Thatcher death celebration bemusing

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Without taking either personal or political sides regarding “celebrations” inspired by the death of a former prime minister, I wonder what 
exactly made some of the 
celebrants so jubilant.

It was as a politician that Mrs Thatcher affected us, whether positively or negatively, so the appropriate time to celebrate her demise would have been when she lost that political power over us.

Celebration is normally associated with events that bring personal happiness or satisfaction, such as financial or professional success, or reaching some milestone in life. Reduced to essentials, the Thatcher scenario is that some people are happy that someone else, who long ago ceased to have any influence on them, has died.

I find it impossible to understand how her actual death can have any beneficial effect on anyone else, and 
I doubt whether anyone
celebrating it is more satisfied than they were on the previous day. What have they gained?

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road


Is there any record of Mrs Thatcher saying: “There is no such thing as the economy”? (Perspective, 16 April)

Every day there are thousands of references to the economy – Scottish, UK, 
Western and even global.

Yet arguably “the economy” doesn’t really exist – only individuals and businesses engaged in getting a living. Perhaps economics never was a problem 
for Mrs Thatcher, as it has 
always been essentially individualistic.

Hence, for example, her preference for free market economists compared, say, with those inclined to Keynes.

Isn’t this a large part of the economic legacy of Thatcherism inherited by those known as “Thatcher’s 

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk


Many thousands of words will be written regarding Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, of that I am sure. Hopefully, these words will be 
better balanced than the BBC TV coverage we saw at her 

If I heard the word “divisive” once I heard it a thousand times. What prime minister has not been divisive? That is surely the nature of the beast.

Then we had the relentless rhetoric from her detractors. You could almost sense the desire from the BBC presenters to draw the invective from their mouths.

And not once did I hear an interviewer ask her detractors why the people of the UK voted her in three times with more support for her third victory than the other two. The truth is they did not want to acknowledge that the electorate were fed up with trade union leaders Arthur Scargill, Hugh Scanlon and their ilk, who aspired to bring down Mrs Thatcher’s government as they had the previous two.

Yes, we made cars and dug coal in those days but only when the trade unions and the UK taxpayers’ largesse 
allowed us to.

T Steel

Spencer place


Russell Cowe (Letters, 17 April) asks: “How many of those who speak ill of Lady Thatcher will have anything at all spoken of them when they pass on?”

I have spoken ill of her; I do and I will continue to do so. I consider it correct to speak out against wrongdoing. In her case I have no hesitation; she has many followers who will defend her.

As a common, working-class person, I don’t expect much, if anything, to be said about me, whether good or bad.

Furthermore, as my Co-op funeral plan is fully paid up, and I shall not be expecting £10 million from the public to cover the costs of a 
bunch of neeps lavishing praise on me.

Thomas R Burgess

Catherine’s Square


Most of Britain’s heavy industry was uncompetitive by the 1960s; steel, deep-mined coal and shipbuilding were all nationalised and needed heavy subsidy which could not continue.

Add in the demise of the British car industry in the 1970s as unions turned it into a part-time industry and it is easy to see that radical 
changes were needed.

The Labour governments of 1964 and 1974 had made the problem worse by not taking action and the Conservative government of 1970 was weak. Whoever took over was not going to be popular; changes had to be made.

In the 18th and 19th century, when the industrial revolution occurred, people had no choice but to move to where the work was, but, by the 1980s, the benefits
system meant that communities could stay in place even though there was no work.

The main mistake made by the government at that time was not doing more to encourage more employment in these areas.

The various schemes like YTS were bureaucratic and inefficient. Not enough was done to encourage new
productive employment in these areas.

Those parts that did 
survive, such as the present Scottish shipbuilding industry, depend too heavily on government contracts because they can not compete in real markets.

The future for it is very weak as the end of the Cold War has reduced the need for military hardware.

While the rest of the world builds bulk carriers, container ships and tankers, our shipbuilding is stuck in a rapidly reducing market.

In many ways, Gordon Brown, in building his client state, has repeated on a bigger scale the problems of previous Labour governments.

Had Rosyth been building at competitive rates bulk
carriers instead of aircraft carriers, then it might have had a future beyond the two white elephants probably destined to be the last of their type built here.

Mrs Thatcher and her ministers recognised the problems they found on entering power; while their solutions might not have been perfect, they left the next Labour 
government with the country in a sound condition which Mr Blair and Mr Brown have squandered.

Bruce D Skivington


Gairloch, Wester Ross