Tommy Sheridan’s press conference is available on-line via the BBC newsplayer. However, I was initially uncertain as to whether this was the real TOmmy Sheridan or the concocted CGI version which has been appearing across the media recently. It became apparent though during the conference that this Tommy was that hairy permatanned kid that sured played a mean libel. His oration covered the usual Sheridan issues.
He attacks Murdoch and the Murdoch press (hooray) partly on the grounds that the papers overtly promote sexism and racism. I don’t dissent from that position. However, his comments are perhaps ironic coming from the man that attacked some of his then fellow SSP MSPs as being part of a gender obsessed discussion group ; and who – in the words of Kevin Williamson in his resignation letter from the SSP “humiliated and disparaged women he had previously used for casual sex. Maybe there was much fiction concerning the original stories in the News of the World. Maybe there was indeed money changing hands in the cases of both Ms Maguire and Ms Khan. …. Katrine Trolle in particular must have walked out of that court room feeling sexually humiliated. No genuine socialist who cared about truth, justice, or the feelings of other human beings, would have gone down the road that Tommy Sheridan chose to go down. The means by which he fought that court case have brought deep shame on himself and stained the very causes he purports to champion. “
He draws comparison between his new party and the NUM in GB84, and the Liverpool fans attacked by The SUn after Hillsborough.
My favourite passage from his speech though is
“And just as Freddie Starr did not eat his hamster then the video that has been concocted, manufactured, and presented on Sunday as some kind of authentic evidence of a confession is up there alongside Mr Blair of the Daily Telegraph stumbling upon the arrows that just happened to point , in the bombed out building of the ministry of defence in Baghdad, George Galloway’s dealings with Saddam Hussein’s government. Allegations and stories that are garbage, that are lies, that are concocted to try and attack socialists. I said in the course of my mammoth five week trial against the Murdoch empire a mammoth five week trial against everything that they could throw against us. All of the muck that they could rake was thrown against me, my family and my political beliefs. I said then that I was the victim of the mother of all stitch ups.”
Additionally (although not in the clip) Tommy “Freddie Starr did not eat his hamster” Sheridan hinted that – as I had suggested some weeks ago - he was transforming into Michael “I know where you live” Murray from GBH. Today he suggested that MI5 were involved in destabilising him.
So in summary – the News of the World tape is a fake. The shadowy image at the start is not Tommy. The voice speaking is not Tommy (perhaps one of these damned impressionists – Bobby Davro, Jon Culshaw, Rory Bremner, or the great Jonathan Watson (who has a monopoly on MSPs)). He’s never been to the flat where the video was filmed (the flat occupied by one of his best men – it could be suggested that they could call in the fingerprint experts to test that – however, for reasons explained here perhaps now isn’t the best time to suggest that). Instead Tommy is in a war with the Murdoch empire and the story in the News of the World is up there with the Hillsborough stories, and Freddie Starr and the hamster (nice sense of perspective, Tommy). Oh, and it wasnae him. A big boy fae MI5 did it, and then ran away.
I described current events as a protracted Shakespearian demise on Sunday. Things may come to a head a little sooner than I had anticipated. The trailed story in the News of the World this Sunday may finish the job.