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Persecution of wildlife in Scotland reached such lows as to cause the virtual disappearance of so many iconic species that it is only in the last 50 years that serious attempts have been made to conserve them. Gamekeepers and egg collectors brought some raptors to the brink of extinction, most notably ospreys, the golden eagle and the peregrine falcon, and the over fishing of salmon and trout left many ‘course fishing’ rivers barren. For the Scottish wildcat, another problem permeated – that of the interbreeding with feral or domestic cats diluting the bloodline to such a degree that it has been argued the number of true specimens is now in the tens. That claim makes the Scottish wildcat one of the most at-risk cats on Earth.
An Uneasy Alliance
By the end of the 1980s, Thatcher’s approach to Europe, alongside other national issues, were beginning to see her power within her own party wane, most notably with her opposition to what she saw as increasing federalism, as well as the Exchange Rate Mechanism that set Europe on the path to the euro. Thatcher was fierce in her condemnation, writ large by her famous Bruges speech, a position that saw her at odds with several senior members of her own cabinet, leading to recrimination and resignation, and ultimately to her own demise.
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