The Scottish Greens say Thursday’s Holyrood debate entitled There Is Still Such A Thing As Society demonstrated that the common good remains a core Scottish value.
The debate was called by the Scottish Green party and independent MSPs in order to examine the legacy of Margaret Thatcher to Scotland.
The debate was originally intended to be held on Wednesday, but was postponed until Thursday to avoid taking place while Mrs Thatcher’s funeral was in progress after the timing was criticised by the Scottish Conservatives and Lib Dems.
Patrick Harvie, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said it was important to debate Mrs Thatcher’s legacy. Addressing the Holyrood chamber, the Green MSP said:
“She has herself been out of office for more than 20 years but the ideas that she embodied remain regrettably so dominant in our politics.”
Mr Harvie strongly criticised the “market fundamentalism” and the privatisation of public assets which were introduced under Thatcher’s administration. He also highlighted her government’s “relentless attention to individualism” which resulted in the “exclusion of every collective solution to problems”.
Mr Harvie added:
“The main themes of Thatcherism – selfishness, privatisation of public assets, market fundamentalism – remain a huge influence despite the failure of that economic model. While the Scottish Tories were falling over themselves to put a gloss on Thatcher’s toxic legacy it was reassuring to hear MSPs from other parties agree collective solutions still have their place.”
“Scotland should never again have to suffer the kind of divisive, individualistic politics of the Thatcher governments. Our debate has prompted politicians on both sides of the referendum issue to think carefully about what sort of society Scotland could be.”