Anti-fracking campaigners who exercise their democratic right to protest are heroes

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 21 Sep, 2018

What does a “domestic extremist” look like? Someone wearing a red baseball cap emblazoned with slogans claiming to make their country “great again”? A far-right thug who uses the threat of violence in an attempt to intimidate anyone who looks different from them? Or members of a community peacefully waving home-made placards, campaigning to protect themselves from pollution?

We cannot sweep food ethics under the carpet or consumers will take their money elsewhere

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 14 Sep, 2018

As Scotland’s annual Food and Drink Fortnight comes to a close this weekend, the past two weeks have left us with plenty of food for thought about how we produce, consume and market our food.

This year’s event has been themed around the future of Scotland’s food and drink industry, but for many we have been given a stark warning about what that future could look like if we fail to take animal welfare concerns seriously.

The export of live animals is unnecessary

Mark Ruskell MSP Mon 10 Sep, 2018

The footage in BBC Scotland’s Disclosure: The Dark Side of Dairy documentary was shocking, but not unexpected. The issue of live exports has been bubbling away in the Scottish Parliament, ever since the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, had an unprompted outburst back in February and said: "Let me be absolutely clear, [a ban on live exports] is one UK-wide framework the Scottish government will not be participating in”.

It’s time to free up local communities to make their own democratic choices

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 7 Sep, 2018

This week’s return to business for the Scottish Parliament was an opportunity to address the hopes of people in every community across the country. Making Scotland a fairer, progressive, more democratic country is something there’s broad agreement on but it’s an agenda that has needs a far bolder approach at Holyrood.

I’m reminded of the very blunt response given by a Swedish commentator when author and National columnist Lesley Riddoch explained the convoluted and remote way that local services are currently funded in Scotland: “Don’t you trust yourselves?”

Wouldn’t it be great if Scotland became known as the country that cracked congestion?

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 31 Aug, 2018

“Now the latest travel with Victoria Lumsden…”

“In Dundee traffic is building up on the North side of the Tay Road Bridge. In Glasgow the M8 Eastbound has slow traffic between junction 22 Plantation and 19 Anderston, and in Edinburgh there’s heavy traffic on the A90 Queensferry Road…”

Why we must reach out and make the case for open, free and flexible borders

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 24 Aug, 2018

My summer holiday this year began with one last work commitment – I had accepted an invitation to speak at the Féile an Phobail – the West Belfast Festival – about independence, Brexit, and the connections between the Irish and Scottish situations in this unprecedented context. It’s pretty unarguable that both countries’ interests are being trampled on by the UK Government’s reckless approach.

It's time to dismantle the Crown Estate & transfer land & property to democratic control

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 17 Aug, 2018

Forty years ago, the first fish farms appeared in Scotland’s west coast sea lochs. No planning consent was required and as they spread, local politicians and campaigners became aware of the unaccountable and remote body that is the Crown Estate Commissioners. Since 1961, they have been responsible for managing Scotland’s Crown Estate and as their tentacles spread, they began demanding rents and levies from harbours and moorings that had previously invested in coastal facilities not ever imagining that they needed to pay rent for the privilege.

By injecting humanity into the new Scottish social security system, we can bring the giant of poverty down to size

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 10 Aug, 2018

Three-quarters of a century ago, the economist and social reformer William Beveridge identified five issues that needed to be tackled to make a better Britain. He declared that there were five giant evils on the road to reconstruction: poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. To defeat these giants, he proposed setting up a welfare state with social security, a national health service, free education, council housing and full employment.
 

If Serco and the Home Office want to throw people onto the street, they’ll first have to get past the people of Glasgow

Ross Greer MSP Sat 4 Aug, 2018

The Westminster government has unleashed yet another tragedy on Glasgow. 330 asylum seekers are set to be forcibly evicted from their homes. Hundreds of vulnerable people will be made homeless, creating a humanitarian crisis.

Serco, contracted by the Home Office to provide asylum seeker housing, is moving to evict 330 people, including even those who’ve been granted the right to stay by Britain’s cruel asylum system.

We need action now to prevent climate change from becoming unmanageable

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 27 Jul, 2018

This summer’s weather has been extraordinary, not just in Scotland but around the world. It has been accompanied by the usual slew of online articles about how to get to sleep in the warm weather (has anyone actually managed to fit a pillow in the freezer?) and the importance of staying hydrated.

But as the heat has continued, the advice has moved from not leaving dogs in hot cars to warnings about water levels running low in reservoirs and the two words guaranteed to strike fear into suburbia – “hosepipe ban”.

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