FRACKING: HARVIE URGES MINISTERS TO ADOPT TOUGHER LINE

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, today (30 Sep) used Topical Questions at Holyrood to urge Scottish ministers to adopt a tougher line on fracking.

A vast swathe of Scotland, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire and from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked by the UK Government as ripe for the controversial gas drilling technique.

Last week the UK Government agreed to pass laws to let fracking companies drill below people’s homes without consent, despite a consultation showing that 99% of responses oppose such a move.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Drilling for gas will add massively to the existing stocks of fossil fuels – stocks we can’t afford to burn. The recent climate summit in New York has reminded us of the profound threat we face if we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Communities across Scotland are rightly alarmed at the determination of the Tory-LibDem coalition to allow fracking. Today I urged Scottish Ministers to take a tougher line, given their recent description of fracking as an opportunity and their failure to ban it with the planning powers they already have.

“I welcome John Swinney’s commitment not to replicate the UK Government’s approach to drilling without consent, if the power to take action is devolved to Holyrood. However he has still not ruled out allowing fracking itself to go ahead in Scotland, and if we’re going to protect communities and the environment we’ll need both the power to legislate, and the political will to do so.”

I urged Scottish Ministers to take a tougher line, given their recent description of fracking as an opportunity and their failure to ban it with the planning powers they already have.
Patrick Harvie MSP

Greens announce nominations for Smith Commission on Devolution

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

The Scottish Greens have today (27 Sep) announced their nominations to join the Smith Commission on Devolution.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At a meeting of the party’s national council it was agreed to put forward party co-conveners Cllr Maggie Chapman and MSP Patrick Harvie.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Maggie and I look forward to engaging constructively with the Commission and will argue strongly for genuine economic powers. Scotland needs the ability to develop economic policy that’s right for our own circumstances, closing the inequality gap and speeding the transition to a sustainable society.

“However we have serious concerns that the Commission will only offer limited public engagement, and we will make the case for more meaningful participation.

“In light of the record turnout at the referendum, and the high level of political energy among so many in our communities, it is essential that whether people voted Yes or No they have a chance to participate in the devolution process. This cannot be allowed to be just another a stitch up between political parties.”

We have serious concerns that the Commission will only offer limited public engagement, and we will make the case for more meaningful participation.
Patrick Harvie MSP

GREEN MSP URGES PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN DEVO PROCESS

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, is calling for the Smith Commission on devolution to engage as many people as possible.

Summing up for the Scottish Greens this afternoon at the conclusion of Holyrood’s two-day debate on the referendum outcome, Alison praised the fact that Scotland has become a participative democracy.

Tomorrow (Thu) at General Questions Alison will highlight the high voter turnout, and urge continued engagement.

It comes amid a surge of interest in the Scottish Greens, with almost 4,000 new members joining since polls closed a week ago, taking the party membership to over 5,600.

The party’s biggest annual conference to date, in Edinburgh on 11 and 12 October, is now fully booked.

The surge of interest is also continuing on social media with the Scottish Greens’ twitter account – @scotgp – now being followed by 20,400 people compared to Scottish Labour’s 13,500. And the Scottish Green Party has 31,800 likes on Facebook compared to Scottish Labour’s 5,900.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“Scotland has become a participative democracy. I feel encouraged and optimistic.

“People who wouldn’t have come along to a traditional hustings where politicians debate their manifestos came along with their questions and their own manifestos.

“As tight as the timescales that Lord Smith has been given to work to are, we must do all that we can to ensure those who contributed to the debate are given every opportunity to contribute to this process too.

“Greens were not campaigning for a wee version of Westminster. This debate has shown us that democracy begins at street level.

“We should be ambitious in our vision for what we can do, and willing to work with others to make it happen. If we do that, another better Scotland is possible.”

 

As tight as the timescales that Lord Smith has been given to work to are, we must do all that we can to ensure those who contributed to the debate are given every opportunity to contribute to this process too.
Alison Johnstone MSP

SCOTTISH GREENS THANK OVER 3,000 NEW MEMBERS

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The Scottish Greens are thanking over 3,000 new members who have joined
the party since the close of polls on Thursday evening.

This means total membership has just passed the 5,000 mark. The surge
is also being seen on social media. The Scottish Greens’ twitter
account – @scotgp – now has over 18,200 followers compared to Scottish
Labour’s 13,000.

Recent opinion polls have put support for the Greens on 10 per cent on
the Holyrood regional vote, suggesting 11 MSPs, which would make the
Scottish Greens the parliament’s third largest party, one MSP ahead of
the Conservatives.

In May’s European election the Scottish Greens secured 108,000 votes,
coming ahead of the Lib Dems in 21 of Scotland’s 32 local authority
areas.

Comments on social media from those joining the party include:

“Excited to be part of such a progressive movement.”
“Patrick Harvie is absolutely fantastic.”
“I’ve joined @scotgp to help bring about positive, sustainable change.”
“First time I’ve been a member of a political party.”
“Spent most of the #indyref campaign wishing green matters would get
more attention.”
“Found @patrickharvie’s arguments compelling throughout #indyref
campaign.”
“Let’s get working for a fairer Scotland.”

Commenting, Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“I want to thank the vast number of people who have been in touch over
recent days to offer support, share their thoughts about the Green Yes
campaign, and to join the party in their thousands – including those
who voted Yes and No. We’ll be going into the next election as a much
bigger party than we could have imagined, and the potential clearly
still exists for a dramatic realignment of Scotland’s political
landscape.

“There are many ideas being debated about what that realignment will
result in, but the Greens have never been the kind of party where a
handful of people in leadership roles impose their own decisions on the
rest. Our local branches are currently debating the next steps, our
national council will meet on Saturday, and our members new and old
will meet at our biggest conference ever on October 11th to start
making our decisions together.

“One thing is very clear to me. As well as the huge numbers of Yes
voters who sought the kind of radical change that Westminster is
unlikely to deliver, there are also many who voted No but who share our
commitment to a sustainable economy, a fair and equal society, and a
renewed democratic culture.

“Making that happen will mean finding ways to work together. We have
always been a party that seek to work with others where common ground
exists, while still offering a robust challenge where we must on the
core principles of the Green agenda. I’m very excited to know that
we’ll be doing so as a far bigger party in future.”

The party is now looking ahead to its conference on the 11th & 12th
October in Edinburgh, set to be its largest ever.

Key speakers include Green MSPs Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone,
former First Minister Henry McLeish, trade unions and NGOs.

 

June Holyrood poll by Survation (Better Nation)

As well as the huge numbers of Yes voters who sought the kind of radical change that Westminster is unlikely to deliver, there are also many who voted No but who share our commitment to a sustainable economy, a fair and equal society, and a renewed democratic culture.
Patrick Harvie MSP

HARVIE REACTS TO SALMOND RESIGNATION

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Reacting to the announcement by First Minister Alex Salmond that he will step down in November, Scottish Green Party Co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“It’s no secret that the Scottish Green Party and I haven’t always agreed with Alex Salmond about a range of policy issues, but nobody in Scottish politics can doubt his commitment to the cause of Scottish independence, or the impact he has had not only within Scotland, but also on a movement which still has the potential to reshape politics throughout these islands.

“The First Minister is 100 per cent right to say that the aftermath of the independence referendum remains redolent with possibility, and that the incredible public engagement in our political process means that power must now lie with the public will, not with political parties in Westminster or Holyrood.

“Despite our differences on a range of issues, I want to pay tribute to Alex Salmond for the role he has played in changing our political landscape. The future of Scottish, and of UK politics, could be entering a more open and creative period than we have known for many years. If nothing else, Alex Salmond has been central to bringing us to that moment.”

Despite our differences on a range of issues, I want to pay tribute to Alex Salmond for the role he has played in changing our political landscape.
Patrick Harvie MSP

SCOTLAND VOTES NO: SCOTTISH GREENS URGE COMMON GROUND

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is accepting the No vote and urging those who voted Yes for radical change to remain actively engaged with the debate on constitutional change.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

“The result is clearly a disappointment to us but the huge number of people voting Yes does represent a big step forward for the cause of Scottish independence. We respect the outcome and look forward to working constructively with those who chose to vote No.

“The strength of feeling expressed in the referendum cannot be ignored, and the UK Government cannot be allowed to sweep Scotland aside. Any further devolution must not force Holyrood to implement the UK’s austerity agenda.

“Scottish Greens will closely scrutinise any proposals for further devolution to ensure a transfer of meaningful economic powers, not merely a responsibility to manage Westminster’s cuts.

“We also know that Greens in the rest of the UK will be strong allies in continuing to challenge the UK’s broken political system, which remains wedded to an economic model which has failed to serve the common good.

“The past two years has been an amazing time in Scotland’s history, with a broad-based creative movement reconnecting people to politics. The Green Yes campaign was driven by our ambition for a fairer, greener country. During the months and years ahead I’m determined that we keep that vision firmly in our sights.”

Scottish Greens will closely scrutinise any proposals for further devolution to ensure a transfer of meaningful economic powers, not merely a responsibility to manage Westminster’s cuts.
Patrick Harvie MSP

GREENS ACROSS EUROPE SHOW SUPPORT FOR YES VOTE

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the

referendum, will today (16 Sep) show the widespread support it has from
colleagues across the UK and Europe for independence.

Activists from England, Wales, France, Poland, Slovakia and Catalonia are in
Edinburgh to help the Green Yes campaign, with others showing their support on
social media using the hashtag #GreenYesSupport.

Along with Green MSPs Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone they will help the
campaign at the hugely popular Green Yes Tardis (ex-police call box) on Leith
Walk in the city.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

“In recent weeks Scottish Greens have been receiving messages of support from
colleagues around the world as we campaign for a Yes vote. Our friends see the
chance we have of achieving a fairer, greener future for Scotland, but also
the chance for the UK to renew itself as a result.

“With a Yes vote we can make real progress on nuclear disarmament, we can
prioritise equality and end austerity. We can strengthen the case of
colleagues who want change elsewhere in these islands.

“Greens have a reputation as outward-looking internationalists, and the show
of support we’re seeing for Green Yes makes us even more determined to win
independence for Scotland so our country can be a force for good in the
world.”

Zara Kitson, Co-convener of the Scottish Young Greens, said:

“As internationalists, connected to the global greens political movement,
Scottish Young Greens have been welcoming support from activists across the
UK, Europe and beyond. Independence for Scotland offers an opportunity of a
generation – one that generations before us have progressed to bring us to
this momentous point.”

 

Independence for Scotland offers an opportunity of a generation - one that generations before us have progressed to bring us to this momentous point.
Zara Kitson

GREENS PUBLISH OIL INDUSTRY SUBSIDY FIGURE, PUSH FOR DECOMMISSIONING ROLE FOR INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, today (14 Sep) has published new figures which for the first time estimate the public subsidy behind big oil company profits.

OilGasSubsidyInfographic (2)

The campaign has also published a detailed report by a leading oil finance author, showing the options an independent Scotland would have to position itself as a world leader in offshore decommissioning and publicly owned renewables.

The subsidy figure reveals that oil companies receive around £1billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – that’s roughly £190 from every Scot.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

“As Scotland debates its future, discussion over oil has tended to focus on extracting every last drop and burning it, when we know we simply can’t afford to do that for economic and environmental reasons. What has also been overlooked is the huge subsidy we’re all giving the big oil companies. Now that figure’s out in the open we should consider the logic of continuing such massive tax breaks.

“Big oil companies are already throwing their weight around as the vote nears, and an independent Scotland should be prepared to stand up to that. If Scotland remains part of the UK we will struggle to assert control; with a Yes we can build a genuinely sustainable economy, reducing our reliance on a declining industry and instead growing the clean technology of the future.”

 

£1bn subsidy figure explained

We place the average tax break at around £1.15 billion per annum for the entire UK Continental Shelf. The Scottish proportion of this is approximately 90 per cent or roughly £1.05 billion per year. The 90:10 split is based on Scotland’s geographical share and commonly used.

This total figure is an estimate based on a combination of Government and industry estimates but very limited data.

The Green Yes graphic includes illustrations of what £1 billion could deliver instead of subsidising oil industry profits: more renewables, childcare, 25,000 extra teachers, 28,000 extra nurses.

Green Yes Energy Independence briefing – report by Mika Minio-Paluello

 

Big oil companies are already throwing their weight around as the vote nears, and an independent Scotland should be prepared to stand up to that.
Patrick Harvie MSP

HARVIE URGES GLASGOW TO VOTE YES TO TACKLE INEQUALITY

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is today (13 Sep) urging Scotland’s biggest city to vote Yes to close its appalling inequality gap.

Glasgow is the worst local authority area for income deprivation in Scotland at 21 per cent of the population. In other words, almost a quarter of Glasgwegians are on income support or jobseeker’s allowance, with no other source of income.

By contrast Aberdeenshire and Shetland are the least income deprived at just 7 per cent. And within Glasgow there’s a wide variation, with some neighbourhoods such as Parkhead and Dalmarnock up to 41 per cent deprived.

Today Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will join with other campaigners from across the broad Yes movement to speak to voters in the city centre as part of the ‘People’s Takeover’.

Mr Harvie said:

“Rebuilding the welfare state, improving jobs and wages, and tackling the structural causes of poverty all require a Yes vote. As well as closing the gap between rich and poor we have the chance to rebalance the economy within Scotland.

“Westminster has had its chance and failed, over successive governments. By taking responsibility for the vast wealth we generate here in Scotland we can at last put it to good use and really help Glasgow flourish.”



Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics showing income deprivation in Glasgow


By taking responsibility for the vast wealth we generate here in Scotland we can at last put it to good use and really help Glasgow flourish.
Patrick Harvie MSP

HARVIE TO OUTLINE BREADTH OF YES TO WORLD MEDIA

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Patrick Harvie, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will today (11 Sep) join other leading figures in the Yes campaign to outline the breadth of the pro-independence movement to a large audience of international media.

Mr Harvie, whose party has been running its own distinct Green Yes campaign, will speak in Edinburgh alongside the First Minister, Deputy First Minister, Canon Kenyon Wright who chaired the Scottish Constitutional Convention in the 1990s, and Anum Qaisar of Muslim Friends of Labour.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“One of the most exciting aspects of this campaign is how broad the Yes movement has become, and Scottish Greens have played a significant part, taking our message far and wide. The level of engagement from the public is amazing and I believe the prospect of building a better democracy has been a key motivating factor.

“Yes has been a wonderful and creative movement, but this debate has already gone way beyond the Yes and No campaigns, and is now being driven by ordinary people having conversations about the kind of country they want to see. The days of aloof leaders telling us how it’s going to be are over.”

 

The level of engagement from the public is amazing and I believe the prospect of building a better democracy has been a key motivating factor.
Patrick Harvie MSP