Leader: ‘Put aside your differences for the funeral’

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Have your say

One thing that is clear from the events of recent days is that Margaret Thatcher continues to polarise opinion in death as much as she did in life.

Anyone who lived through the miners strikes of the 1980s and their aftermath will understand why animosity lingers in certain quarters. Some will never forgive or forget the damage which her trenchant policies inflicted on their communities.

Yet there are many who agree with David Cameron’s verdict that she “saved” the nation through her strong leadership. That may be a minority view in Scotland but it is held with conviction by many people.

The debate between the two sides will continue endlessly, especially now that the Iron Lady is no longer here to offer her version of events.

Her funeral next Wednesday – whatever your view – should be a time to put those differences aside.

Those who do not want to pay their respects are free to go about their daily lives, those who wish to do so should not have to worry about any possible consequences.

Given the impromptu “street parties” that have taken place in other parts of the country it is perhaps a sensible precaution not to show the funeral on the big screen in Festival Square.

The risk otherwise is that a handful of extremists could cause untold damage to the city’s reputation across Britain and further afield.

There is no place in this country for celebrating the death of an elderly woman. Those who think otherwise would do well to dwell on the former Prime Minister’s own thoughts on the issue.

Told about plans for such street parties, she apparently told friends she took it as a great compliment, proof that she had achieved something, rather than having just talked about it.

Hit the highways

There will be few people who disagree with Professor Iain Docherty’s assessment of Edinburgh’s roads.

Time and time again, the Capital’s potholed streets come top of the list of gripes for city residents and visitors.

The city council is working to tackle the problem and doubled the roads budget to £24.5 million.

Will this be enough? It will take a lot more than filling in potholes to solve Edinburgh’s transport problems, and Prof Docherty’s comments today only serve to highlight the scale of the problem.

He points to Zurich as a city which has got the right idea. What he doesn’t mention is what forms the backbone of the Swiss city’s public transport network – the tram.