[Marxism] Galloway, Sheridan, SSP etc

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 5 15:08:55 MST 2004

A frankly bizarre article appeared in Mail on Sunday

In it George Galloway was quoted as declaring that
RESPECT would be
standing candidates in Scotland. He was also quoted as
calling on
Tommy Sheridan to leave the Scottish Socialist Party
in favour of

The SSP have issued a press release attacking Galloway
for "attempting to split the left in Scotland".

Both the original article and the SSP's response are


The Mail On Sunday, 05/12/04

Galloway to team up with Sheridan for assault on
Labour seats at

By Jane Simpson

REBEL MP George Galloway wants to stand as an MSP and
is planning to
launch a ferocious assault on the Scottish parliament.
And he revealed he is considering a radical joint
assault on the
parliament with former Scottish Socialist Party leader
Mr Galloway believes the recent implosion of the SSP,
coupled with
its treatment of Mr Sheridan over newspaper
allegations, has created
a crucial opening for his anti-war party, Respect, in
the 2007
Holyrood elections.
Attacking First Minister Jack McConnell's `parody' of
administration, Mr Galloway, 50, said he was certain
Scots voters
would support his alliance with Mr Sheridan in its bid
to win seats
from the Labour Party.
Speaking exclusively to the Scottish Mail on Sunday,
Mr Galloway
added: `I would certainly like to contend in Glasgow
for the Scottish
parliament elections.
`Tommy and I would be a great double act, a dream
ticket and people
would vote for us. I am certain that together we could
set the cat
among the pigeons.
`Tommy is still fighting his corner in the SSP but I
fear he will
have to accept they have betrayed him and move on.'
Mr Galloway revealed his Holyrood plans after winning
damages from The Daily Telegraph over an article
suggesting he was on
Saddam Hussein's payroll.
And just days ago he announced that he will step down
as MP for
Glasgow Kelvin to stand for Parliament in Bethnal
Green and Bow at
next year's General Election under his new Respect
party banner.
Although he could be a Westminster MP if he wins the
East London
seat, he said that would not necessarily stand in the
way of his
Scottish ambitions.
He explained: `We are talking about two years down the
`If I am in Westminster we'll have to see if it is
possible and look
at the situation in more depth. If I am not in
Westminster then
obviously it is more possible.'
The MP, who vowed the Labour Party would `rue the day'
it ditched him
over his anti-war views, said Respect has already
started to explore
the best way to use the proportional representation
list system to
wins Holyrood seats at the 2007 elections.
Yesterday, Mr Galloway kicked off his assault on
Holyrood with a
stinging attack on Mr McConnell and the Labour-LibDem
He said: `Jack McConnell's administration is all about
with small horizons and lacking in its ideas. It is a
parody of what Labour is supposed to be.
`They strike me more as people running Cumbernauld
town council than
powering the whole of Scotland and I think the country
Mr Galloway, who won his Glasgow Kelvin seat for
Labour with a
majority of more than 7,000 at the last General
Election, would have
a powerful support base if he contested the Holyrood
Respect, The Unity Coalition was launched last January
as an
alternative to Labour. It now has a reported 1,000
Mr Galloway intends to steer it down a more socialist
path. As well
as its strong anti-war stance, party policies include
pensions to earnings and repealing union laws. Mr
Sheridan was one of
the speakers who took to the stage to offer support at
the launch of
the party.
Yesterday, Mr Galloway said he had discussed the
allegations about Mr Sheridan with the former SSP
leader, who claims
never to have met the woman at the centre of the
reports - now the
subject of legal action.
Since the story appeared, there has been bitter
division within the
SSP and members have admitted they are in crisis.
Mr Galloway added: `The Scottish Socialist Party has
made a
catastrophic blunder. It is my estimation that much
more than half,
maybe even much more than three-quarter who voted for
them, did so
because of Tommy Sheridan.
`The idea that these unknown Trotskyite apparatchiks
who have done
him down are going to get the same kind of vote that
they did when
led by Sheridan seems to me inherently improbable.
These people who
have done him down are not fit to tie his shoe laces.'
Mr Galloway has stated he has made no plans for his
libel winnings as
they have been frozen until The Daily Telegraph makes
a decision
whether or not to appeal.
He added: `In the end I will spend it on my political
life, which is
what I spend my existing earnings on.'

SSP Research, Policy & Media Unit
Press Release: 05/12/04
Eddie Truman: ***** ******

SSP attacks Galloway for attempting to split left in

The Scottish Socialist Party today angrily condemned
George Galloway
for coming to the aid of New Labour with a threat to
split the left
vote in Scotland
In an article in The Mail on Sunday George Galloway
raises the
prospect of Tommy Sheridan standing as a Respect Unity
candidate at the next Scottish Parliament elections.

Today Tommy Sheridan categorically ruled out any such
Tommy said;
"I don't know why George is raising this idea.
"I am absolutely committed to the Scottish Socialist
Party and expect
to be a leading candidate for the party in the 2007
"Respect is doing a good job in England of campaigning
against the
Iraq war and raising basic socialist policies but
there is already a
socialist party in Scotland, it is called the SSP.
"I have no plans to be anything other than a
representative of the
Scottish Socialist Party and if George wants to stand
for the same
list as me he will have to join the SSP before the
next Scottish
Parliament elections."

An SSP spokesperson condemned George Galloway's
comments outright and
accused him of coming to the aid of New Labour by
threatening to
split the left vote in Scotland.

The spokesperson said;
"We are disappointed that George Galloway has launched
astonishing attack on the SSP, based on ignorance and
We are angry that George Galloway has launched this
attack in a right
wing newspaper with a tawdry track record of promoting
racism and
virulent anti-trade unionism.
"George Galloway has made no attempt to contact any
member of the SSP
executive to clarify the facts behind Tommy Sheridan's
"The Scottish Socialist Party has assisted and
supported the
development of the Respect Coalition in England.
Unfortunately, it
appears that George is prepared to cynically exploit
the short term
difficulties faced by the SSP to further his own
"The SSP has united the left in Scotland and was
campaigning for
peace and socialism years before George Galloway
finally broke with
New Labour.
"The only people who could benefit from a divided left
in Scotland
would be the British establishment and New Labour on
both sides of
the border.
"The Scottish Socialist Party will be writing to the
Respect Unity
Coalition in England to call upon the party to
dissociate from George
Galloway's divisive outburst."

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