Solidarity, the political party set up by disgraced ex-MSP, Tommy Sheridan, is in turmoil tonight, amidst allegations of corruption, fraud and bullying at the heart of the party.
The resignation of members of the Party Executive and various candidates for the upcoming Holyrood elections, is yet another embarrassment for Sheridan, whose efforts to woo voters have centred on his ability to shout at rallies in George Square and punt utterly batshit Youtube videos about Peanut Butter and Nutella…which are actually about Marmite, or something…
Former Sheridan allies claim they previously raised concerns and were met with silence and worse. It is understood the allegations centre on John Park, the party’s nominating officer and also their campaign officer. ATF reported as far back as October 2014, that Park runs an organisation known as Communities United Promoting Inclusion (CUPI) based in Greenhills, East Kilbride, which aims to provide “activities and opportunities for young people in our area.” Yet during fundraising for Sheridan’s “Hope Over Fear” campaign, Sheridan had encouraged supporters to make cheques payable to CUPI and send them to Sheridan’s home address. Solidarity Scotland lists its registered address as being in…Greenhills, East Kilbride. The suggestion Park might not know his CUPI from his Solidarity from his Hope Over Fear concerned many, particularly as the lines began to blur further. “Hope Over Fear‘s” claim to be “apolitical” was rather damaged when Solidarity registered the name “Hope Over Fear” with the electoral commission, allowing them and only them to use the name on ballot papers.
When concerns were again raised within Hope Over Fear in late 2014 and early 2015, several former key figures parted company with Sheridan, some more quietly than others. In one particularly embarrassing case, Lindsay Jarrett, a well respected independence campaigner, who also campaigns to raise awareness of Alpha-1, a rare genetic condition which means Jarrett has severely limited lung function, disassociated herself from Sheridan. Jarrett had been unsatisfied with answers received about the finances of Hope Over Fear. In response, some, including Solidarity members and those close to Sheridan, began a campaign against Jarrett on social media, with accusations which frankly, even we deem to be unrepeatable. Allies of Jarrett even state she was denied access to funds raised by the Lindsay Jarrett Foundation, the organisation set up by Jarrett , by resigned Foundation members who had access to the bank accounts. A Thousand Flowers has subsequently been contacted by a board member who disputes this version of events.
This week’s civil war within the party is understood to have culminated in a fiery meeting of the Solidarity Executive, at which evidence against Park was presented. Sources say Tommy Sheridan is standing by Park despite the evidence, as is councillor, Pat Lee. Perhaps because, not too long ago, it was the other way round – Park backed Sheridan’s made up version of events during his ill-fated legal action against the News of the World, despite being fully aware of the truth. Park and Sheridan are, to borrow a phrase, as thick as thieves.
In describing the magnitude of the split, The Herald’s Tom Gordon said the decision by Solidarity Executive member, Joyce Drummond, to resign from the party was the equivalent of IDS quitting the cabinet. Drummond has been at Sheridan’s side, and has been responsible for some of the most vicious attacks against his political opponents, for over a decade. Drummond, who admits to knowingly declaring disabled people “fit for work” while working for ATOS, but hasn’t YET confessed to lying for Sheridan over a 10 year period, declared on her Facebook that following her resignation “my principles and integrity are intact.” We’ll leave you to dwell on that. And this picture of her shouting at anti-rape campaigns on a demonstration, before she help push them around, along with her good pal…John Park!
The party set up with the sole intention of providing a platform to Tommy Sheridan, when the SSP split into pro and anti Tommy factions, now appears to be splitting into pro and anti Tommy factions…who could possibly have predicted this? With such acrimony, you can always rely on Tommy’s calm and reconciliatory manner. Rather than issue a statement to reassure members and supporters, Tommy went for a classic Vaguebook: seeking sympathy for an unspecified and never fully explained problem, intended to provoke reactions such as “you k hun? x” and “PM me bbz.”
Instead, the thread was hastily deleted amidst allegation that many members of Solidarity were “self serving bandwagon jumper[s]“, Tommy was a “narcissistic cunt“ and Joyce Drummond was a “vile spewing reprobate.” A party of Solidarity, this was not.
It’s very easy – and ENTIRELY CORRECT – to howl with laughter at the latest ridiculous developments in the left’s noisiest cult – but it’s important to spare a thought for those who associated with Sheridan without being fully aware of his past or his methods. If some of the allegations relate to finances, that’s the money of ordinary punters, given in good faith – they deserve to know what’s happened to it. I can shed no tears for individuals who knowingly attacked Sheridan‘s former sexual partners and their former party members and friends – but not every Solidarity member was complicit in Tommy’s last reign of destruction. As someone who was suckered in by Sheridan as a kid, I get why it happens and can’t help but sympathise with people who’ll feel badly let down by what happened when they just tried to make a difference and get involved.
Over the last 2 decades, Tommy has divided everything he touches between those who display utmost loyalty to their earthly master in the face of all reason and everyone else – from the SSP, to the Bedroom Tax campaign, to the Yes movement and now, his own party. This was always the only outcome; you can have Tommy or unity, never both.
On what could have been Scotland’s Independence Day, Yes voters up and down the country have been taking to social media to bore the world with “we told you so” type statuses. As Yes voters who’ve long predicted a day when Tommy Sheridan would again attempt to drive a massive wedge into the independence movement to protect his own interests, it would be churlish of us not to do likewise.
If there’s any hope amidst the fear this is just another classic Sheridan train wreck, it’s that the steam may just be running out. With more resignations expected imminently, we’d like to remind readers of the words of Sheridan campaign manager and wife, Gail, who PROMISED voters,
…if less than 6 out of every 100 voters in Glasgow can’t be bothered voting for him the message will be clear. He is not valued enough and we will demand he comes home to us permanently. Some want him to give up politics anyway. Well I will be demanding it if he fails to generate the 6% support required in Glasgow. Don’t get me wrong I will fight hard on his behalf but at the end of the day if the people of Glasgow don’t want him that’s fine. We do.
Who knows whether there is any truth in any of that – but we suspect the voters may conclude that his family are welcome to him, once and for all.
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