Friday, January 28, 2011

"The women who refused to lie for Tommy Sheridan"

Photograph by Murdo MacLeod

This morning The Guardian has published an article by Julie Bindel which contains quotes from Crown witnesses in the case,  Barbara Scott, Carolyn Leckie, Pam Currie, Catriona Grant Rosie Kane and Katrine Trolle.  You can read the full piece Here

Meanwhile the Scotsman is reporting that they have obtained  "a copy of a letter from the Defend Tommy Sheridan campaign to the First Minister, demanding a probe into the "role, conduct and performance" of Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in pursuing the case against the left-winger." That article is Here

Finally the Scottish Sun Newspaper has ran three stories that appear to have been based on interviews with Tony Cumberbirch these can be found Here. Mr Cumberbirtches testimony at the trial can be viewed Here


Steve said...

Some stuff in the Sun today as well - perhaps a case of cheque book journalism, but who knows.

James Doleman said...

Just added that Steve thanks. Having seen Mr Cuimberbirtch testify I'm sure this story is only motivated by a desire to serve the public interest with any fee sure to be donated to charity.

Mike Giggler said...

Worst Girl Band ever!

Radge Col said...

See an article appearing on a local SSP site

Whatsy said...

I'm feeling a little queasy after reading those Sheridan-related articles in the Sun.

forward to socialism said...

Thankyou, James for your blogging during the trial. It has been enlightening and even handed.

As someone who left the SSP at the time of the split, I held the belief that Sheridan had been wrongly shunted from the Convenorship.

In light of events in the past few months, my view has changed.

I believe in the truth and therein lies the way to socialism. I am now of the view that the new SSP is a kernel for a new socialist movement in Scotland. I agree with the previous person who said Solidarity should dissolve. I believe it will, now that the more stable comrades have learned the truth (I helped Solidarity with an election campaign a few years back and there are quite a few people I met who had doubts about what had happened).

Thanks again, James for a great blog.

Anonymous said...

Re the poll tax. My mother claims that it ended an unfair situation for her. Prior to that, she paid the same council tax as the family next door who had 4 working adults in the house. Although my father worked, my mother wasn't working as she was looking after my grandmother who had moved in with her because of dementia and yet they had to fork out the same money every month as next door neighbours who were relatively wealthy. She says the poll tax ended what she sees as inequality. Do any of the posters on here agree that the poll tax was in fact fairer for some people than the previous system?

Steve said...

There were winners and losers as with almost any change, but the overall shift to a per head basis without taking income or property into account was to shift the tax burden from the rich to the poor.

Critical-eye said...


I applaud your sense on the poll tax. It should be remembered that the poll tax was introduced in Scotland when it was because there had been a rate revaluation and there were large protests from many people who would have had their rates substantially increased.

The Left like to portray the poll tax as an "Unjust" tax. This is part of their usual approach to portray their political opinions as based on a higher moral principle. No convincing account of what makes a tax unjust has ever been given. To call the poll tax unjust is nonsense - there are unfairness is most taxes, and certainly there were in the rates, as your post shows.

The real objection, as I see it, to the poll tax was that it was impossible to collect - with a mobile population, especially of young people far too many people were able to evade paying the tax.

Critical-eye said...

Am I permitted a second comment?

Steve - many of those who paid rates were not rich (widows on fixed incomes!) and many of those who would have to pay the poll tax were not poor (houses with several inhabitants, all working). It is too simplistic to say that the change was to shift the burden of tax from rich to poor.

Of course, under the poll tax many had to pay who did not have to pay previously, and there were probably more losers than winners.

But this has nothing to do with justice or fairness - human nature being what it is, people do not like to pay taxes, and especially new taxes. So it naturally was not difficult to get a lot of people to protest. The protest, however, had nothing to do with morality or justice, but everything to do with self-interest.

Steve said...

Hi Critical Eye,

At the risk of going briefly off-topic, the primary issue for me as a nationalist at the time was the lack of a democratic mandate, the Scottish tories having been reduced to an unprecedented 10 of what was then 72 constituency seats.

You have to remember for my generation of nationalists in the late 1980s our point of comparison was the hunger strike in N Ireland.

It was not acceptable to us that we should refuse to stand side by side with the many who could not afford to pay as this made a mockery of our commitment to country.

The then Scottish-identified political class would have delegitimated itself had it not acted. To suggest that this had nothing to do with morality or indeed justice is quite inaccurate, whether or not you agree with the morals.

Gym Bo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter said...

Swinton Tony - man of the hour. I suppose it would have looked very suspicious and possibly illegal, considering his testimony, if the story had appeared in the NOTW so that is why he gave it to the Guar ..... what The Sun .... Oh dear, Oh very dear.

Simon Cowell said...

Just been looking at the picture on this bloggy post and wondering if it is a spice girls relaunch

We have (from left to right) Moody Spice, Blond Spice, Odd

Jessica Fletcher P.I. said...

I could have lived without the Sun article. Not criticising your choice to use it. My neighbour puts her papers through the door when she's finished with them. Quite often she chooses to buy the Sun. Sometimes even the Star. Today's went straight in the bin. I couldn't even face skimming it to see their slant on other stories. They are very happy people just now.

I enjoyed reading the Guardian article. But then I would.

Jo G said...

Steve the poll tax wasn't about shifting the responsibility from the rich to the poor. It was about removing the responsibility of paying for services from householders to ALL of us who actually USE them. The link between the value of a property and the amount of rates paid is utterly ludicrous. The Council Tax does exactly the same thing: householders (whether they own or rent) and held responsible for funding Council services, services which we all use. That is grossly unfair in anyone's book. All this rich and poor nonsense is exactly that: nonsense. I want a fair system which recognises we all have a responsibility to share the load.

Jo G said...

Didn't the SSP announce on the day of the verdict that they now wished to "draw a line" under all this? And now here they all are in the papers. Dearie me.

Jo G said...

Can't say it brings the Spice Girls to mind: more Macbeth I would say.

jim mclean said...

Having been banned from one site for my anti TS stance and having vowed to abandon commenting on the whole sorry mess I cannot let this one go, might as well have both sides after me.
To state that the fight was about sexism and women not socialism and the workers would be a valid point if they had not posed in what is clearly and engendered image under the direction of a male photographer. To give Ms Currie her due she clearly looks ill at ease.
Of course the main difficulty for these women is that as Nationalists, Nationalism is at its core a political system that legitimises the patriarchy conferring upon the woman the main role of being the mother of the hero warrior, defender of the “race”. Leaning heavily on Bird who in dealing with US nationalism makes two important cross cultural points
We can state that
1) The framework of nationalism was enabled by gender ideologies,
2) Nationalistic self determination is the main means to preserve the self determination central to hegemonic masculinity.
.( -)
Nationalism legitimises the role of the male as leader and father of the nation, and the controller of property which includes women, and until the SSP, in fact all nationalist parties, can provide a legitimate political theory which allows feminism to thrive I cannot accept a nationalist party as a feminist organisation.
I must also point out a bit of slack reporting that would not have got past your good selves,
“and one woman on his Facebook page said she was going to "hunt down" his detractors like "wild animals".”
This statement was not made on Tommy Sheridan’s Facebook page.

I do not know if this will be published but as a trained sociologist I enjoyed writing it.

Anonymous said...


"They had their own little gathering of the clans at cupids"

It's so handy when ordinary folks like Tony reel off perfectly formed tabloid quotes like this and save journalists the bother.

Peter said...

The Sun has now involved itself closely with Crown witnesses Mr and Mrs Cumberbirtch and their friends by producing a detailed article.

I have been pondering why The Sun would wish to involve themselves in the ongoing News of the World scandal regarding the "loss" of emails; phone hacking; bugging; payments to Crown witnesses and the rest.

There are many intriguing allegations in The Sun story about Sheridan affair that will keep us busy for a while in cross checking.

I wonder if The Sun will now find themselves subject to any extended enquiry by the ICO into "lost" NOTW emails to Crown witnesses.

I wonder if any complaints have been made to the Press Complaints Commission about (possible) beneficial arrangements between News International titles and Crown witnesses when such arrangements had been denied by witnesses under oath.

Questions that may be asked include:

Was this Sun interview really all arranged after the witnesses appeared in the trial or were the Crown witnesses "on a promise"?

Were they paid?

How much?


By whom?

I do not know the answers.

Maybe they were not paid or given fancy holidays to Dubai etc. as others were and there is nothing to worry about at all.

But it is a legitimate matter of public concern if these Crown witnesses have been paid by News International and denied it in court.

We just dont know what has gone on at this point.
Hopefully the oath has been respected - it is a serious matter not to respct it.

That is what the Press Complaints Commission and the police are for of course - to get to the bottom of matters such as these.



Jo G said...

You won't get much change out of the Press Complaints Commission Peter. They will reject your complaint unless you personally have been affected by any article of theirs. I found this out last year when I submitted a complaint to them about a piece they did on someone I know. Ultimately as I wasn't that person they didn't want to know. I wasn't aware of this until then. I was appalled. The Press Complaints Commission serves few people other than the Press itself. That is not healthy and it is time a more independent body existed to deal with complaints about press behaviour. They are essentially accountable to no one.

Anonymous said...

"Worst Girl Band ever!"

The Murdoch Babes with their latest release...Puppets on a string.

alexandria said...

Peter the Cumberbirches will have been very easy to track down. I doubt the deal was done while they were giving evidence as Tony was very hostile to the press. My guess is they were approached afterwards and offered cash. It's not unusual for witnesses to be approached during a trial with a view to publication once the case has concluded. As James points out the story in the Sun is at odds with the testimony given under oath. There is a reason for that.
And Mrs Cumberbirch didn't even remember TS.

Anonymous said...

@ alexandria, what reason?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:15, the Poll Tax was a lot fairer that the iniquitous Council Tax at present. As far as I am concerned the Poll Tax was nothing more than a Trojan Horse to usher in the Council Tax. Why did we not go back to the Rates which the Poll Tax/Council Tax replaced - payment based directly proportional on property value with rates for those on low incomes. Incidentally, rateable value is still used on domestic property in Northern Ireland.

Taxed Enough said...

Tommy and the Poll Tax:
My brother and his wife as good socialists refused to pay Poll Tax for two years.
In the end of course they were forced to pay-- a few years later when they could not afford it!
So much for the great Tommy, all he did was get some folks who were daft enough to listen to him in even more debt.

Norma Anderson said...

Of course, the poll tax opposition was all part of some vast misogynist plot perpetrated by any unreconstructed man on the left!

Peter said...

There was a photo in a Tory rag this week which some people have been cackling about across the twitter sphere.

Fair enough I suppose .... but what's good for the gander must be good for the geese. No?

For example I was quite taken in the photo of the leading members of the United Left faction that appeared in the Guardian this week that appears on this site.

Something was just so familiar about it. It was niggling away at the back of my mind and then it came to me.

Then it came to me .....

A wicked sense of humour shown by the Guardian photographer to get them to do that pose.

I wonder if the penny has dropped yet.

It is not something I would do of course but it appears a bit of an open goal for photoshoppers everywhere to add in the title of the movie and its tagline.