Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Is anyone taking bets

... on who wins the war between the Scottish Socialist Party and the Tommy Sheridan Party?

It seems to me that whilst Tommy has the celebrity factor and the media pull, I think his backers will probably let him down. It's hard to see how an organisation that seems to be composed of Tommy, a small circle of his friends, and the mutually antagonistic SWP and CWI, will cement itself for the long term. Presumably the SWP is relying on playing its familiar role as gofers for a leader to whose politics they will accomodate themselves, whilst relying on their numbers to squeeze out any opposition. This will of course be all the easier now that they have simply left the SSP organisation where the ISM used to counter-balance their weight. Scottish Respect, here we come.

The ones whose motives are harder to work out, are the CWI (the Scottish section of the Socialist Party). Vastly outnumbered in the new organisation by the SWP, they presumably are hoping that Sheridan retains enough of his old politics in order to build an organisation of which they would approve. Or was it simply that they were so bitter towards their former comrades in the ISM that they would take any opportunity to split with them?

In terms of who wins the inevitable slugging match, it will be interesting to see just how much of the SSP's electoral support is due to Sheridan's orange-tanned charisma, and how much is actual loyalty to the party. How much is due to which, will probably determine the outcome. Although of course, even if the Tommy Party comes out on top, it hardly bodes well for a new political project if its support is purely a personal vote for its leader.

Either way, it's very sad to see what was once a promising left-of-labour movement in Scotland destroying itself, with its two successor organisations sinking into the pit of sectarian mutually assured destruction.


Anonymous seren said...

Sad? It's feckin tragic what's happened to the best hope for a credible socialist party in the dis-UK.
What's worthy of analysis is the u-turn Sheridan did on "reclaiming" the party from his old mates. Within a week of winning the court case he'd gone from fighting talk to splitting talk.
OK, so he realised he couldn't win a majority but he would NEVER have split if he didn't have the willing gofers of the SWP and CWI behind him. How much did they do to encourage him to go, meaning that they then had a prize asset in their pocket (he might have other ideas but it's the reality) to push for a Scottish Respect.
Sheridan's Little Party will crash and burn.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous housey said...

The CWI is supporting a new formation largely because the SSP had degenerated too fast to reclaim - e.g. its upcoming National Council was suspended by its EC. More detail on our websites.

Basically, a new party looks like the best way to reclaim anything. Going down a Respect or other opportunist route may well cause it to fail and we'll fight to stop that happening.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy may be in jail for perjury.
SWP C wing visits?

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very intersting that the launch rally of sheridans new party was double the size of the rump SSP's in the same venue the day before.

more trade unionists and women there, majority of speakers were socialist women. the new party has already won the affiliation of the vast majority of the SSP's trade unionists. The Rail Workers and Postal Workers unions that were affiliated to the SSP are now discussing disaffiliation due to the behaviour of the SSPs leadership bureaucracy.

if you side with the bosses press against a socialist then workers remember these type of things.

4:45 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

How many of the people there were:

a) Media

b) English members of the SWP

... and were you actually at both to confirm that what you say about there being "double" the number of people and "more women and trade unionists" at one than the other, is true.

Or... are you in fact a member of the SWP, who's merely repeating the party line to slavishly support Sheridan?

I think I can take a wild guess.

12:34 AM  

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