It’s a complicated story, a well covered story, the talk of the steamy here in Scotland and beyond a story most folk are aware of and most folk have an opinion on. The ins and outs can be found in Downfall by Alan McCombes and I would advise people to read Downfall because its brilliant but also because I don’t have the ability Alan has to list events in chronological order with every detail carefully reconstructed, he, like so many of us has been injured deeply and is forced to recount the events which brought the SSP to its knees and Tommy Sheridan to a prison cell. I am really grateful to Alan for his courage in compiling the facts. Downfall allowed me to sit down and look at the years gone by. I was back inside the whole thing but it felt safe and just and true – yes, Alan’s ability to gather facts an deliver them so clearly is a gift. Im afraid what I seem to have is chaos I wake every day to my thoughts flying about like confetti in a wind tunnel. I’ve been trying to make sense of it all, step outside the whole thing, ignore the blogs; the news stories ;the facebook chat and sometimes I have been successful but ‘sometimes’ is not good enough and I’m beginning to feel very consumed by the entire Sheridan saga because it won’t go away.
This week we learned the vile extent of News Of The World’s phone hacking when it was revealed by Tom Watson MP and others that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked at the hands of News Of The World and it is likely that other murder victims have had the same treatment. It is alleged that messages were removed from Milly’s phone while she was missing to allow space for more messages to feed NOtW appetite for ‘news’. This was the tip of the iceberg and soon we would hear more and more sick attacks on everyone from child murder victims to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan including a great woman and a friend Rose Gentle. Rose’s, son Gordon, was taken from her when he was just a boy fighting an illegal war on the streets of Iraq. Rose stood up to the establishment, the government, the MOD. Her heart was broken yet she spent every waking moment demanding an end to the illegal occupation of Iraq. She had felt the loss of a child and did not want any other parent to feel the agony she was experiencing. She put her pain to one side and she fought and still fights for justice and for peace. Hacking into this woman’s life would be a horrible act.
So, It all exploded in a day… horrific, vile, unbelievable. The call came to boycott NOtW and demand all advertisers withdrew their money or they too would be targets. I have to say I have never bought The Sun or News Of The World – we were brought up to hate these papers by my socialist mother and to reject them and their attacks on workers and in particular women. It was great to see others finally ‘getting it’ .Its good to see folk demanding better and rejecting the abusive behaviour of Murdochs empire. I do wish readers had been repulsed sooner but better late than never.
As our anger built and our hearts bled for bereaved families the inevitable happened - enter stage left…… that bloody man, yes, Sheridan. Fast to put himself in the shoes of people who have really suffered, suffered pain on a scale we can only imagine. Suffered the agony of losing a child in a horrific violent situation – yes, there he is again aligning himself with victims of the NOtW…. Cashing in on a terrible situation and making it all about Tommy.
There was a time when I looked up to this man, a man who stood up against everything I hated, he was like my voice and my courage and my hero…. But sadly I ended up knowing the real Tommy the guy who throws a tantrum and makes everything all – about – him. There he was again, this man… I would have followed him to the end of the earth; this man who sat with my family, with my mother ; this man the pride of our community is on my telly again, cashing in on tragedy and making me feel very sick.
A story about families violated by the shocking actions of Murdochs soldiers is now all about this suited, booted, fake operator. The media in Scotland are jumping up and down with excitement and Tommy has once again played them like his own personal wee fiddle. He’s screaming, via Aamer Anwar, stating that because NOtW are bastards he’s a good guy. Because they were brutal he’s and angel. He’s greetin about emails and Coulson and Murdoch etc etc but HE attended Cupids sex club in Manchester with a News Of The World hack ! He literally got into bed with News Of The World!! So, Tommy has a selective and very strange memory but the media should know better. Newsnight Scotland could have been renamed The Sheridan Show, suddenly there is no other news in Scotland as Tommy Sheridan is once more given a platform from which to say he is a victim too…he rabbits on about folk conspiring against him and the whole time he knows he’s talking mince - its too horrific for words and makes me cringe to think I sat with the man.
Tommy is not a victim, most people know this and can sense it but this does not stop him and his followers kidding themselves on. And what the hell is that all about ? How do you do that? How do you look in the mirror and justify this whole shebang ? See there I go again, I just cant get my head round it all, it truly is beyond my understanding of human behaviour and sadly I’m in it. I am part of the whole thing. I was at a meeting and now my life is a big chaotic confetti mix and I fear that I will never get over it – well at least not whilst Tommy keeps returning like the frightening metal hand at the end of Terminator.
Every time he or Aamer and their gang get air space I get frightened and I have every reason to get frightened. Within hours of yesterday’s wee show the messages started arriving via Facebook. The name calling then it arrived on Twitter. I would be a robot if this didn’t touch me but I ‘block’ and ‘delete’ and that’s fine. However ,the last time those calls of ‘liar’ ‘scab’ ‘NOtW collaborator’ ‘police grass’ etc emerged from camp Sheridan it travelled onto the streets of Glasgow where’ delete’ and ‘block’ are not an option. I was threatened, pushed, hissed at, shouted at and finally one day on my way to work a man looked right into my eyes and spat on me.
I fear its all about to erupt again. I had prepared myself for his attacks on his release but I never saw this coming and was not prepared for what happened yesterday. I know the depths Tommy will sink to in order to shore up his false life but to put himself in the frame with real victims is contempt beyond belief.
Today Tom Watson MP will meet with Aamer Anwar and we are told they will deliver a “dossier” to Strathclyde Police I assume this is a list of names of folk who have had their phones hacked by NOtW. Tommy’s legal team seem to have been sitting on this list since the trial, this disturbs me, particularly if Rose Gentles name appears on that list. If Rose is on the list I think she should have been alerted immediately – we will have to wait and see.
It is getting harder for me to get my head above this water, I cannot lie and I will not pretend I am tough and able to cope. I am ashamed of how weak I can be at times, I am ashamed to say I don’t know anymore where I am safe. I have learned to look over my shoulder. If I get any snash I snap back but it’s another wee chunk of confetti to add to the mess. I am bitter and I am angry and these are emotions I have never really known or understood so I don’t handle them well. But for me the worst thing of all is that I have been forced to regret chunks of my life. Some really good feelings and thoughts; some amazing experiences have been tarnished. I don’t really know what to do other than write it down in my disjointed way and stick it in this wee round box, get it out and hope for the best.