Independent/Green Group Statement on Thatcher Debate

The Independent/Green group at Holyrood is proposing that its debate on society be moved from tomorrow afternoon to Thursday.

It became clear at this morning’s meeting of the parliamentary bureau, attended by business managers from all opposition parties, the government and the presiding officer, that there was widespread support for the move.

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 Parliamentary Bureau 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.”

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

“Wednesday afternoon hours after the funeral takes place would have been a perfectly appropriate time for this debate. However if other MSPs cannot see past the coincidence of timing I wouldn’t want that issue to detract from the debate and undermine this opportunity to challenge the failed consensus of free market ideology which the Thatcher legacy represents.”