Thank you, Margo

Margo MacDonald was a rare and precious gift, a politician who was warm, likeable, truthful and passionate. No matter how brightly her star shone – her feet remained firmly planted on Scottish soil. She embodied a great paradox, a miracle even, despite being an extraordinary woman Margo was always one of the ordinary people.

Margo made me a into supporter of independence. I only met her once, very briefly, when she was standing for election as rector of Glasgow University back in the early 80s. I was shy and tongue tied in the presence of my hero, she’d already worked her magic on me long before when she won the Govan by-election. With that victory she showed a confused wee boy in the East End that working class Scottish people could take on the powerful and win with wit and intelligence as our only weapons. Margo taught us that Scottish independence was not just for beardy men with an obsession with ancient history. It was about social housing, about jobs, and above all about democracy. It was about us, our stories, our voices, our future.

And Margo had a voice that rang true and sang the song of self-determination. Margo taught us that self-determination begins with yourself. Set yourself free, break the mental chains that bind, see through the fear, don’t defer to self-proclaimed authority. Margo taught us that if you live in the light of truth, if you feel the strength that comes from within – you can do anything. Margo didn’t just preach that message. She lived it.

The fates dictated that Margo would not make it to the promised land, but she showed the rest of us the way. She was one of the greatest Scots of her generation, of all generations. She will be remembered, she will be missed.

Today I’m shedding a tear for Margo. I’ve never before wept when a politician has died. But Margot wasn’t just a politician. She was far more than that. Her song lives on in the hearts of the thousands she reached out to and touched. Margo is gone, but her song will never be stilled. On the 18th of September we’ll vote yes in her memory – and Scotland will make her proud.

Goodbye Margo. Thank you.


16 comments on “Thank you, Margo

  1. smiling vulture says:

    So tragic,shes taken year of Independence vote,,she was in good spirits last interview stv

  2. We’ve all been very privileged to live through such exciting and energising times in Scotland, and to have known or felt close to so many people who grasped the opportunities and strode out with them on the road to independence. Margo is the latest in a long list of those to whom we will owe gratitude and thanks on 19th September.

  3. JGedd says:

    Upset also to hear about Margo. She was an inspiration to many in the independence movement and I’ m so sorry that she will miss those celebrations when we win independence at last. But we will be thinking of her. Condolences to Jim and her family. A great loss. As ever you have voiced it so well for us. A moving tribute to a great woman.

  4. My first thoughts went out for Jim and the family.
    Margo was truly one of our giants and it’s such a shame she wasn’t given another six months to see the tree of liberty bear its sweet fruit.
    In our new Scotland she must be among the very first to be honoured by a grateful people.
    To absent friends.

  5. You speak for many. Well said.

  6. Eilean says:

    Margo spoke with the voice of the people. Straight up no nonsense. And the people loved her for it.

    She put many to shame.

  7. macart763 says:

    Very well said Paul.

    I spent last night feeling more than a little down. Trawling through some old links in the wee small hours I came across this from the 2012 rally.

    By the end of this speech I had a smile on my face because that’s the effect Margo had on you.

    No deal breakers.

  8. Abulhaq says:

    Margo….we salute you! Alba/ Scotland says Ay! Seadh! Ja! Yes!

  9. diabloandco says:

    Thanks for refreshing my memory Macart.

    Paul , lovely tribute and good to meet you last night .
    I too had to hit the road early having left a pigsty behind me to get to the Counting House but no matter how short the visit I’m so glad I got there.

  10. Paul, your right, I don’t often greet when a politician dies, but i did yesterday. R.I.P. Margo.

  11. Sheila Rae says:

    Safe journey Margo, you were an inspiration and a humorous voice of reason.

  12. andygm1 says:

    I lost my wife in 2006 and I found that the best remedy was to keep myself occupied. Jim has the best remedy, to redouble his efforts to achieve her goal on September 18th. I look forward to seeing him at many more events speaking in both their names and on behalf of us all.

    Margo, you were a one off!

  13. jamie macdonald says:

    Such a fitting tribute to a really great lady, thank you Paul.

    just watched yer wee video macart763 -( with a tear in my eye)- man she was a rousing force! I just wish she was here for the so sad.

    • macart763 says:

      Its what we’re all here for. Doesn’t matter where we lie politically or socially. Doesn’t matter what our differences are. When it comes to independence there are no deal breakers.

      We’re here to make this the ‘best wee country in the world’. Margo was right. We’re not there yet and bringing our powers home will just be the first step. But once we get up and running watch us go.

      We’ll make the lady proud.

  14. Reblogged this on An Sionnach Fionn and commented:
    Margo was an extraordinary politician and quite deserving of the grief that has been expressed at her passing. Her death and the virtual silence in the British national press shows the cultural gulf that now exists between Scotland and England. They are already nations apart.

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