We must tackle poverty, and tackle it at source

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 5 Oct, 2018

An MSP’s year has some very regular milestones. The Programme for Government every September; the process of negotiating the annual budget either side of Christmas, and the recess periods when MSPs finish their work in the chamber and in committees, but which offer us more time to get out and about visiting constituents and organisations in the areas we represent.

Climate Weak: Scot Gov claim to be world leader is becoming absurd

Mark Ruskell MSP Mon 1 Oct, 2018

This week the Scottish Government is running a five-day "Climate Week", no doubt celebratory in tone, but there are three key areas where their claims of being a “world leader in climate change” are becoming absurd.

We need a Scottish immigration policy based on our humanitarian & welcoming culture

Maggie Chapman Fri 28 Sep, 2018

Immigration has been central to the politics of the EU Referendum.

People in most political parties supporting the Leave campaign got involved in immigrant bashing. People in most political parties on the remain side talked about “controls on immigration”. We had vans being driven round our cities telling immigrants to “go home”.

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.

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