Sunday, 26 December 2010

Swingergate Day 45: Waiting for the Verdict

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and an alphabetical list of posts see the 'Introduction' post
It is 22 December and Tommy Sheridan has concluded his speech for the defence. The five earlier blogs on the Sheridan trial are
Swingergate Day 2: Tommy and Gail Sheridan on Trial
Swingergate Day 11: 'How's He No' Gettin' Drapped Aff?'
Swingergate Day 28: A Large Pinch of Salt
Swingergate Day 37: Andy Coulson Doesn't Slip Up
Swingergate Day 44: Sherry Pleads His Case

Emerging from St Enoch Subway

Heading down Dixon St
We cross the road to the Clyde. .
. . .to have a look at this statue, erected 1977 in memory of the Communist heroine Dolores Ibarruru (1895-1989) - La Pasionara ('The Passion Flower'). What would she make of the Sheridan trial? She wouldn't have had any time for Sheridan for sure. This (quote from Wiki) is what she wrote during the Spanish Civil War -
'The Trotskyists have long been transformed into the agents of Fascism, into the agents of the German Gestapo. We saw this on the ground during the May putsch in Catalonia; we saw this clearly in the disturbances that occurred in various other places. And everybody will realize this when the trial opens against the P.O.U.M. leaders who were caught spying. And we realize that the hand of Fascism is behind every attempt to demoralize our home front, to undermine the authority of the Republic. Therefore it is essential that we wipe out Trotskyism with a firm hand, for Trotskyism is no longer a political option for the working class but an instrument of the counter-revolution. Trotskyism must be rooted out of the proletarian ranks of our Party as one roots out poisonous weeds. The Trotskyists must be rooted out and disposed of like wild beasts, for otherwise every time our men wish to go on the offensive we will not be able to do so due to lawlessness caused by the Trotskyists in the rear. An end must be put to these traitors once and for all so that our men on the front lines can fight without fear of being stabbed in the back'
The authentic voice of 1930s Stalinism. To paraphrase Tertullian on Christian infighting - see how these socialists love one another
Note fine Custom House Quay building in background. This whole area is up for development. See
Beside Dolly Passion is this old public toilet.
Bit of camera shake sorry - was bloody cold
Dolly is catching the light
Seagull on right also in raised wing mode
The buildings Dolly faces hosted the STUC and the Star Club - a stronghold of the Communist Party of Great Britain and its 'Broad Left' in the 70s when the statue was erected. I remember both Jimmy Reid and John Reid there speaking about the inevitability of the USSR's victory in the war against capitalism. (Say what you like about Sheridan, he is unlikely to end up as Defence Secretary.) For more sunny pics of this scene (and more reflections on Reid), see
A Warning to the Curious
For proper pics of the Cathedral see previous post
Let's cut across to Howard St up there and take a pic or two of this Rangers pub on the way
Now in the Bridgegate
The poster has an inscription saying 'Cathy fae the scrappy before the kids'. As Stephen Maturin would say, we may assume the gentleman who wrote this had satiric intent.
Heading again to the High Court
There are more media folk about and an air of excitement. Sheridan finished his defence in the morning, and the jury are being addressed by the judge
Too cold to stand about so we are taking a wee walk to the Saltmarket
Looking up to Glasgow Cross. . .
. . . and down Crown St into the Gorbals; for a sunlit tour from here, see
A sightseeing bus emerges from Greendyke St beside the Green
Probably a young man and his parents; could be Japanese but there now many Chinese students in Glasgow
An open-top bus in Glasgow's coldest December for many years; think the three we have seen are all who are braving the journey
Back with the media
it's getting dark quite quick. A cyclist appears. . .
. . .a dog
There is some street theatre going on; a tall young woman hovered about shouting 'If I drop ma trousers will ye take a picture of that?' Then a wee guy appeared shouting 'He's found innocent! He goat aff!' - before strolling off
The photographers are beginning to group. The jury is to be sent home we have heard - no verdict today
I take up position behind them.
The barrier of North Face jackets swings open to let people out; much cheery banter at this point
Waiting. . .
soon. . .
Here he comes
It becomes a bit of a melee. . .
. . .but the photographers have a knack for not banging into each other
Some climb on the wall shouting 'Tommy! Tommy!'
I help one guy off the wall, hold his camera for him - I am part of the pack for a pleasing moment
Sherry and his team head into the car park - the photographers leave them alone at this point. There are rules to this game
And what about 'Tommy'?
Hm - can't make anything of that. 

You can imagine the Sheridan story passing into some post-apocalypse legend - he may yet become a prince of olden times, his life a parable of lost chances. loss and betrayal stalked by shadowy demons -

Of an old King in a story
From the grey sea-folk I have heard
Whose heart was no more broken
Than the wings of a bird.
As soon as the moon was silver
And the thin stars began,
He took his pipe and his tankard,
Like an old peasant man.
And three tall shadows were with him
And came at his command;
And played before him for ever
The fiddles of fairyland.
And he died in the young summer
Of the world’s desire;
Before our hearts were broken
Like sticks in a fire.
(Chesterton, playing with Celtic myth in the style of Yeats)

One more post to go in this series

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