Look North

It’s still not clear what actually happened in the Scottish Socialist Party to lead them to turn on their major electoral asset.

This article from last Sunday’s Herald tries to make sense of things and predicts a bright future for recently sacked leader Tommy Sheridan and the dustbin of history for his ex-comrades who stabbed him in the back:

Sheridan remains the SSP and will continue to be so for most Scottish voters. In sacking him, the SSP are in danger of sacking themselves. According to John Curtice of Strathclyde University, the SSP needs only to lose 1% of its vote at the next election to lose all its MSPs. Except Tommy. He will likely go from strength to strength as an independent MSP in a parliament where individualism is seen as a political virtue.

The Scottish Socialists, however, will likely sink into rancour and obscurity. British Trotskyite organisations – SWP, IMG, WRP – have all dissolved into personal bitterness and petty rivalry, like malign bacteria dividing and attacking each other in a drop of water.

The dispossessed of west central Scotland will be in no doubt about who they should give their allegiance to in the future. Sheridan was able to speak across the generations; to connect the shattered remnants of the working class living in today’s drug-ridden housing estates with the great socialist traditions of the industrial working class.