

Tommy Sheridan's breakaway will fade into oblivion because it is based on a fraud.

The SSP has been damaged by the events of the past three months but remains intact and is now poised for a full recovery. We are confident that the vast majority of party members and supporters will stand by the SSP.

In the May 2007 elections the SSP will be standing a full list of candidates in all 8 Scottish regions we will also be targeting council seats in anticipation of gaining a foothold at local level under the new STV system for council elections.

On September 2, 2006 the SSP will be launching its campaign towards 2007 with a national rally in Glasgow for 'Unity Truth and Socialism'.


August 2006

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