Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
With just over two weeks to go to the Scottish independence referendum, the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales today visited Edinburgh to explain why her party supports the Scottish Greens’ push for a Yes vote.
Natalie Bennett, whose party has 160 councillors, 3 MEPs and Green MP Caroline Lucas, says Scottish independence would shake up UK politics and encourage progressive forces throughout the British Isles.
Since launching their distinctive Green Yes campaign last November the Scottish Greens have taken their message of opportunity to hundreds of communities across Scotland, directly appealing to undecided voters.
Tonight at the Out of the Blue arts venue in Leith Natalie will explain why a Yes vote would be good for the rest of the UK.
Natalie Bennett said:
“Scotland voting Yes represents an opportunity to show that there is an alternative to the unfair austerity, social division and privatisation pursued by Westminster. I look forward to the exciting possibility of real change for England and Wales that Scottish independence would bring.
“The Scottish Greens are helping the Yes campaign reach out way beyond the SNP, and are giving momentum to the causes of fairness, democracy and peace. The UK’s tired old political framework is in serious need of a shake up, and a Yes vote would undoubtedly do that.”
An evening with Natalie Bennett:
Out of the Blue, Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh
7pm tonight (Tue)
Friday, August 29th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is rubbishing the latest comments by Highland Libdem MP Danny Alexander.
Today Green MSP Patrick Harvie begins a tour of the north with meetings in Aviemore, Elgin and Inverness, while Independent MSP John Finnie debates Mr Alexander in Kingussie.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responsible for welfare cuts which have taken more than £1.6bn a year out of the Scottish economy and targeted the sick and disabled, claims a No vote “would lead to a federal UK” and he bizarrely cites SNP centralisation and A9 speed cameras as reasons to oppose independence.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
“The Libdems have been at the heart of the UK’s cruel Coalition government, targeting the most vulnerable in society and putting more money in the pockets of the wealthy and powerful. Today’s comments from Danny Alexander simply demonstrate how out of touch with reality he is, and will further shred his reputation among his Highland constituents.
“The return of local powers within Scotland is in fact a reason to vote Yes. We’re much more likely to see devolution from Edinburgh to regions and communities if we transfer big responsibilities such as welfare and defence to Holyrood. The control and the influence the Highlands deserve is much more likely to come with independence; with a No vote Scotland will disappear from Westminster’s radar altogether.
“Crucially, with independence Scotland could end the unfair austerity imposed by the Conservatives and Libdems and supported by Labour. We have a chance to use our undoubted wealth to share prosperity and show a more equal society is possible.”
John Finnie, Independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:
“Danny Alexander, who is soon to face the electorate he lumbered with a Tory Government and a draconian welfare attack is in no position to deliver anything. This is a debate about Scotland’s constitutional future, not the SNP, not Alex Salmond and certainly not speed cameras.
“All those campaigning for ‘Yes’ offer a vision of a better future whilst all Mr Alexander and his unionist colleagues seek is more of the same, more inequality, more nuclear weapons and our Welfare State and NHS at growing risk from privatisation. In the few weeks that remain Mr Alexander needs to focus on the issue at hand, Scotland’s future, rather than his less assured political future.”
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is dismissing the latest scare by Labour on energy.
Shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran claims power bills will rise in an independent Scotland due to renewables.
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, said:
“Labour’s claim flies in the face of the evidence, and demonstrates a real lack of ambition for Scotland’s clean energy potential. We know that thanks to the UK Government’s deal on new nuclear in England – supported by Labour – we face being saddled with massive costs over the coming decades; that’s a cost an independent Scotland wouldn’t have to shoulder.
“Evidence presented to my committee in parliament showed that UK government policy decisions on energy mean Scottish consumers could face lower electricity prices under independence. All Labour are doing is reminding us that they support nuclear, with its eye-watering costs and toxic legacy.
“They have also glossed over the fact that Scotland is well on the way to becoming a net exporter of renewable power and the need for subsidy is falling fast.
“It is clear to me if we want to get energy bills down we must invest in all forms of renewables – commercial, publicly-owned and locally-owned – and invest in energy efficiency. In turn that will continue to create good jobs and a bright future for young people looking for work.
“There’s no offer to devolve energy policy to Scotland so saying No in September will simply lock us in to the wrong set of priorities.”
An analysis of the effect of recent UK government policy decisions on nuclear energy suggests that Scottish consumers could face lower prices in an independent Scottish electricity system (Aberdeen University)
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is criticising the right-wing lobby group the CBI for giving a platform to Conservative leader David Cameron just three weeks before the vote.
Earlier this year CBI Scotland registered as a No campaigning body with the Electoral Commission, a registration later nullified.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
“The CBI clearly have more money than sense. Staging a dinner with David Cameron rather than a balanced debate as voting is starting to take place makes clear their position as a right-wing partisan lobby group.
“Businesses in Scotland are rightly interested in what independence could mean for them but they deserve to hear a range of views. Scottish Greens see huge opportunities for Scotland to grow a greater variety of businesses, and more sustainable economic policies. We have a chance to ditch the failed approach of successive UK governments.
“The CBI’s austerity cheerleading, demand for privatisation of public services and continued bleating about tax cuts for highly profitable firms must be challenged, and I believe a Yes vote gives Scotland the opportunity to do just that.”
Monday, August 25th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is urging undecided voters in the Highlands and Moray to meet leading campaigner Patrick Harvie MSP.
Mr Harvie, the co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will be on the campaign trail in Aviemore, Elgin and Inverness this Friday and Saturday, urging voters to seize the opportunity to shape the future direction of Scotland.
On Friday night he is due to speak at the Yes Aviemore public meeting, on Saturday morning he will be in Elgin High Street meeting voters, and on Saturday afternoon he’ll be in Inverness High Street supporting the Radical Independence stall.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“The referendum debate has sparked a revival of public engagement in politics and I’m looking forward to hearing from voters in Aviemore, Elgin and Inverness. The opportunity we have in September goes way beyond just making more decisions in Scotland – it’s a chance to reconnect people with those decisions, and devolve powers within Scotland to local level.
“I’d urge voters in the North of Scotland to think carefully about the argument put forward by people like Danny Alexander that the UK pools and shares resources. We have children in poverty and families relying on food banks, while the government and the opposition pledge further austerity, commit to new nuclear weapons and continue to stuff a bloated House of Lords.
“On fairness and social justice it’s clear that Westminster has failed. Independence is a chance for Scotland to show a different way is possible.”
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Green MSP Patrick Harvie used today’s final Scottish Parliament debate ahead of the independence referendum to invoke the memory of Margo MacDonald, who urged rivals to recognise they have opponents not enemies.
The independent MSP for Lothian, who died in April, urged mutual respect in the debate. Margo helped form a Green-Independent grouping at Holyrood with Patrick, his Green MSP colleague Alison Johnstone and former SNP MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urquhart.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“Margo was right. Scotland deserves a respectful debate, and both sides should strive to achieve this over the final weeks of this creative and engaging campaign.
“Whatever the result on the morning of 19 September we must not return to the kind of politics that left so many people unimpressed and disconnected; the kind of politics Westminster has shown no desire to change. This referendum has reignited public discussion and big ideas and beyond the result we must keep alive the deeper question of what kind of country we want to be.”
Mr Harvie also highlighted the Green position on North Sea oil:
“Greens will continue to oppose the obsession all other parties have shown with squeezing out every drop of North Sea oil. That goes for the SNP just as much as successive UK governments.
But it’s the No side which shows a lack of ambition either for Scotland’s economy or for our environmental responsibilities. They want to extract every last drop in the face of climate obligations, and at the same time fail to invest the revenue in new industries that can take oil’s place.
“By voting yes we’d have the opportunity to build an economy on resources that will last for all future generations.”
And he urged undecided voters to look beyond the White Paper:
“A Yes vote is not an endorsement of everything in the SNP’s White Paper. The most exciting element of this national debate is the creative and broad movement which has developed as the opportunities of independence have become clear.
“The campaign to win a Yes vote must connect voters with the wide range of ideas out there for an independent Scotland, and not just what the current government proposes.”
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Green MSP Patrick Harvie is challenging claims by Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran that the Scottish Government’s proposals for broadcasting in an independent Scotland would have a “devastating impact”.
“I welcome Margaret Curran’s recognition that independence is not a ‘take it or leave it’ deal on the SNP’s White Paper, and that there’s a spectrum of views about issues on both sides of the referendum.
“On the No side there are some who would leave the BBC as it is, failing to recognise that Scotland deserves better from our public service broadcaster. And there are others on the Tory benches who would happily abolish the whole ethos of public service, and see it funded by adverts instead of the licence fee.
“On the Yes side there are those who support the SNP’s idea of a Scottish Broadcasting Service, and there are others who think the BBC can be made to work better that it does today – and that independence could bring that about. By changing the BBC Charter and Agreement to ensure that both governments are involved, we would achieve a double-lock protection for the principle of public service broadcasting against attacks from the political right, we’d give the Corporation an inbuilt incentive to treat its different audiences seriously, and we’d avoid breaking up the biggest news-gathering machine on the planet.
“That sounds like win-win to me, and we could all settle down to watch Dr Who, Strictly, or the kind of high quality Scottish current affairs coverage the country has a right to expect.”
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is highlighting the threat to Scotland’s NHS from the EU-US trade deal known as TTIP.
During today’s statement in parliament on the future of the NHS in Scotland, Green MSP Alison Johnstone asked Health Secretary Alex Neil to come out strongly against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The TTIP deal would allow public services to be open to private competition, with multinational firms able to sue governments that restrict competition.
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, said:
“The NHS in England is under direct threat from TTIP as the UK Government has opened the service up to private provision, and there is growing concern that the Scottish NHS will come under pressure from corporate interests. Scotland needs its own voice in these negotiations, and while I welcome Alex Neil’s statement that the Scottish Government wants the health service exempted from TTIP, I remain concerned that we don’t have the power to properly oppose these deals.
“Greens have been the only political party campaigning against this trade deal. We believe strongly in a health service in public hands and free at the point of need, and I view a Yes vote as an opportunity to protect it.”
Monday, August 18th, 2014
Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is urging voters in the Tranent area to take part in a question and answer session with Patrick Harvie MSP.
The event, organised by Yes East Lothian, will be held in the Loch Centre this Thursday (21 August) at 7pm, and also features Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:
“The referendum debate has sparked a revival of public engagement in politics and I’m looking forward to hearing from voters in Tranent. The opportunity we have in September goes way beyond just making more decisions in Scotland – it’s a chance to repair a broken political system and ensure that the values of social justice and equality are never again trashed by a Government like the one currently destroying the welfare state in the UK.
“I’d urge voters in Tranent to think carefully about Labour’s argument that the UK pools and shares resources, when we have children in poverty and families relying on food banks. During Labour’s years in power the wealthiest managed to grab an ever bigger share of national wealth. Even today their business spokesperson seems to think the party should be focused on helping a tiny minority to become millionaires.
“On social justice it’s clear that Westminster has failed. Independence is a chance for Scotland to show a different way is possible. Those who are unsure deserve to hear a wide range of perspectives as they reach a judgement on this hugely important vote.”
Saturday, August 16th, 2014
Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens and member of the Yes Scotland Advisory Board has today welcomed the comments from Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens regarding next month’s referendum and criticized those of Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbot.
In a short video message Senator Milne explains that she looks forward to working with an independent Scotland to tackle global issues such as climate change and the elimination of nuclear energy. In contrast, Tony Abbot has said that a Yes vote would be a victory for the enemies of freedom and justice.
Patrick Harvie says: “Christine Milne’s comments are a welcome addition to the referendum debate. She understands that tackling global issues requires cooperation between all nations and that an independent Scotland can play an important role in that. Whether it’s on economic justice or climate change, an independent Scotland can lead where the UK has not. We look forward to working with Senator Milne and others across the world after a Yes vote next month.
“In contrast, Tony Abbot’s ludicrous comments indicate that he think the Yes campaign are a collection of comic book super villains. Australia has prospered as an independent country, able to make decisions for itself. I wonder how many Australians would like to see that reversed. After a Yes vote Scotland will take our place as a valued and respected member of the international community, just as Australia and almost two hundred other independent states do already.”
Senator Christine Milne on Scottish independence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb4_fLfqN-A&feature=youtu.be
‘Those who want the Uk to split are not the friends of freedom’ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4177823.ece