Independence Convention

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

At the launch of the Independence Convention in Edinburgh this evening Robin Harper MSP, Green Co-convener will set out the Scottish Green Party’s reasons for supporting the Convention. Greens support independence, if or when the people support it, and see the Convention as a way to promote debate across Scotland.

Greens stress that they are not a ‘nationalist’ party driven by patriotism or national identity, but as a party with deep-rooted commitment to local democracy that independence could bring. They see devolution and independence as a process and not an ‘event’. Greens also support the idea of a referendum to gauge public support for greater democracy and independence.

Robin Harper MSP said: “For us, it’s not about patriotism or national identity. Neither is it about a rejection of our neighbours, nor of the history we share. It’s about trying to achieve a better society tomorrow – fairer, happier, more democratic, more sustainable. We believe that bringing power down to the closest practical level within our communities is a necessary part of that. Scotland is of a size that presents a distinctive opportunity to fast-track a sustainable society through greater independence. In working towards more independence we strongly support the idea of devolution as a process, and we don’t see it ending here at Holyrood. It certainly can’t end with the Scotland Act as it stands.

Interdependence is a crucial part of our outlook as a party in an increasingly globalised world. Our practical approach to improving Scotland’s contribution is to get democracy going more locally – this is the nub of our ‘independence’ politics. If our society is to carry on this process, and to represent itself effectively on the global stage to advocate the values we share – for fair trade, for peace, for global justice – greater independence is a positive step.”