Letters / Britain’s defining leader

I am personally deeply saddened to learn that Britain’s greatest peacetime prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, has passed away.

She was the defining British leader of modern times and she was a colossus on the world stage who transformed British industry and economy.

Her resolve in sending a taskforce to liberate the Falkland Islands should resonate very positively with Shetlanders.


Her vision for the future of Britain and steely determination are greatly missed.

Peter Garrick, the current president of Shetland Conservative Association, knew Margaret Thatcher well when she visited Shetland in 1977 as a member of Parliament and again in 1980, as prime minister.

She and Edward Heath are the only prime ministers to have visited our islands.

Fog at Sumburgh disrupted the itinerary for the first visit so she visited Orkney first, then Shetland – the opposite of the original schedule with frantic rearrangements of the programme.

During this visit, she promised Mr Garrick that she would established a freight subsidy for the islands and return again if she became prime minister.

She honoured her promise by returning in 1980 which resulted in solid support for the 50 mile exclusive fisheries limit and also the Shetland Act.

Mr Garrick has the highest regard for Margaret Thatcher as an honest and diligent politician, but especially as a valued friend.

She was one of the Britain’s greatest ambassadors, advocates and prime ministers.

Maurice Mullay
Shetland Conservative Association