Dani Garavelli

Natalie McGarry arrives at Glasgow Sheriff Court last Friday. The hearing was adjourned until 6 June pending reports. Picture: John Devlin

Dani Garavelli: Natalie McGarry leaves a trail of betrayal

Sociable and vivacious, Natalie McGarry swept into the fledgling Women for Independence movement like a whirlwind. Back then the referendum campaign was in its infancy; “shouty” male voices dominated and a group of prominent female Yes supporters, including Carolyn Leckie, Susan Stewart and Jeane Freeman, wanted to create something different: a grassroots organisation based on trust.

A polio vaccination in 1959, before the introduction of the oral vaccine in 1962. Picture: M McKeown/Express/Getty

Dani Garavelli: Battle for herd immunity to anti-vax lies

It was reading Philip Roth’s Nemesis a couple of years ago that first got me thinking about polio epidemics. I am old enough to remember the boy-in-calipers donation boxes that used to stand outside chemists and to have been freaked out by pictures of children trapped in iron lungs. But by the time I was born, the oral polio vaccine had already been commercially available for six years. The best thing about the vaccine was that it was dispensed on sugar cubes, a rare treat for a child of the early 70s. The last polio outbreak in the UK was later that decade and the last recorded naturally occurring case in 1984.

The Scotland team featuring, back row (left to right), Sophie Howard, Lee Alexander, Caroline Weir, Jennifer Beattie, Rachel Corsie, and front row (left to right), Erin Cuthbert, Claire Emslie, Kim Little, Emma Mitchell, Lisa Evans, Christie Murray. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Success vs failure: Support Scottish football’s winning team

Italia 1990. Stadio delle Alpi, Turin. Scotland vs Brazil. The weather was hot with showers; the ground a fiesta of flags. Outside, the Tartan Army danced in the rain to samba music blaring from a bus. Inside, fans covered their eyes, hardly daring to hope as the game minutes ticked by without a goal. Then, with less than 10 minutes to go, Luis Muller struck, goalkeeper Jim Leighton fumbled and it was (more or less) over. 1-0 to Brazil. Scotland were going home.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor of WikiLeaks, amongst demonstrators outside Westminster magistrates court. Picture: Alastair Grant/AP

Dani Garavelli: Assange apologists make light rape case

There have been lots of jokes about Julian Assange’s bedraggled appearance as he was arrested by the not-so-secret police in London last week; some memes compared him to a garden gnome, others to Uncle Albert in Only Fools And Horses. For me, however, the scene brought back memories of Saddam Hussein emerging from his spider hole in Operation Red Dawn after nine months as a fugitive from justice in 2003.


Dani Garavelli: Nicola Sturgeon’s halo may slip in Brexit’s last act

From the moment the EU referendum result came in, pitching the UK into a dystopian nightmare, Nicola Sturgeon has shone. It may not be difficult to shine when you are surrounded by the kind of pantomime villains that have stalked the political stage for the past three and a half years. Nevertheless – in a morass of self-interest and lies – she has been the sole statesmanlike presence, prompting Remainers in England to gaze wistfully north.

Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova expressed concern about trans gender women having an unfair advantage in sport. Picture: David Buchan/Rex/Shutterstock

Dani Garavelli: Time to call a ceasefire as gender debate gets nasty

It is odd that a debate involving the rights of two historically oppressed groups in society – cis (non trans) women and trans women – should have bred such intolerance from within. In recent weeks, however, the arguments over sex and gender and how we define them – particularly when it comes to 
all-female spaces, such as women’s prisons and refuges, feminist clubs and sports competitions – have led to exchanges so poisonous they are little short of hate crimes.

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