I feel compelled to point out that while it sad for Baroness Thatcher’s family that she has passed, it is not our responsibility to pay for her funeral and the incurred expenses.
Like many other readers of this paper, we have had to deal with, and finance, our parents’ and grandparents’ funerals. Why then should we have to pay for another ego trip for David Cameron and George Osborne to bask in?
If they are so keen to have a public remembrance for her then perhaps the Tory Party funds should cover this. And what about her estate? She made millions on lecture tours and book deals.
Baroness Thatcher deserves respect – just not this much.
I understand that as a taxpayer I will be required – not asked, but required – to contribute towards the cost of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral. This puts me in mind of what happened during the time of the 19th- century Clearances.
Those crofters who had been driven off the land on the Sutherland estates were then required to contribute towards the erection of statue on Ben Bhragghie to honour the memory of the late Duke, who had been at least partly responsible for their misery.
If members of the Conservative Party wish to honour Mrs Thatcher in this way, that’s fine, but let them pay for it. To force it on the rest of us simply serves to re-open old wounds and rub salt into them at the same time.
TV stations have spent the past two days repeating the main events of Mrs Thatcher’s time in office: the miners’ strike, the Falklands war, the poll tax, her assault on the EU, the sale of council houses, the destruction of the UK’s heavy industry in the north of England and Scotland.
There has not been a single word about perhaps the most important event of her time as prime minister: the development of Scottish North Sea oil. Yet it was this more than anything else that allowed her to do what she did. And if anything “saved” Britain, it was that development.
It was as comical as it was pathetic to see scruffy, attention-seeking louts (who apparently think of the Winter of Discontent as “the good old days”) trying to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death as some sort of victory.
Well, chew on this, leftists: having successfully rescued this country from the socialist stagnation and decline she inherited, the Iron Lady died peacefully in her sleep, in London’s five-star Ritz Hotel, and at the age of 87! O death, where is thy sting?
Dr McCormick (Letters, 10 April) has got his comparison wrong. He has compared the percentage of the vote the Conservatives achieved in Scotland in the 1987 UK general election (24 per cent) with the percentage of the electorate that supported the SNP in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election (23.5 per cent).
At Mrs Thatcher’s first election in 1979 24.1 per cent of the electorate in Scotland did support the Conservatives.
Since 1979, though, support for the Conservatives has declined significantly: in the 2001 UK general election the Conservatives were supported by just 9.1 per cent of the electorate in Scotland and their support has not changed much from that level since.
In summary, the Conservatives 34 years ago were slightly more popular than the SNP is now but 18 years of Conservative government, followed by 13 years of Labour government and now three years of Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, have left the Conservatives with only just over a third of the support that the SNP has in Scotland.
As one who remembers the state of the UK before Margaret Thatcher became prime minister I recall a very divided country. The unions were basically destroying the country – 29 million days were lost through strike action in 1979. Commentators seem to forget that there were a lot of people who did not strike and were praying that Labour would get a grip on the unions. It never did.
Those of us who had to put up with the considerable disruption were glad that Mrs Thatcher brought in the legislation to curb wildcat strikes, flying pickets and all the rest.
In my opinion, the country was well divided before the 1979 election and to say that she divided the country does not stack up. In fact, she was re-elected at the next two general elections.
I am grateful to Brian Wilson (Perspective, 10 April) for his confession that not only was he in favour of the first Gulf War but, like Mrs Thatcher, he would have gone all the way to Baghdad and deposed Saddam Hussein.
For someone who began his life as a CND supporter this is a surprising conclusion. He is correct that the poll tax was the suicide pill that finished Mrs Thatcher, however he fails to mention that the reason it failed was the determined resistance put up by the people of Scotland led by people like Tommy Sheridan.
I don’t recall Brian Wilson playing a major part in this campaign.
Oh, Ellis Thorpe (Letters, 10 April), what a wee cynic you are! “The dominant value of money as the primary value and measure of success is entrenched”?
Tell that to the many ordinary folk whose obituaries might not take up as much space as Margaret Thatcher’s, but who acted throughout their lives to achieve a greater good, and not just to acquire money and power, such as Elizabeth Miller, the lady who ran The Orcadian paper.
Her obituary (10 April) tells us she was “quiet, popular and unassuming, yet had the determination to see things thorough when required”.
Incidentally, regardless of her merits and demerits, which have been well considered in The Scotsman’s pages, Margaret Thatcher provides an excellent example of what I’ve called “toxic leadership”. This is not to say she was a toxic person, but her leadership became so because so many people allowed her too much power, and only challenged her when her administration was beginning to unravel.
We see this tendency to accept being placed on a metaphorical pedestal very often, in characters as different from each other as Thatcher, Tony Blair and Tommy Sheridan.
Individuals like Elizabeth Miller are too sensible and modest to play the game of being a charismatic leader.
(Dr) Mary Brown