For Margaret Thatcher, Northern Ireland wasn’t just a political minefield but a personal tragedy.
Just months before she took office in 1979, her close friend and ally, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary Airey Neave, who led her campaign for the Conservative Party Leadership, was killed when a bomb, planted by republican terrorists, went off from under his car as he drove out of the Palace of Westminster.
In 2008, the Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkns declared that plans for a portrait of Margaret Thatcher to hang in the Welsh Assembly was an “insult to the people of Wales”. At the same time, the then Conservative AM and now MP for the Vale of Galmorgan Alun Cairns praised the ex PM for having “transformed the Welsh economy.”
With just one MP still in Scotland, the effect of Margaret Thatcher’s reign continues to blight the Conservative party north of the border.
The Di Canio incident has underlined the need to step up campaigning against fascism, whether in uncovering extremists in the world of sport or entertainment as well as far-right political movements.
I have no idea whether or not Paulo Di Canio is a racist, just as I have no clue whether everyone who waddles through Trafalgar Square on May Day with a giant portrait of Stalin believes in the necessity of the Gulag or a bullet to the back of the head. I would, however, hesitate to put such people in positions where they have authority over people who their political heroes regarded as expendable.
Britain’s number one tennis player, Andy Murray has waded into the world of politics, by urging fellow Scots to use their heads rather than their hearts in deciding whether to become an independent country.
Over the last five days the leaders of three political parties have made speeches about immigration. Cameron’s latest speech suggests that there is now a race to the bottom on immigration.
Before rushing to blame foreign visitors for putting a strain on the health service with some rather dubious statistics, perhaps the prime minister and his health secretary would do well to examine the policies of other departments of government that are both costing the NHS money and preventing NHS staff from doing what they are qualified to do.
Now that we’ve pulled apart the idea that newly-arrived immigrants are being fast-tracked to social housing ahead of indigenous Britains, it’s worth a quick look at the myth that immigrants are somehow a drain on the economy; that there is a pressing need to “get tough” with them, send them home, afflict various hardships on them, whatever takes your right-wing fancy.
This weekend two first ministers went head to head with their competing views on the future of the Union.