Friday, January 14, 2011

Gail Sheridan to run for Holyrood, husband going to prison and 5 year old daughter to care for, its epic stuff, Glasgow’s new Sarah Palin?

Dear All

My first question is why?

The wife of Tommy Sheridan is said to be considering standing as a candidate for Solidarity in the upcoming Holyrood election.

By doing so she is trying to keep the Tommy Sheridan Solidarity brand going.

Tommy Sheridan convicted of perjury last month won’t be on the campaign trail because her majesty is making provision for him to stay as an official guest, full board and lodging.

Gail Sheridan is the wife of a politician but she isn’t a politician herself.

Can she make the transfer across?

I don’t see why not.

The Holyrood election in Glasgow is staying to take on quite an interesting feel to it.

Of course she isn’t the only high profile figure of the left to stand; George Galloway is also throwing his hat into the ring.

And I understand that George Galloway is actively seeking out the Muslim vote as he is rumoured to be in Glasgow this Sunday visiting the Central Mosque to drum up support.

5 pm I understand.

So Gail Sheridan is trying to rekindle the fortunes of her husband’s party.

Despite her husband being well known, Solidarity lacked a dynamism which projected themselves into the public mind as a serious contender.

Too much student politics and badly presented, this is a common fault of most political parties in Glasgow with a record of failure.

A friend of the couple said last night:

“Gail has said she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received since the trial and the pressure on her to stand. She told me: ‘I realised this was the only move forward for Solidarity and I felt I had to take up Tommy’s mantle. There is everything to fight for and I am fighting to win. Given the strength of support I have received in recent weeks, anything is possible.’”

I think quite a lot of the support was on the way and nature of the way this case was brought by the establishment rather than conviction that Tommy Sheridan was innocent.

The numbers of witnesses against him was staggering giving a first hand account of him confessing to having visited a sex club.

With Judge Lord Bracadale saying that Sheridan should expect a lengthy jail sentence when he is sentenced later this month, Gail Sheridan will lack experience and brand image.

Brand image is important; one thing I have found is that there is a startling lack of knowledge by people of who any of the Glasgow list MSPs is.

As well as flying the flag for Holyrood Gail Sheridan is said to be prepared to front Solidarity’s campaign for the local authority elections by standing for Glasgow City Council in 2012.

Although she has previously stood as a Scottish Socialist Party candidate in Cardonald, Glasgow, in 2003, she was unsuccessful.

She has a limited track record, a husband soon to be jailed and a party whose brand image has been clearly damaged.

An uphill struggle!

No up mountain more like!

At this point, it should be mention that Gail Sheridan was treated rather badly by both the Police and Team Angiolini.

As seen by the way she was pursued, when the Police raided the Sheridan home they found miniatures and with no complaint of theft against her, the Police went to look to see if they could find a victim.

And Team Angiolini in the shape of Alex Prentice QC was happy to go along with that only at the last minute dropping the charges in the ‘public interest’.

In other words he thought if he kicked her out he stood a better chance to get the jury to swing behind his bid to convict her husband.

Good tactic, smart and it worked.

There was also public sympathy for her during the famous Rosary beads interview where they were confiscated by the Police and she was accused of using IRA techniques to maintain her right to silence.

That won’t go down well with people at all.

So, she has a high profile but not a political high profile, to win she will need several campaign themes that portray Solidarity not just as a party of protest.

She will need a campaign that has real substance; she will need slick presentation and plenty of high visual activism in Glasgow.

How does she do that?

Support policies such as public service reform of Police, Fire and Ambulance. Support the creation of a State National Bank to challenge and break the monopoly of bankers.

Soldarity doesn’t have the manpower on the ground so should look to other ideas like having an encompassing strategy.

An encompassing strategy should include:

1/ leafleting dwellings (specific areas and times)
2/ canvassing dwellings (direct face to face contact)
3/ telephone canvassing
4/ Survey cards
5/ Street work general public (shopping areas, leisure clubs, jobcentre, benefit offices, doctors etc).
6/ New Solidarity website publishing case studies of people helped by the Party
7/ Seek personal donations from members, supporters, local businesses
8/ jumble and car boot sales.
9/ meet and greet (target schools to get female vote)
10/ petitions Council, Holyrood and Westminster (cost effective)
11/ Facebook and other social networks site to advertise our work in the community.
12/ establishing internet team ( to include youtube series of election broadcasts).
13/ Rebranding Solidarity more mainstream.
14/ open branch meetings up to public.
15/ Encouraging current members to attend branch meetings, better publicity
16/ Establish a minimum dress code for certain activities and events
17/ Buying of branded Solidarity clothing like jackets and T shirts for workdays.
18/ A new Code of Conduct for Activists
19/ identify specific campaign issues/ideas for engagement, pre, during, post elections.
20/ Look into the possibility of appointing a freelance fundraisers paid by commission.

Solidarity if it is to have any impact must become a professional organisation, a professional organisation gives people confidence that their vote wouldn’t be a wasted vote.

With the state of politics in Glasgow being so under developed perhaps with the right guidance Gail Sheridan one day will walk onto the platform of the SECC as a winner.
But first she has to sort out Solidarity.

And despite Tommy Sheridan’s situation, the people of Glasgow like loyalty and with her bringing up their five-year-old daughter Gabrielle alone for some time and sticking by her husband through his conviction.

Makes an interesting cocktail don’t you think, I can’t see her winning because of the time factor, quite simply there isn’t enough to bring in change and establish an narrative in the public’s minds.

But I can see her as Councillor Gail Sheridan.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


West-End Viking said...

Epic? What are you on, George? This stupid Cow and fuck-wit of a Husband are attention - seekers, of the first magnitude - both addicted to Publicity and the lime-light. How she managed to avoid joining her saddo, perverted, weirdo husband in Jail is a mystery!

Do either have a clue about our economic Deficit, or even what it is? How to solve it?

And now we have Galloway, prepared to suck Moslem dick, in fact do anything which will give him a Stage, in order to espouse his Marxist crap!

Welcome to our Brave New Scotland -a TOTAL JOKE!

George Laird said...

Dear West End Viking

Thank you for taking the time to submit a robust response to my post.

I take it you don't like my writing?

I am doing my best and people have said that they do like the blog.

Politics they say is showbusiness for ugly people.

And sometimes very talentless people.

If she wishes to stand then it will add colour to the Holyrood contest on the regional list don't you think?

Monster Raving Lonny stand and we are all quite comfortable about that aren't we?

You have said some very harsh things about George Galloway, heat of the moment?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

ps know anything about bikes (pedal)

West-End Viking said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
George Laird said...

Dear West End Viking

I had to delete your post on the grounds of being very nasty.

Although I do allow quite a long latitude, this post crossed the date line.


Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Anonymous said...

Eh big man, wan singer wan song.

indy pendant said...


could you run my campaign for me when I stand for public office?