The Scottish Independence Debate – “Let’s debate without Venom” Margo MacDonald

Margo MacDonald

Margo MacDonald

The Independence Debate. –  Debate without Venom and remain friends despite our differences. Great words that many outside Scotland may have never heard of Margo MacDonald was a Scottish politician; she was a Scottish National Party Member of Parliament and one-time Deputy Leader, and later an Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothian region.  A really honest politician and one who though I never agreed with everything she said. she spoke so much sense. A rarity in Politics today.


Ms MacDonald, who had Parkinson’s disease, died earlier this month at the age of 70 and was hugely influential in the Scottish independence movement. I  listened to the Celebration of Life of Margo Mac Donald on the radio the other day it was a great tribute to a woman of great political and personal  courage.

This was a fitting reflection of the wonderful Margo MacDonald who so greatly touched so many of us – a fantastic person who will be deeply missed and a true politician of the people.

I was very impressed by her stand In July 2008, when Margo MacDonald co-operated with BBC Scotland in the making of a documentary about Assisted Dying.  As a Parkinson’s sufferer, MacDonald had long been a campaigner for assisted dying, saying that

“As someone with a degenerative condition – Parkinson’s – this debate is not a theory with me. The possibility of having the worst form of the disease at the end of life has made me think about unpleasant things. I feel strongly that, in the event of losing my dignity or being faced with the prospect of a painful or protracted death, I should have the right to choose to curtail my own, and my family’s, suffering.”  This was a brave attempt to bring such a difficult subject that few speak about and yet is so important to many.

At the end of the service Mr Sillars ( her husband)says Ms MacDonald was concerned, right up until her death, that Scotland was currently a divided nation due to nature of the debate around the forthcoming referendum.

Mr Sillars says if Margo could debate independence “without venom”, then so can we all.

“That’s what she wanted me to say”, he tells the gathering.

The Independence Debate is a big part of life in Scotland, but please let’s discuss the future, the pros and cons and still remain friends.

“Debate without venom” what a fitting tribute to a fine lady and very unusually a great politician and a timely reminder to us all no matter what our views are?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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