Letter: Thatcher defence

Gerry Hassan makes several valid points about Scotland's view of Mrs Thatcher (Comment, 20 November).

Also, apart from her "society" quote usually taken out of context, two of the most blatant myths are "Thatcher the milk snatcher" (she kept free milk for younger pupils and argued reasonably that, if desirable for older pupils, it should be paid from a social and not the education budget); and the deliberate use of Scotland as guinea pig for the poll tax (which the Scottish Tories insisted on against her better judgment, though, as Hassan says, she did favour it in principle for the UK).

He highlights how Scotland in 1979 was "deeply conservative, authoritarian and unpleasant in lots of ways". Echoing this, I would suggest that much, though not all of course, of the antipathy to Thatcher was both anti-English and anti-female.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Many Scots whose English counterparts agreed with and voted for her would have accepted the same words and deeds from a Scottish male; but even such different Scottish Conservatives as Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Forsyth could not counter that prior antipathy, and the party has still not found the voice to escape that legacy.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife