Thursday, 3 February 2011

Swingergate: Sentenced

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 see the 'Introduction' post -

It is 26 January and Tommy Sheridan is to be sentenced. The seven 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
Swingergate Day 45: Waiting for the Verdict
Swingergate Day 46: the Last Day

We emerge from St Enoch's Subway for the last time. The Christmas stalls have gone as has the snow and ice. We have travelled from Autumn to Spring on this journey: a bit of a trial. . .
Damn it: missed the procession.

More media about than on previous days

Setting up

It's about quarter to ten and we have a while to go before sentence is passed, so we'll go for a wee wander round the Saltmarket. We looked at the Saltmarket before: see
but we have plenty of time to take a closer look at the shops round about

Looking up to Glasgow Cross

Advice for tenants

Looking down to old High Court

Many of the shops are occupied only by abandoned furnishings

Wisdom Worldwide: a philosophical name for a money transfer shop

A World of Wisdom to let

Lawyers abound around here; none boarded up

Glasgow's Sign Shop: to let

The Tron Pawn

Looking into the Bridgegate

Ugly Houses wanted

Market on the Green: a charity shop

Billy Bilsland: long-established cycle shop. Some things last

Rangers and Celtic gifts

Wandering back to the High Court, we find that a few campaigners are gathering to piggyback on the Sheridan publicity, including the Hollie Greig campaigners. The Hollie Greig affair is either the biggest modern-day scandal in Scotland or a muddle of tragic incidents - do as the banner says: google, and make your own mind up

The Sheridan banner from the back (we'll see plenty of the front shortly). That's Tommy's mother Alice in the white coat in the middle

The TV cameras wait - like marabou storks I think, patient and silent

The press photographer gunslinger look

That's one huge cop: I swear I haven't been fiddling with Photoshop

Nothing still happening. Have wandered back into Saltmarket (giant cop has vanished)

Victim Support

This is 'giant': activities for children, See

Glasgow's Big Issue office

There are a few art galleries about: as with the Bridgegate development a few hundred yards away, one assumes much is made of the 'edgy' environment

Old stone work

Heading back to the High Court; wee dog here was making a determined stand about something

More Victim Support

Photographer with ladder

Meant to have closer look at the Thistle Centre last few times I was here

Hmm - services offered include 'Past Life Regression' and 'Virtual Gastric Band Surgery'. I am not part of the target market I think

OK - enough wandering

Another piggyback campaign

Snappers conferring

'Liar Co' said a jesting passer by

Never noticed this before: a lawyer's idea of a water feature perhaps? I find it appealing, almost like something you might stumble across at Delphi

The sentence has just been announced: three years. That's Glenn Campbell of BBC Scotland beside the lady in the purple

Sheridan's supporters raise a banner

The quote on the banner is from Ian Hamilton QC. For his website see
Hamilton is famous as one of those students who pinched the Stone of Scone in 1950; he makes a cameo appearance in the movie about the theft, Stone of Destiny. His website is a curious mix of shrewdness and hyperbole: he believes, for example, that Scotland is a fascist state. I do think that's a bit of an exaggeration

Am not sure why this policeman has to stand in front of the banner; maybe the police are scared Sherry will be rolled up in it and carried away like Cleopatra in a rug
Three of what the Scotsman the next day calls 'local worthies' approach the court in an unquiet manner - the dreaded Glasgow Neds - the Wee Malkies -
The discomfort in the crowd is palpable
'Ello, 'ello
The Yellow Hoodie infiltrates the crowd

I can't hear what he's saying but seems to making the point that three years is OK, apparently

The long arm of the law reaches in to lead him away and put an end to this disruption of the dignity of the Scottish justice system

Glenn Campbell there is not actually talking to a bush but to a BBC camera, making a recording for later broadcast about the sentence

Anwar's assistant appears to tell the media that they will be out soon

Glenn is having to do a few retakes

Hailstones start to fall amid much jocularity: does God think it should have been more than three years or is he disapproving of Tommy being brought to trial?

Some business with the banner

Bernard Ponsonby - STV's Big Gun - in the middle with the pink tie

Real Radio interviewers - they ask people what they think of the sentence: people either condemn it or (wisely) say 'No Comment'.

Bernard wanders over for a recce. For his interviewing technique, see his renowned grilling of John Smeaton -To be fair to Smeato, many Scottish MPs struggle to answer Ponsonby's questions.
The chap approaching Bernard had a t-shirt featuring the front page of the Daily Telegraph: some story about a Tory MP and £100,000. I have not a scooby what that was about and sadly Bernard moved on 

Anwar and Gail Sheridan have now emerged

Notice the 'War Baby' campaigner emerging above the banner

Gail thanks Anwar for all he has done. . .

. . .and gives him a kiss. Much of what has been happening at this trial  is perhaps not always quite what it seems, but there seems to be genuine affection between Gail and Anwar. The photographers also like the young but very experienced media trouper Anwar (if perhaps not to the point of kissing him)

Team Sheridan head back inside

Bloody fag ends. Give the place a bad name

I like this pic

For the business with the minutes see

Lynn Sheridan, Tommy's sister, being interviewed by Bernard. For her view on the  video evidence against her brother see

Alice Sheridan in the white coat. For her view of her son see

This guy said he had come up from Manchester to record his displeasure at the verdict and sentence

Alice Sheridan being interviewed by Bernard

Everybody is leaving except the ghouls who want to grab a pic of the prison van bound for Barlinnie. Bernard  has just bestowed one of his deceptively avuncular smiles on this nice dog

Can we go now?

Been a long morning

Back round in the Bridgegate we meet again  the older (and perhaps wiser) Glasgow  which  lives on  despite the rebrandings. 

Both Tommy Sheridan and Rosie Kane have been to Cuba to meet Castro and to pledge the support of the Scottish people for the Cuban revolution. Castro's opinion on Scottish leftwing factionalism is unknown. Back in May 2003, after the SSP had five MSPs elected to Holyrood -
 making it one of the most successful socialist parties in western Europe - Rosie said  "I hope that the parliament is going to become a bit like the Big Brother house, and people are going to want to watch it to see what's happening. They're going to be amazed at all the madness and craziness that's going to happen in there'. And Tommy Sheridan said: 'We are going to mount a major campaign over the next four years that will engulf Scotland'. None of the MSPs survived future elections and Tommy Sheridan ended up in the Celebrity Big Brother House

These Bridgegate arches continue the traditions of Paddy's Market,
of traders serving the poor of the city; a service and a social class that do not chime with  the approved marketing  image

Back to St Enoch's and the shopping world. I've pretty much said all I have to say on the trial by now. Must say again that this trial blog
was a wonder of objectivity and an important source for all with an interest in this strange trial

Here is an alphabetical list of entries so far: click on the links to be taken to the entry

Bad Posters
Bellahouston Park
Bellahouston Park 2 : After the Pope is Over
Botanic Gardens
Bridgeton Cross
Buchanan St
Burrell Collection
Cessnock / Kinning Park
Churches (Working/ Non-Working), Temples Mosques etc
Citizens Theatre
City Centre
Climate Change Demo
Clydebank 1
Clyde River Festival
December 2010: Dusk, Dark and Dawn
Edwin Morgan
Evolving Odeon
Festivals and Fetes
Forth and Clyde Canal 1
Forth and Clyde Canal 2
George Square
Glasgow Cross / Trongate /Argyle St
Glasgow Green: the 2010 Scottish Junior Run
Glasgow North-West By-election 2009
Glasgow Piping Festival
Glasgow's Sikhs
Gorbals 2
Gorbals 3: Saltmarket to Tradeston
Govan Underground to Ibrox Underground: 40th anniversary of the Ibrox Stadium Disaster
Grow Glasgow
Hampden Park: Dundee United v Ross County Cup Final 15 May 2010
Hidden Gardens: Glasgow Harvest at Tramway
Hillhead / West End
Hunterian Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Park
Kelvingrove Park: Sledging
Kelvingrove Park: the Fountain Vandalised
King's Theatre to Glasgow Cathedral: a November Walk
Lobey Dosser day
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Mela 2008
Mela 2010
Paddy's Market: the Last Day
Queen's Cross and Firhill
Red Road Flats
Red Road Flats 2
Red Road Flats 3
Ruchill Park
Save Otago Lane 16 October 2010
St Enoch Centre
Sighthill Stone Circle
Sighthill Summer Solstice 2010
Sighthill Towers Before the Fall
Sighthill Towers After the Fall
Single Parent: Trials of an Extra part 2
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 45: Waiting for the Verdict
Swingergate Day 46: the Last Day
Taggart: Trials of an Extra part 1
Tommy Burns Tribute
Alexander Greek Thomson
Welcome to Glasgow: the Dalmarnock Rd
Welcome to Glasgow 2: the Yoker Rd
We're Not being paid Enough For This
West End Festival 2010


  1. Hello Edwin, excellent set of pictures.

    all the best


  2. Many thanks James. Just found Kenneth Roy's piece in Scottish Review also lauding your trial blog - I do hope it gets the recognition it deserves. We all have opinions and can all spout off, but to create something so balanced and accurate is a very rare phenomenon indeed.

  3. The 'Hollie" Greig or "Holly" Greig saga seems to be a classic example of the use or misuse of the blogsphere, and somewhat in disarray from what I can determine from 'Google'.

    I think your photos of the Tommygate aftermath as seen ouside the court, tell a story that could not have been captured, and has not been, as far as I can see, by 'normal'photojournalism. Absolutely first class stuff, Edwin.[this applies to all the photos on your blog.]

    As a by the by, have you any idea who the blonde lady and the man next to her on her left are in the photos where they appear behind Gail and the solicitor [as in in the photo with the caption "Notice the 'War Baby' campaigner emerging above the banner"] ? Innocent bystanders, caught in the glare of the headlights, perhaps?

    Keep on blogging, and taking photos!


  4. Many thanks Anon - what I am trying to do is document contemporary Glasgow through pics and wee narratives. The Sheridan trial has been of particular interest to me as it ties into (a) the Paddy's Market closure in the lane next to the High Court, (b) why some affairs, in a very Scottish manner, become pursued to their logical end and others (eg Glasgow's former Labour leader and his cocaine habit) do not. And that wee stroll from St Enochs Square to the Saltmarket takes in so much of the city's history and also so much of what the city has become in modern times behind the facade.

    Have no idea who the couple are - part of the Sheridan family I supposed. I hold no brief whatsoever for Sheridan himself who has become the centre of a messianic cult - but it's worth remembering that the SSP did some good things in Parliament that would not have been achieved without his force of personality - the ending of warrant sales for example.

    And I must add that the BBC Scotland piece on Sherry's fall was shaming to watch. Private Eye tells us more of what is going on in Scotland than BBC (stands for bloody bloody cowardly) Scotland, but you can practically taste their glee when they get to pick the bones of the fallen.

    The Sheridan-led SSP were never going to overthrow capitalism (and a Scotland ruled by the SSP would have become Hoxha's Albania in weeks) but the party served a useful function at Holyrood.

    Now at the May election we might see the SSP, Solidarity and George Galloway come behind the BNP in votes cast in Glasgow. An extraordinary turn of events.