Meanwhile, Across the Pond…

Ends up that some mature democracies believe in letting legitimate legal proceedings to, well, proceed.

A lot of pro-Trump politicians and commentators have stated that the prosecution of former high-level officials only happens in “banana republics.” Now, that formulation itself deserves a lot of unpacking, but not in this post. Let me simply note, via the BBC: Nicola Sturgeon arrested in SNP finances inquiry.

Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the SNP.

Police confirmed a 52-year-old woman was taken into custody as a suspect and is being questioned by detectives.

It follows the arrest and subsequent release of her husband, ex-SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, in April.

While not quite at the same level as a former President of the United States, she was First Minister of Scotland and a major leader of the Scottish National Party.

Officers searched Ms Sturgeon’s home and the SNP’s headquarters in Edinburgh on 5 April, with Mr Murrell being arrested before later being released without charge pending further investigation. 

A luxury motorhome which sells for about £110,000 was also seized by police from outside the home of Mr Murrell’s mother in Dunfermline.

Here’s how such allegations ought to be handled by real, democracy-respecting, political parties:

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy said the SNP was “engulfed in murkiness and chaos” and called on Mr Yousaf to suspend his predecessor from the party.

The SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Angus MacNeil, also called for Ms Sturgeon to be suspended, writing on Twitter: “This soap-opera has gone far enough, Nicola Sturgeon suspended others from the SNP for an awful lot less.

“Time for political distance until the investigation ends either way.”

Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary, Ian Murray, described the developments as “deeply concerning” and said the police inquiry must be allowed to proceed without interference.

FWIW, I will state that the real autocratic move is allowing former politicians to revel in their corruption, while the mature democratic move is to hold all officials to account under legitimate scrutiny of the law.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    I agree entirely. I saw this headline and was reassured. We have civilization because we have law.

    Yep. I’m a believer in the rule of law. Because of course. Time makes more converts than reason.*

    *Yeah, yeah, it’s Paine. But I could have written it.

  2. Dawn says:

    Thank you for posting this – not so much for the specific issue raised, but for providing info on events happening outside the US.