SNP (Catholic) MP Convicted of Cough Crimeeditor
CONVICTED for having a cold. That’s the extent of Covid-19 tyranny in Scotland, where Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party has an iron grip. Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West [pictured above with Nicola Sturgeon], travelled to Westminster in September 2020 while she had symptoms of a respiratory infection. When her plague-ridden journey became public, a few febrile nationalists tweeted their hopes that she had infected as many English or Tories as possible. But Sturgeon fumed about the ‘worst imaginable breach’ of lockdown discipline, and Ferrier’s world was turned upside down.
Having taken a Covid-19 test before leaving, and received a positive result while in London, Ferrier returned to Scotland by train. By doing so, she committed ‘serious offences’ against the public health regime. The Metropolitan Police took no action, but Sturgeon’s jackbooted Police Scotland took on the case, arresting Ferrier on January 4, 2021 and charging her with culpable and reckless conduct.
Last week 61-year-old Ferrier, who sits as an independent MP after she was suspended by the SNP, pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Perhaps she hopes that this will save her from a prison sentence. A severe embarrassment to the SNP establishment, however, she is unlikely to get much sympathy from the Scottish judiciary. Her behaviour, allegedly, wilfully exposed people ‘to the risk of infection, illness and death’. The court heard that she spoke in the House of Commons (otherwise wearing a mask during the debate), that the train on which she returned had 153 passengers vulnerable to her germs, and that after arriving in Glasgow she gave a reading at St Mungo’s church before visiting a bar in Ayrshire.
It is difficult to feel sympathy for Ferrier. Her hypocrisy was stark: she denounced Dominic Cummings for a notorious lockdown dodge, and voted for the very restrictions that she ignored. There was no sign of support in the comments under a Mail Online report on her guilty plea, despite the general trend towards Covid scepticism on that site. As with reaction to Boris Johnson’s party at Downing Street, most comments focused on the danger Ferrier caused: ‘She knowingly put others at risk.’
But did she really endanger anyone? Arguably, Covid-19 is simply rebranded influenza, and most sufferers probably have the perennial coronavirus known as the common cold. Basically, Ferrier was criminalised for travelling while slightly sick (she obviously wasn’t very ill if she recited a Bible passage in church and went for drinks about 40 miles from Glasgow).
While awaiting sentencing, this is an opportunity for Ferrier to reflect on the state she is in. She remains an MP, despite Sturgeon’s call for her to resign. The Big Brother mentality is such that devotees must be punished in the name of the cause. Ferrier is not the first SNP politician to be threatened with jail after offending the Holyrood despot. Alex Salmond, one of the most astute figures in UK politics over the last four decades, faced incarceration following a dubious sexual abuse charge. He was cleared, but former diplomat Craig Murray was jailed for blogging truths about the case.
I fear that Ferrier will not learn from the delusional authoritarianism that she supported. Absolutist ideology does this to people. In Stalin’s purges of the 1930s, condemned members of the Politburo seemed to accept their guilt as they faced the firing squad. Nonetheless, I will defend her on ethical and scientific principles, even if these are beyond her comprehension. I hope readers will agree that there is no place for cough crime in our statutes. Source
I remember reading about Margaret Ferrier’s fall from SNP grace at the time, and thinking how utterly ridiculous to even think of charging her with a crime. To convict her (or anyone else) of breaking the crackpot Covid rules is almost beyond belief. I say “almost” because these days just about everything we see, hear and read is beyond belief.
Notice that St Mungo’s, the parish in which she reportedly attended Mass and read from Scripture in Glasgow, is the same parish where the priest ruthlessly enforced the rules – rich irony, or, to put it another way, almost beyond belief.