Tommy Sheridan was a leader of the Scottish Socialist Party and a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP). In 2004, the party asked him to leave.
The News of the World then ran articles alleging he’d had extramarital affairs. He denied it and sued. SSP refused to turn over documents demanded by NOTW, one member was jailed for 19 days, and others had their homes raided.
At the trial, 18 people testified Sheridan participated in group sex. However NOTW apparently made up parts of the story, so Sheridan was awarded 200,000 pounds.
You might think that would be the end of it. Not hardly. The judge said perjury investigations might be needed because of conflicting witness testimony. That included Tommy Sheridan, and he’s now expected to be charged with perjury.
In the recent Scottish election, SSP went from having six members in parliament to zero, and while this ongoing psychodrama obviously didn’t help, their loss was also due to voters wanting to give Labour the boot by voting for the Scottish National Party.
The SNP did indeed win, taking the Scottish parliament by one vote. The Scottish Green Party, who held onto two seats, just signed an agreement with SNP, giving two more potentially crucial votes. Green MSP’s may now have influence far beyond than their tiny numbers.
(Gosh, what a concept parliamentary government is. If you get 5% of the vote, you get 5% of the seats, a system quite unlike the US method where winner takes all. Factor that in with the bizarre US Electoral College wherein voters do not actually elect the president, and it would appear the founding fathers had little genuine faith in the people. But I digress…)
Sheridan formed the Solidarity Party after leaving SSP, and neither they nor he won a seat in the 2007 election.
Red Squirrel comments on this from an insider’s viewpoint, concluding with:
Regardless of the possibility of a perjury case and its outcome, the case remains that the SSP is the only viable vehicle for the socialist cause in Scotland. Over the next months and years, we will have to rebuild, rethink, reorganize, restructure, and many more re’s. But we most definitely won’t retreat.
PS Scotland had their own Florida-style voting scandal in the election with 142,000 votes being “disqualified”, uh huh, “disqualified.” From Perspective.
I read somewhere that if Venezuela had lost 100,000 votes then Bush and Blair would be calling for tanks to roll through the streets of Caracas. Here in Scotland it turns out that there were actually closer to 142,000 votes disqualified in last weeks Scottish elections.