Monday, April 15, 2013

Scots Tory bid to postpone Margaret Thatcher debate, what does it say about “Scottish Values” that leading independence campaigner Patrick Harvie is quite happy to hold debate on day of her funeral, respect the family of the deceased

Dear All

Bad taste in certain circumstances can be a lot of fun, however in politics, there are limits.

Margaret Thatcher is dead, and I can’t say that while she was in office I was in anyway a fan.

Poll Tax!

The Poll Tax was a disastrous policy for the Conservative Party.

Leaving that aside and other policies which I wasn’t happy about, she is dead and as such she and her family despite political differences deserve common decency and respect.

Much is said in Scotland by the SNP and independence supporters of ‘Scottish Values’, as if Scottish Values of decency are much more higher than English ones.

That concept has flown out the window by the Greens in the Scottish Parliament opting to hold a debate on Margaret Thatcher on the day of her funeral.

It is as Tory Chief Whip John Lamont says “crass and distasteful.”

I have to say I thought better of Patrick Harvie.

Holyrood is ridiculed by many as being second best to Westminster.

If anything this shows how bad it actually is.

The Scottish Conservatives are to stage a last-ditch effort to get a Holyrood debate on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher postponed until after her funeral.

Whether commonsense and good taste will prevail is debatable, but if I was in parliament, I would advise entire Scottish Tories to boycott the event.

If people wish to debase themselves, I wouldn’t provide them with an audience.

In Westminster, for the most part members conducted themselves in a dignified fashion, you expect this, the tone was right, because everyone should remember, Margaret Thatcher has family.

Tory MSP John Lamont has said he will go into tomorrow morning’s business bureau meeting, at which Holyrood’s schedule is decided, to demand it is moved.

Lamont says his party has no problem regarding debating the topic itself, “no such thing as society.”
On that issue, Margaret Thatcher is wrong, there is such a thing as society, I see along with others every day.

There are countless acts done by others for the benefit of those in need and all without thought.

In my youth, I used to do voluntary teaching for free; actually it cost me to teach as I never got expenses.

In a small way I was doing my bit.

And this is similar to what people right across the country are doing whether it is the Muslim and Christian Communities handing out food to the needy or people volunteering to help run the local kids Football Team.

Society does exist.

Lamont added:

“Staging such a debate as Baroness Thatcher is being laid to rest is tasteless and hugely offensive but that is exactly what the Green Party wants. It’s no surprise to see some members of Labour and the SNP gleefully joining in with this stunt.”

In the independence debate by the SNP and Greens much is made as I already mentioned about Scottish Values, and the tag of ‘we can made our country anything we want it to be’.

And who can forget Blair Jenkins of Better Together being so vocal about keeping the independence debate ‘clean’.

Is this clean?

I find it pretty disgusting, as I say I am no fan of Thatcher.

Apparently the final decision will be with the SNP minister for parliamentary business, Joe Fitzpatrick, who represents his party at business bureau meetings.

Because Parliament schedules are decided on a vote reflecting the number of MSPs for each party and as the SNP has a majority, it in effect has the final say.

A spokesman for Mr Fitzpatrick said:

“It is entirely for opposition groups to determine how they use their allocated parliamentary time. If the Green Party wish to move their business to another day, we would be happy to facilitate that.”

If that is a hint to Patrick Harvie and Greens, they should take the opportunity to grab the lifeline.
In the final analysis, it comes down to decency, Margaret Thatcher’s family deserve to be treated with respect just in the same way as any other family who has lost a love one.

I hope Patrick Harvie and the Greens will do the right thing and pull this, it is “crass and distasteful” and there is no need to compound it by going ahead and leaving people in no doubt of that.

Defending his party’s decision to press for the debate on the day of her funeral, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie insisted MSPs were entitled to hold an “open debate”.

He said:

“Margaret Thatcher has died, but the tragedy for huge numbers of people is that Thatcherism as an ideology still lives. We aim to encourage honest consideration of the legacy of Thatcherism, the core elements of which competition and selfishness continue to affect our society and our economy. Despite her efforts to undermine Scotland’s shared values and public services, it is important to assert that our society still exists. By encouraging an open debate I hope we’ll see a bit less of the tribal politics Holyrood has suffered of late.”

Is that an excuse for exhibiting such dreadfully bad taste?

If it can moved it should be moved.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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