The Independent/Green group at Holyrood has agreed to move its debate on the subject “There Is Such A Thing As Society” from tomorrow afternoon to Thursday, after it became clear that the other parties and the Parliament’s Presiding Officer favoured the shift.
“It seems a double standard that Westminster was permitted to debate Margaret Thatcher’s legacy before her funeral, during the traditional period of mourning, while Holyrood cannot do so on the planned day even though the debate would have been after the funeral.
“However, the important issue is not the timing, but the Parliament having the opportunity to reflect on the damage that was done, and continues to be done, to Scotland by the ideology of Thatcherism.”
Fellow independent MSP John Finnie, the group’s representative on the bureau, said:
“Tomorrow afternoon’s slot had been allocated to us for some time and is a rare opportunity for us to lead a debate. Given the widespread public discussion about the legacy of Thatcherism we felt we couldn’t ignore the need to use our slot to assess the impact on Scottish society and the way forward.
“While we didn’t feel the timing was insensitive it became clear at this morning’s meeting that there was broad support for a swap of business and we were happy to agree to this. By having the debate on Thursday afternoon we can ensure the maximum number of MSPs can take part, and in particular ensure those on the Tory benches answer for the terrible effect on Scotland of thirteen years of policies that promoted selfishness over society.”