So we say farewell to the Iron Lady.

We never met, but I once – I think on Any Questions – said I felt I would have liked her. Not, I hasten to say because of her views and policies, both of which I believe to have been fundamentally flawed, but because she had a conviction and consistency that put her head and shoulders above many politicians.

In one important respect we owe her a kind of perverse thanks. But for her we might well not have had a Scottish Parliament today. I often called her the mother of the Scottish Parliament until some in the press started to call me its father.

How? Her use of the powers of her office to impose on Scotland, not just policies rejected by the great majority of Scots and their MPs, but essentially an alien ideology, had one crucial unintended consequence. It forced us to see clearly the problem of Scotland's governance was not just political but constitutional; not just who happened to govern, but how we were governed.

Speaking of Westminster's claim to have the last word and to absolute sovereignty, the Church of Scotland Assembly of 1989 said "that which was always unacceptable in principle, has now become intolerable in practice". That was the conviction that led to the Claim of Right for Scotland, and empowered the Convention to succeed in reaching consensus on a Scottish Government.

Margaret Thatcher said "No" to Scotland, but the way she did so was a major factor in enabling us to say "Yes".

Canon Kenyon Wright CBE,

1 Churchill Close,



A small number of people have seen the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a cause for celebration.

However, a civilised political discourse would dictate that we refuse to stoop so low as to rejoice in suffering of any kind, against any person.

Can we not mourn the survival of Thatcherism while also mourning the death of Baroness Thatcher herself, a frail, elderly lady?

Many of her policies were monstrous – as was the way she mistreated many of her colleagues and rivals – but she was no monster. Although death does not absolve her of the many offences she committed in public office, she deserves, as we all do, some dignity in death.

The day the pernicious, divisive and narcissistic ideology of Thatcherism that intoxicates contemporary British politics has been truly laid to rest will be a day for celebration.

The day a fellow human being succumbs to death is not.

David Kelly,

17 Highfields,


I have no doubt the death of Baroness Thatcher will reignite the bitter debates over her legacy and that the usual suspects will bombard us with vitriol. But one thing that died today was the last vestige of principle in politics.

She set out on a route she believed in totally and did not allow herself to be derailed by compromise or expediency. She came from a hard-working family and brought those values and ethics to a Tory Party filled with men of privilege. As Lord Tebbit remarked: "Would that we had another Margaret Thatcher to lead us now."

Guy Robertson,

Winton Drive,


As I write it has been only an hour or two since the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced, but already the tributes have been flowing in from all quarters. The right word may be effective, but as Mark Twain observed, no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

It would be appropriate, given this politician's eloquent lack of compassion for the poor and vulnerable, if north of the Border at least there were a great many eloquent pauses in the general praise.

David Rodger,

24 Caledonian Road, Stevenston, Ayrshire.

Dear Maggie – hope you're at peace. At the end of the day, grocer's daughter to Prime Minister sounds like a meritocracy to me, but sometimes merit alone isn't enough to endear.

Of course you weren't everyone's cup of tea ... more like a strong espresso really. Bound to offend due to your natural strength of character. I feel that like Winston Churchill you will be judged more fairly a few decades after your passing, when everyone has calmed down. Until then, you have at least one Scot as an admirer.

David McMillan,

Westbank Quadrant, Glasgow.