MargoThe Scottish Parliament today lost one of its few true icons, the independent (former SNP) MSP Margo Macdonald. Long unwell with Parkinson’s, she kept working on right to the end, despite the very obvious toll the disease was taking on her. The tributes from all parties today will be genuine and heartfelt. 

Over her time at Holyrood she became associated with three issues above all, three things she campaigned on fearlessly: the right to die in the manner of one’s own choosing, the safety of sex workers, and of course independence. There would be no better tribute to her work than to make progress on all three issues this year.

Here’s her opening speech for the Stage One debate on her Bill on the right to die, from the end of 2010. When she spoke, no matter how regularly they disagreed with her, everyone in the Chamber stopped to listen. Her unique position as an independent MSP elected through a regional list means she will be unreplaced as well as unreplaceable.