Monday, July 10, 2006

The future of Tommy Sheridan and the Scottish Socialist Party

Scottish editions of the Sunday Times yesterday featured an assessment of the prospects for the Scottish Socialist Party. Although most of the predictable 'Carry on Trotsky' gags were pretty unfunny, it is difficult to disagree with the conclusion:

‘Whatever the truth, the outcome of the trial will be largely immaterial as far as the future of the party is concerned. It has no future …

‘The fallout from the publicity generated by Sheridan’s trial is enough to ensure the SSP, at one time an emerging force that threatened to break Labour’s grip on the working-class vote in a number of Scottish constituencies, can now aspire to be nothing more than a footnote in the country’s political history.’

Sadly, I guess that’s just about right. And it’s not only a setback for the left in Scotland, it’s a setback for the left across the UK.

There’s been some speculation that Sheridan, backed by the SW Platform, could end up as the figurehead for the Scottish wing of Respect. Can anybody north of the border give any estimation of how likely that prognosis is? And what direction are the other wing likely to take?

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