Tommy and Gail Sheridan’s trial on charges of perjury has started in Glasgow.
More than four years after Tommy’s defamation victory over the Murdoch rag the News of the World, a two year police investigation which cost over £2 million and tens of thousands of hours of police officers time, a ten week trial is to take place.
At a minimum cost of £2 million the case will have cost the public purse up to £5 million by the time it finishes. Not to mention the likely millions spent by News of the World in their witchhunt against Tommy Sheridan.
And in whose interests? Certainly not those working class communities across Scotland facing savage spending cuts to their public services, jobs and benefits.
They will rightly ask why millions can be found to fund a witch hunt against a socialist fighter, while schools and community facilities are being threatened with the axe.
The truth is that for the rich and powerful interests who have led this witch hunt there are scores to settle.
For them this is payback for Tommy Sheridan’s leading role during the mass anti-poll tax movement in the late 80’s and early ‘90’s.
A mass movement of ordinary working class men and women that cost the then prime minster, Margaret Thatcher, her job.
Tommy Sheridan rubbed salt into the gaping wounds of the political and legal elite by being elected from his prison cell in Saughton Prison to Glasgow City Council in 1992.
It’s also payback for being a thorn in the side of the establishment as a socialist MSP in the Scottish parliament for 10 years – when he lived as a workers’ MSP on a workers wage.
But above the ruling class want to inflict a defeat on Tommy Sheridan in order to send out a warning to every worker, every trade unionist and every socialist – don’t stand up and fight. Accept the onslaught of cuts and attacks while the millionaires and billionaires walk away without a scratch from an economic crisis they created.
That’s why Solidarity and Socialist Party Scotland are giving our 100% support to Tommy Sheridan and his partner Gail. It’s why we want to see the reactionary billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the News of the World and the Scottish legal establishment defeated – because they represent the rich and powerful and the enemies of working class people.
There is only one side any genuine socialist and trade unionist can be on. And that’s the side of Tommy and Gail Sheridan.