Right at the at the start of devolution a young and charismatic politician emerged and imposed himself on the Scottish political scene only to be destroyed by Unionist politicians who feared him.
He led the the Scottish electorate protests against the community charge (or ‘poll tax’) which Thatcher’s Tory government introduced in Scotland to replace the existing system of household rates and successfully campaigned against warrant sales, which publicly sold a householder’s possessions to pay tax arrears. In his first attendance at Holyrood he got the law changed. His campaigning saw Tommy jailed for six months, but while in Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison, he was elected to Glasgow City Council representing the Pollok ward.
He founded the Scottish Socialist Party in 1999 and became its leader and was elected as a member of the Scottish Parliament in the same year, representing Glasgow. A passionate conviction-politician he was demonised by some but praised by many more. In his time at Holyrood he gave away half of his MSP salary, preferring to live on the wage of an ordinary working person.
His party gained electoral success in 2003, when it returned six MSP’s to the Scottish parliament, including himself. But, concerned his party was becoming a one man band he stepped down from the leadership role providing opportunities for others in the Party to come to the fore. This proved to be the undoing of himself and ultimately his Party whose members could not agree common policies and the resultant in-fighting ended its brief but eventful existence in Scottish politics.
Outside parliament Tommy won £200k in damages from Rupert Murdoch’s sleazy organisation after the now defunct and disgraced News of the World newspaper printed unfounded allegations about his private life. But only later a police investigation was launched following complaints from the same press source that Tommy had lied to the jury over a minor point of law. In a highly questionable follow up action Tommy was jailed for contempt of court. In the year of his incarceration and the years that followed he did not receive one penny of his successful claim against Murdoch and without income he, his wife and child were dependent on their family for support. An unnecessary hardship imposed on innocent parties.
On his release from prison Tommy rightly went after Murdoch for his money but the media baron was not finished with him and asked the high court to overturn the verdict of the jury who had found in Tommy’s favour.
After a lengthy deliberation the appeal court rejected the Murdoch application and awarded Tommy the full judgement of £200k, but in a bizarre judgement it refused to award Tommy interest on the £200k that had been withheld from him at the time he was in jail.
Tommy appealed to the “Court of Session” that the “Appeal Court” had erred in its judgement. His argument won the day and the “Court of Session” awarded Tommy interest totalling £176k.
The judgement of the “Court of Session” was that Tommy had won his case against Murdoch press bullies and the imposition of a custodial sentence on him for a misdemeanour in law in no way influenced the jury against Murdoch. But Tommy was forced to wait nearly 8 years before Murdoch paid him a penny.
Why was Tommy jailed? The answer is simple. He was a “pain in the butt” to the established political system and needed to be removed, regardless of right.
Unelected “invisible establishment controllers” won the war. Tommy was finished as a politician, destroyed by unfounded, unsubstantiated innuendo about his private life.
What of the future? It is within the grasp of Scots to set aside any negative views of Tommy cruelly created in their minds by those who wish to take Scots down the WOKE road.
He needs to be rehabilitated as a leading politician heading “Alba-Under-One-Banner” in its marches for freedom from the clutches of Westminster and the WOKE nutters of the SNP/Green Alliance.