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Motion of Condolence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 20th November 2013.

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Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

The paths of my family and Helen Eadie’s family crossed a long time ago, when Alex Eadie was a candidate in Ayr and my husband, Jim, was his election agent—that is a team, if members can imagine it. When Jim was elected to Westminster, he went to live with Helen, which is something that not everybody knows. He was there with a clutch of young members of Parliament, and she was the landlady. He says that, even then, her characteristics were kindness and consideration, which everybody has spoken about today.

I am glad that people have spoken about the fact that she could do one. When she heard some of the things that I said about Europe and the European Free Trade Association, she did one. However, I appreciated her, because she was that rare animal—she was loyal to her party, yet she walked to the beat of her own drum, which is a difficult feat to pull off.

Helen was a very admirable woman; she was a serious woman. A lot of people did not realise just how serious she was, but she was a mine of information on Europe, for example, because she took the research seriously and did not only read the first pages the way that most of us do.

We will miss Helen in the Parliament; she was so obviously a good person. She sought nothing more than to pursue what she saw as righteousness and people getting a fair deal. In that, I admired her, because she was never knocked off that course. Her intention in politics was to do good; she succeeded.