Two thoughtful, balanced and sensible left-wing commentaries on the Tommy Sheridan tragedy. I recommend reading both in full. The first is from A Very Public Sociologist:
'Tommy wasn't up on perjury charges as an outcome of a protest, strike, or dispute. It was because he lied in his defamation action. He wasn't featured in the News of the World because of his record of struggle. He was, like many politicians before him and no doubt many more to come, caught with his pants down (some comrades tend to forget this is their stock in trade). And before he was named by the paper as the MSP in question he'd held his hands up to the SSP executive and confessed.
While some members may have a particular attitude to sex and fidelity, the exec didn't sack Tommy because of his peccadilloes. He was asked to step down because he intended to sue News of the World for defamation, despite admitting the story was substantially true, and because he expected *others* to risk their necks by going along with it. In other words, Tommy asked his comrades, many of whom he'd worked with for 20 years, to buy into a lie so Tommy could trouser a couple of hundred grand.'
Gregor Gall writes along the same lines for Comment is Free:
'For the radical socialist left in Scotland, this is the continuation of a fratricidal nightmare. Tommy split the Scottish Socialist party, by far the most successful socialist party in the British postwar period, which he helped found and lead. He wanted the SSP to back him up. When it would not, he then left it and set up a rival party, Solidarity.
As a result, both parties were wiped out from the Scottish parliament. The electorate looked at both and said: "A plague on both your houses". Sheridan fell along with the five other socialist MSPs. It has been said by some that this is the one crime Sheridan will never stand trial for.
For Tommy Sheridan, spending most of the past six years fighting former comrades and preparing for a perjury trial meant not only that he trained far less of his fire on the forces of capitalism and neoliberalism but he also missed out doing so at the time of these enemies' gravest crisis. The credit crunch, which led to an economic depression and a crisis for neoliberalism, is now being resolved by making citizens pay for the mess through an attack on the welfare state, courtesy of the government's age of austerity. That is the tragedy of Tommy Sheridan.'