Working for a more just world can’t be done by saying “I wouldn’t start from here”

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 20 Apr, 2018

As the Commonwealth Games holds the attention of sports fans, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in London, there has been another round of speculation about the organisation’s future, and debate about its past. Is the Commonwealth merely a legacy of Empire, a reminder of the brutal crimes of Empire, or is it a mutually beneficial community of countries bound together by bonds of friendship?

Don’t Bomb Syria – Then What?

Ross Greer MSP Thu 19 Apr, 2018

In recent days the UK Government, in consultation with the Trump administration and France but without asking the UK parliament, launched airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria. This was a mistake. Here’s why:

A chance to get Scotland’s rail potential back on track

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 13 Apr, 2018

"A catalyst for investment, enabling people to take up new opportunities." The words of Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, praising a recent study into the continuing impact of the Borders Railway, now in its third year of operation.

The Borders Railway Blueprint Group study found that the Edinburgh to Tweedbank line, which opened in September 2015, has provided jobs and investment opportunities. Travel on the line is increasing, and it has prevented an estimated 36,000 annual car journeys.

Foxes and hares endure another year of slaughter due to loopholes

Alison Johnstone MSP Thu 12 Apr, 2018

Another fox hunting season came to an end in Scotland recently, with investigations into illegal activity by a number of hunts.

Most people would be forgiven for thinking that fox hunting was no longer an activity which required police intervention, given that hunting with dogs was banned in Scotland over 15 years ago.

Martin Luther King must be remembered for his belief in our collective ability to rise against injustice

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 6 Apr, 2018

An enduring memory from my teenage years was hearing for the first time, in documentaries to mark the twentieth anniversary of his assassination, some of the speeches of Martin Luther King. Now, as we mark the fiftieth anniversary, his words have lost none of their searing power.

Scotland should be known as a good food nation that takes animal welfare seriously

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 30 Mar, 2018

The Scottish Government have this week asked the public to comment on whether compulsory CCTV cameras should be installed in abattoirs, a key protection for livestock that Greens have long called for. The UK Government has already decided to adopt this measure, and by this summer footage from all abattoirs in England will be available to vets from the Food Standards Agency. 

Everything about the Brexit crisis appals me

Patrick Harvie MSP Thu 29 Mar, 2018

I was born just a few months after this country joined the European Community, and in the 45 years since then Europe has proved itself as a protector of human rights, the planet’s most progressive global voice on climate change, and the most successful peace project in history. It has created a future in which young people are no longer sent to other European countries to kill one another, but can choose for themselves where they want to travel, learn, work and live.

In light of Cambridge Analytica & Facebook revelations, placing digital rights at the heart of policy is an urgent priority

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 23 Mar, 2018

It used to be said that politicians complaining about the press was like sailors complaining about the sea. These days the same might be said of social media; many people in political life have very serious criticisms not only of the way social media changes behaviour, permits abuse and trolling, and proliferates disinformation, but also of the basic business model.

Our work to create a fair social security system

Alison Johnstone MSP Mon 19 Mar, 2018

The transfer to Scotland of some powers over social security is a hugely important development in the devolution settlement. Not only because of the significance of the powers themselves – 15% of all benefits in Scotland, the power to to-up the other 85% and the ability to create new benefits – but because there is such a divide in opinion over what a fair social security system looks like between the UK Government and a majority of MSPs at Holyrood.

Planning is a critical ingredient in tackling Scotland's housing crisis

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 16 Mar, 2018

To most folk, the planning system is of little interest. It is a somewhat dry and technical subject and only tends to excite people when neighbours propose an extension to their house or a new road is proposed. But planning in its modern form has been around for 70 years since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 and has shaped much of our communities. Before that, Scots such as Patrick Geddes developed ideas on the art and science of planning.

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