Protest Letter from Tommy Sheridan

The following letter was sent by Tommy Sheridan to Peter Taaffe and the CWI, on behalf of the SSP. It was in protest at the release to the capitalist press of a statement attacking the SSP and Tommy personally. The CWI press release was carried by a number of papers including the mass circulation Daily Record who wrote an article describing Tommy as a 'neo-Stalinist capitalist'

To: Peter Taaffe

C/o Committee for a Workers' International

Dear Peter

It is with a mixture of sheer astonishment and deep disappointment that I feel compelled to write this letter to condemn your actions and those of the CWI leadership in releasing the attached press release to the enemies of the socialist movement internationally and the working class in general.

We have engaged in a very robust debate over tactics, strategy and programme within the CWI during the last two years. You have politically attacked and criticised the Scottish leadership and we have in turn defended ourselves and criticised the CWI leadership. This discussion and debate were sometimes heated but always took place in a democratic and comradely manner and atmosphere. It was very much a family affair.

Unfortunately you and the CWI have now committed a cardinal sin within the socialist movement. You have put our disagreements into the hands of the anti-working class, anti-democratic and anti-socialist press and media. They exist to distort and denigrate the ideas of socialism and often socialists individually. Yet you, the so-called leaders of a socialist International have placed our discussions and our disagreements in their grateful laps.

I note your pathetic complaints when one of these grateful capitalist lapdogs "distorts" what you had to say. For goodness' sake, Peter, what did you expect? You are certainly not wet behind the ears. This press release was a serious mistake which will win you no friends in the socialist movement internationally and will probably convince the 75% of the CWI members in Scotland who voted to leave that they were right to do so.

We had the debate, Peter. You and the other comrades have made your voices heard consistently over the last two years. You simply lost the argument. Over 75% of the Scottish membership believe the Scottish leadership have been leading from the front in a principled and revolutionary manner trying to build both a new mass Socialist Party in Scotland with a Marxist and revolutionary leadership and programme.

Time will ultimately tell who is right but in the meantime you and the CWI stand condemned for distinctly anti-socialist and anti-Labour movement actions. You don't run to our enemies when you fall out with socialists, Peter. They are not our friends and never will be. We may not be in the same organisation any longer but we should still be allies in the struggle for socialism generally. You should be ashamed of your actions.

Yours in disappointment

TOMMY SHERIDAN