So, GERRY Hassan (Perspective, 2 March) thinks Tommy Sheridan was a “caricature of revolutionary politics”. Sheridan led the campaign to abolish the poll tax and bring down Margaret Thatcher; he served six months in prison for defending people from being evicted and was elected to Glasgow City Council from his cell.
He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and, in the first private members’ bill passed by that parliament, abolished warrant sales – the law that had led to him being sent to prison. He was judged to be the best known and most respected politician in Scotland in 2003 and led his party to winning six seats in the Scottish Parliament.
Yes, he was brought down by the News if the World, but Sheridan is now a free man and is campaigning for independence, whereas the News of the World is dead and some of its former staff face the prospect of long prison sentences over the phone hacking scandal. Labour MP Tom Watson says that Sheridan’s legal action against News International was key to bringing down the News of the World. Tommy Sheridan has achieved more in his political life than many other politicians and, certainly, self-appointed pundits such as Gerry Hassan.