Should people be allowed to drink alcohol on trains? How does raising a child with a disability shape a father? What influence does Thatcher continue to have on UK politics? Has Scotland cracked the thorny topic of childcare costs?

Just four of many questions we have tackled this week through our opinion section – one of our most popular (and, of course, divisive) areas with readers.

In a world filled with 24-hour news, coupled with loud and fast-paced social media, taking stock and making sense of events is vital. We take our role in that very seriously, as we both reinforce and challenge readers’ views and ideas through discussion. We also aim to step away from the noise where appropriate and throw unexpected content into the mix.

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Editor's PickCatherine Salmond: Our alcohol series ends today – where do we go from here?

My Editor’s Pick comes today from the work of our columnists and opinion writers, and some of my stand-out pieces from the last week.

In a moving piece about raising a child with Down’s Syndrome, Jamie McCallum wrote beautifully on Thursday about his daughter Rosie. Candid, stark, humorous and uplifting, he told how his fears of having a child with additional needs have changed over the last decade in what is a beautiful piece of work.

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That same day, our education specialist James McEnaney took on the issue of childcare costs on the back of research suggesting 40 per cent of women who recently had an abortion cited this as a primary factor. It was a statistic that shocked readers, but a fear that will have resonated with countless parents who face huge nursery bills every month. We live in a country, after all, where 84 per cent of mothers surveyed said their childcare costs matched or exceeded their income. Where is the country at with this hugely important issue?

Margaret Thatcher – a topic always guaranteed to get readers talking – was taken on by Gaby McKay this week following the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves pitching herself as a Thatcher of our day, promising to bring in radical reforms and write a “new chapter in Britain’s economic history”. A lively reaction from colleagues and rivals to say the least. But take away Thatcher’s ‘prescription’, what about her ‘big manifesto for change’ that lasted decades? Where does her influence still stand?

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How about alcohol on trains? Three years ago ScotRail banned drinking in a bid to curtail the spread of Covid. And now rail bosses are consulting on whether to make it permanent. What do you think? There is no question that drinking on trains can be anti-social, but does the problem lie more with the drinkers rather than the drink? Regular rail traveller Rebecca McQuillan is all for the ban: ‘flawed as it, it has its uses’.

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And please give us your feedback and start a new conversation. 

Many thanks,

Catherine Salmond,