Another American businessman is aiming to build a golf course on another protected area in Scotland

John Finnie MSP Fri 8 Dec, 2017

Coul Links, on the south side of Loch Fleet in East Sutherland, is one of the last areas of undisturbed species rich duneland in Scotland. RSPB Scotland describes it as “a mosaic of different dune habitats, each individually important and all increasingly rare.”

The debate on animal sentience is an early warning shot in the unravelling Brexit process

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 1 Dec, 2017

Sometimes we never truly understand the value of something until we have lost it. With so much progress under threat from Brexit, I’m on a mission to understand the progress Europe has delivered and how we can preserve hard won rights and protections.

The Scottish Budget Challenge: Raise revenue to deliver on promises without raiding local services & without hitting low earners

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 24 Nov, 2017

A budget, from either government, is always a critical point on the parliamentary calendar. It’s true that budget documents are only fully understood in the days or weeks after publication, but I guess we all need to make a first stab it is, so here’s mine.

All governments play a bit of a game with their budgets, drawing attention to the good news and hiding the bad. It’s often called “smoke and mirrors”, but given the way governments try to lead their rivals to pick on the wrong aspects to criticise, I think the old cup-and-ball routine is a better metaphor.

A dysfunctional housing market gives landlords undue power

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 17 Nov, 2017

Moving back to Glasgow from university, some twenty-odd years ago, I was in the same position as most people of my age in knowing that the private rented sector was my only option. With social housing unavailable and owner occupation unaffordable, a private tenancy was already the only housing choice available to a great many people. There was some pretty shoddy housing out there, and some pretty sharp practice too, as I found to my cost when I was harassed out of one flat by a landlord who refused even to give me a written lease.

No young person should miss out on support they need

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 10 Nov, 2017

Waiting for universal credit payments may put over 23,000 low income families in the UK at risk of destitution this winter.  Demand on food banks is rising, and applicants are left distressed and confused by complex applications.  The calamitous roll out of universal credit shows our benefits system at its disjointed worst.

Why I choose to wear a white poppy

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 10 Nov, 2017

For generations, people have gathered together in remembrance on the 11th of November, the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in 1918, or on the following Sunday. But the feelings people have about this have always differed, and over recent years a note of intolerance has crept in. It often seems that a minority of people want this moment to become one of enforced jingoistic patriotism, or even a celebration of militarism, rather than solemn remembrance.

The journey toward equality is far from complete

Patrick Harvie MSP Wed 8 Nov, 2017

Growing up in the 80s, I came out less than a decade after the partial decriminalisation of gay and bisexual men in Scotland. Leaving school at 18, I knew that the age of consent was still 21. Though arrest and prosecution seemed unlikely, we could never help but be aware that they were a possibility even for ordinary, consenting relationships between young adults.

Let's use our income tax powers creatively and fairly

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 3 Nov, 2017

In March 2016, in the run-up to the first Holyrood election where serious income tax powers were on the table, I joined colleagues in a community centre in Edinburgh to launch the Green tax plan. We chose the venue because it was one of many local facilities that build quality of life in communities, but which have seen funding cuts since the UK’s austerity programme began.
 

We’ve banned fracking – here’s what we do next

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 27 Oct, 2017

We did it.

Following years of hard work and determined campaigning, communities across Scotland have succeeded in persuading the Scottish Government to ban fracking.

This week the Scottish Parliament voted not only to support the Scottish Government’s proposal to extend the moratorium established in 2015 but to incorporate the ban in the National Planning Framework and to commit to using forthcoming powers over licensing to reflect Parliament’s view on the development of unconventional oil and gas.

Our updated Active Travel policy shows our commitment to making communities safer and healthier

John Finnie MSP Fri 27 Oct, 2017

Last weekend at our autumn conference our members overwhelmingly backed an updated transport policy which aims to enable higher levels of walking and cycling - otherwise known as active travel -  in Scotland. It means we are leading the change towards tackling the rising costs to the NHS of diseases caused by air pollution and inactivity, while also reducing congestion and making our roads safer.

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