Politicising a personal tragedy: Natalie McGarry

Above, BBC Scotland and the serious English press reveal their agenda or lack of it and, below, the Daily Record surprise me:

The Herald and the Scotsman, below, don’t surprise me:


14 thoughts on “Politicising a personal tragedy: Natalie McGarry

  1. William Henderson June 7, 2019 / 6:59 am

    Crude, raw anti-SNP bias – There for all, who have a mind, to see…..


  2. John June 7, 2019 / 7:24 am

    MSM having a field day , BBC Goodmorning Scotland also managed to slip in a question to Pete Wishart when he was there to answer questions on the Scottish Office , they had to get their SNP Baaad bit in !


  3. gavin June 7, 2019 / 7:43 am

    I have no great sympathy for McGarry, though I find the sentence a bit OTT.
    When you look at the Grandees at Westminster, and how they were allowed off the hook for scamming the public (and to my mind, the House of Lords is one perpetual money laundering scheme), it raises issues of fairness—I do NOT expect BBC Scotland to suffer from “fairness”.
    One Barbara Follett, for example, was “allowed” to repay £42,000—a kind of get-out-of-jail card the rest of us don’t enjoy.

    Duck pond, anyone?


    • Alasdair Macdonald June 7, 2019 / 8:53 am

      This was cruel, politicised sentencing.

      Ms McGarry’s actions were reprehensible and she was rightly found guilty, but the sentence was wholly inappropriate.

      She presented no physical danger to the public. She has a young child. And, despite the nastiness of the Record’s reporting she probably is suffering mentally. I am particularly concerned about the welfare of the child.

      18 months is outrageous.

      There are a number of options open to the courts.

      Hayley Miller was nastiness personified in her interviewing of Mr Wishart and the issue of Ms McGarry ought not to have been raised in the interview. It was a cheap shot. The case of Ms McGarry deserved an item on its own.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Legerwood June 7, 2019 / 9:10 am

    The Herald had two stories on its front page today. One took the form of a large photograph of D-Day taking up 2/3 of the page. The caption read: “Their shining light of hope and courage burns bright after 75 years.”

    Directly below it: “Shamed SNP ex-MP jailed for theft”

    Not subtle.

    As to the sentence. It does seem severe compared to what others have been given for similar offences. She did plead guilty and had no previous convictions. A former Labour Councillor was recently convicted for embezzling around £8,000 from a charity and was given community service.



  5. Alex Beveridge June 7, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Tried to research sentences handed down to women in fraud cases in Scotland with very limited success. They seem to vary wildly, so I’m really no wiser as to whether the eighteen months is excessive, or not.
    What interests me more, and it seems just as complicated, is why McGarry was refused permission to change her plea from guilty to not guilty, especially as she now maintains that she did not commit the offences she was charged with. It seems that the decision lies with the judge trying the case, so in this case the Sheriff is both judge, and sentencing authority. I’m assuming she will now appeal, so it will be interesting to see what view the court takes regarding both her conviction, and sentence. But you’re correct Gavin, one law for them, and another for us. I say this as someone who was for many years involved in the application of Scots law, and I can assure you if the establishment want you convicted, or on the other hand, let off, with any offence, it will be done, make no mistake.


    • Alasdair Macdonaldlasdair Macdonald. June 7, 2019 / 12:06 pm

      Alex Beveridge, there is a traction dating back to Lord Braxfield at the end of the 18th Century of the use of the law to deal with ‘troulesome’ People or groups. I am not saying that Ms McGarry was such a person, but nastily, she has been treated harshly ‘pour encourage les autres’, by which I mean those supporting independence. She deserves some kind of sanction because she abused the trust of many women and people in poverty, but a long jail sentence is not appropriate, not least because an 18 month old child is involved.


  6. Alex Beveridge June 7, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    Alasdair,, I heartily agree on the points you make. They, the establishment, just want us to shut-up and go away. Of course it’s far too late for that. Throughout the centuries people have laid down their lives in our cause, and we will eventually triumph.


  7. Hugh Wallace June 7, 2019 / 8:20 pm

    Why are we sympathising with McGarry? She stole from us, the Yes campaign, for her own personal ends. She is partnered with a Tory politician who helped her spend then money she stole. Why the sympathy just because she is SNP? I used to hold a public office & was quite in favour of being held to a higher standard than the general public was. Jailing a few more dishonest politicians gets my vote, regardless of the parties they claim to represent. Unless you think she is actually innocent after admitting her crime in court?


    • Alasdair Macdonald June 7, 2019 / 9:53 pm

      Hugh Wallace,

      I think you are misreading what a number of us have said. No one has claimed she is innocent.

      We recognise her guilt and the serious breach of trust and theft she has committed. However, having assigned guilt, it is the duty of the Sheriff to impose a sentence. It is the view of a number of us that the sentence was disproportionate compared to similar crimes committed by politicians. But more importantly, there is an 18 month old child. Ms McGarry might or might not be a satisfactory mother, but she is the only mother the child has.

      We are talking about ‘tempering justice with mercy’.

      I, too, was in public service for 39 years, and I too, believed that it was essential to adhere to high standards and to be transparent.

      I am not a member of the SNP. The fact that she is married to a Tory – and I have never voted for them – is irrelevant.


      • Hugh Wallace June 9, 2019 / 7:27 pm

        What I’m objecting to is the hypocrisy of Independence supports railing against this sentence of ‘one of our own’ when they would not be complaining if a Labour or Tory politician had been similarly sentenced.

        And I will repeat, she stole from ‘us’. Not ‘the public purse’, not ‘the taxpayer’, but us independence supporters who donated to the cause of Scottish independence. If you are not pissed off about that I don’t know what to think.


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