JOHNSTONE OPPOSES WALLYFORD GREYHOUND EXPLOITATION

Alison Johnstone MSP Thu 21 Sep, 2017

Alison has joined local campaigners and leading animal welfare charity OneKind, in calling for a halt to plans to open a new greyhound racing track in Wallyford, East Lothian.

In March, plans for a car park and 94 ‘high end’ houses to enable development of the stadium, at the site originally identified for business use, were approved by councillors after an application for development was rejected in 2011, with that decision overturned by the Scottish Government on appeal.

Alison said:

When it comes to fairer, greener ways of travelling, we still have a journey ahead of us

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 15 Sep, 2017

With exceptional timing, Storm Aileen breezed into Scotland on Wednesday - National Cycle to Work Day. I dared myself to cycle all the way to the Scottish Parliament from home in Stirlingshire and managed the 48 miles in a little over 3 hours. Given I'm middle aged, average fitness and borderline overweight, cycling even a couple of miles to work is still worth a go and not beyond what most people can do with the right support and facilities from their employer.

We must keep pushing the Scottish Government beyond its comfort zone

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 8 Sep, 2017

Over the summer I’ve spoken with both supporters and critics of the SNP who agree that the mood has been somewhat flat in recent years, compared with the more dynamic and innovative years of their first spell of minority government from 2007-11. The First Minister seemed to recognise this, indicating over the recess that her government had a need for a reset.

We must do more to mitigate the effects of the benefit cap

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 1 Sep, 2017

The schools are back and a new session of Parliament beckons. While most people will have had a break with family and friends, summer isn't such an enjoyable time for all. Many families face the extra cost of meals and activities which would usually be provided at school.

Last July and August, Trussell Trust UK provided 4,412 more three-day emergency food parcels for children than during the previous two months. 27% of these went to children younger than 4, including newborns, and I fear that we will see similar numbers this year.

Don't let tax cuts for frequent flyers take off

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Aug, 2017

Summer, such as it is, nears an end; politicians are gearing up for a return to debating chambers around the country. Councillors have returned already, sadly including the racist and sectarian ones whose leader Ruth Davidson seems to regard their voting numbers as more important than any principle. Holyrood and Westminster will start their business again at the start of September. Not before time.

Time to lift the fracking threat hanging over our communities

Alison Johnstone MSP Wed 23 Aug, 2017

Analysis by Heriot-Watt University has hit the headlines, warning that the so-called “opportunity” for fracking has been “over-hyped”. This adds weight to the case for a permanent ban on the practice.

Drilling into the ground beneath our communities and fracturing the rocks to enable gas to escape is something Scottish Greens have fought since it was first proposed. Opening up an extra source of fossil fuel makes no sense if we’re serious about reducing climate change emissions and limiting the damage that will be caused by rising global temperatures.

On climate change, Scotland has a chance to continue powering ahead

Mark Ruskell MSP Fri 18 Aug, 2017

“The psychological message is that the train has left the station. The signal sent to investors, businesses, individuals and civil society is extraordinarily powerful.”

Scotland should be inspired by these words, from former US vice president Al Gore. At the launch earlier this month of his new film on climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the Nobel prize-winner said that the current occupant of the White House is isolated and unable to prevent global action on climate change.

We need to take action to regulate short-term let market

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 11 Aug, 2017

This week, I was fortunate to catch-up on a film, which celebrates the life of one of America’s greatest urbanists, Jane Jacobs. In a similar vein to Sir Patrick Geddes, Jacobs’ revolutionised how we think about cities as living organisms. Moreover, her pioneering spirit and acute observations brought together policy and practice and it got me thinking about how we manage cities in Scotland.

We need to have zero tolerance for those who discriminate

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 4 Aug, 2017

Much has been made this summer of the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, which began to partially decriminalise same-sex relationships. Those caveats are important of course: the Act didn’t apply in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or indeed to a great many people beyond a precisely defined exemption from prosecution.

Indefensible that we are still allowed to assault our children

John Finnie MSP Fri 28 Jul, 2017

"There are some things where Scotland is doing very, very well and there are some things that are absolutely shocking, where Scotland is coming last in the world. We still in Scotland say that it's okay for a parent or carer to assault a child for the purpose of physical punishment. I think it really goes against the basic values that we hold in Scotland in terms of human dignity and respect for children.”

These recent comments by Bruce Adamson, Scotland's new children's commissioner, underline the need to revisit our outdated attitude towards smacking.

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