Thatcher legacy debate rescheduled

Margaret Thatcher

And so MSPs have decided that they will debate the legacy of Margaret Thatcher - but not tomorrow. Not on the day of her funeral.

The Greens and the independent MSPs, together, have the numbers to form a collective group at Holyrood. That entitles them, from time to time, to name the topic for debate on particular days.

It so fell that their next scheduled day was to be Wednesday. They duly opted to debate the issue of the legacy of Baroness Thatcher.

Cue an angry response. Other party business managers objected to the fact that the proposed debate would have taken place on the day of the former Prime Minister's funeral. Not, it should be noted, to the fact of holding a debate on Thatcherism.

The other parties all made those points, strenuously, at the scheduled meeting of the business bureau which agrees the topics for debate at Holyrood.

Under this pressure, the Green-Independent group agreed to back down. They agreed to a proposal to shift the Thatcher debate to Thursday - while moving Thursday's business, a debate on public procurement, to Wednesday.

At Holyrood, some detect the influence of Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, who chairs the business bureau.

She has no powers to order change - but she can certainly cajole. She can persuade. It is believed she did just that, alert to the reputation of the Scottish Parliament more generally.

Brian Taylor, Political editor, Scotland Article written by Brian Taylor Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

Coming of age

The SNP is 80-years-old. John Swinney is rather younger but, nevertheless, today is his birthday and conference delegates sprung a surprise upon him as he prepared to speak - they sang Happy Birthday.

Read full article

More on This Story

Features

  • chocolate cake and strawberriesTrick your tongue

    Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?


  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George leaving New Zealand'Great ambassadors'

    How New Zealand reacted to William, Kate - and George


  • Major Power Failure ident on BBC2Going live

    Why BBC Two's launch was not all right on the night


  • Front display of radio Strange echoes

    What are the mysterious sequences of numbers read out on shortwave radio?


  • A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child'Be a star'

    Children's uplifting letters of hope to homeless Syrians


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.