Fw: [UK Left Network] Not the Jubilee: Sheridan and his citizens hold an alternative party

Jim Drysdale jimd48 at btinternet.com
Sat Apr 27 17:47:09 MDT 2002

Date: 04 June 2002 10:07
Subject: [UK Left Network] Not the Jubilee: Sheridan and his citizens hold
an alternative party

>Glasgow Herald, 04/06/02
>Not the Jubilee: Sheridan and his citizens hold an alternative party
>BELOW a giant print of Che Guevara, a crowd of alternative jubilee
>revellers yesterday gathered to celebrate their status as "citizens
>not subjects".
>Around 250 people turned out at Glasgow Green for the republican
>garden party, organised by the Scottish Socialist party, to reject
>the monarchy and the golden jubilee celebrations.
>Tommy Sheridan, leader of the SSP and party host, told the crowd the
>monarchy was a symbol of inequality in Britain.
>He said: "I think we can collectively say that we're not interested
>in the individuals, whether its Philip or whether it's Lizzie, or
>whoever it is.
>"It's the institution itself which we're standing up against because
>it's the institution which symbolises that gross and obscene unequal
>division of wealth and power across the whole of our society."
>Referring to a recent poll, Mr Sheridan said 63% of young people aged
>between 18 and 24 supported a republic instead of a monarchy. He
>claimed that more and more people in Scotland were beginning to share
>his republican views and that the cost of maintaining the royal
>family was "not sustainable".
>The Glasgow list MSP was joined on the platform by James Kelman, the
>writer, and Tom Leonard, a poet from Glasgow University, who also
>expressed their disapproval of the jubilee celebrations.
>Mr Kelman, winner of the Booker Prize in 1994 for How Late it Was,
>How Late, said he felt the Queen's jubilee tour of Scotland last week
>was "shameful".
>"To see Jack McConnell and the rest, supposedly representative of
>myself and other people in Scotland, and seeing the Queen going round
>the Highlands and Islands with people dressed in kilts - I found it
>shameful," he said.
>Professor Leonard said he had avoided the celebrations so far
>because "it's nothing to do with me".
>The event, which included several stalls selling socialist literature
>and music, also launched a democratic vote among the crowd to elect a
>monarch for the day.
>Candidates included Sir Sean Connery, Berti Vogts, Idi Amin, Billy
>Connolly and Dolly the Sheep.
>Donald Gillies, 42, from Glasgow, who attended the rally with his
>wife and two daughters, said he hoped it would be "the swan song of
>the monarchy".
>Scot Jenkins, 19, said he "couldn't care less" about the royal family
>and was fed up with the amount of recent TV coverage.
>He added: "I don't think there's any need for a monarchy, it's very
>However, Bill Aitken, the Tory list MSP for Glasgow, later dismissed
>the republican celebrations, saying: "I'm confused with indifference
>as to what Tommy's daily demonstration is about and I would imagine
>that 99% of the population would be of the same view."
>Elsewhere around Glasgow Green, parents and children enjoyed the
>jubilee holiday in the afternoon sunshine, playing in the park and at
>the fairground.
>But while some waved union jack flags to mark the occasion, others
>felt indifference.
>One mother of two, from Glasgow, said: "I'm not really interested in
>the jubilee, but it was nice to come out today and do something.
>"The girls have had a great time."

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