Comment: It promises to be a joyful occasion

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In these days when we think so much about the power of role models, we do very well to remember Margo MacDonald.

The independent-minded MSP for the Lothians was smart, feisty, warm-hearted and good fun. Who wouldn’t want their daughters to grow up like that?

The creation of the “Margos” to celebrate her spirit by recognising the achievements of campaigning women is a great idea.

There are already more than enough awards handed out to high-profile politicians so the organisers have got it spot on by creating an event to celebrate the work of grassroots activists.

One of the great positives to come out of the independence referendum was the way in which so many people became engaged in the political process. Anything that we can do to encourage people to stay involved in the 
decision-making process has got to be a good thing, especially as we are already seeing evidence of that enthusiasm waning.

And awards that celebrate the achievements of women in a traditionally male-dominated field like politics are particularly welcome. There are plenty of strong female role models in modern Edinburgh – Hearts owner Ann Budge and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are just two of the most high-profile examples – but we still as a society struggle at times to give them the recognition and respect they deserve.

As Margo was a passionate nationalist, it is natural to see awards created in her name to recognise campaigners for independence.

But, as Margo herself valued “troublemakers” willing to fight against the tide from across the political spectrum, it might be reasonable to open up potential future awards to activists from all corners.

Regardless, next month’s awards promise to be a joyful occasion, remembering one of our most universally popular politicians.

Forget the Oscars, it is all about the Margos.

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