Scotland, it's flattering you're looking at New Zealand but please look at our future, not our past

Gareth Hughes Mon 4 Jun, 2018

My mother recently returned from Scotland visiting where my grandmother was born and like many tourists brought back her clan tartan tie for me. Despite never visiting Scotland I wear it proudly in the New Zealand Parliament. There’s a connection between our countries that crosses oceans.

Greens should challenge Growth Commission report’s ideas

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 1 Jun, 2018

If the SNP’s Growth Commission was supposed to do anything, it was to provoke debate. Debate is certainly needed about a new proposition for independence, because the one thing every 2014 Yes voter should be able to agree on is that what we don’t need is simply a re-run of an argument that failed to win a majority then, in circumstances which have already changed dramatically. That would be a recipe for a second and perhaps even final defeat.

This is no time to rein in our ambitions on tackling climate change

Mark Ruskell MSP Tue 29 May, 2018

Warm, cheap-to-heat housing, affordable trains and convenient local bus services, and good food with minimal waste – everyone’s lives could be so much better if we seize the opportunity presented by Scotland’s new climate change laws.

Who owns Scotland? It’s time to end the secrecy and the costs

Andy Wightman MSP Sat 26 May, 2018

Over the past two years I have been involved in a number of cases raised by constituents that involve trying to find out who owns land and property. Cases range from a business trying to expand, residents trying to secure common repairs and constituents living in tenements with growing numbers of short-term lets. In each such case, folk want to find out easily, speedily and affordably who owns land or property that has a direct impact on their lives. All too often, however, they can’t do so. One constituent was told it would cost her £150 to find out who owned five flats in her stair.

We’ve got our priorities royally wrong if we care more about the wedding in Windsor than real people’s lives

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 18 May, 2018

Couples starting out their lives together, whether married or not, often face tough financial decisions, over issues like where to call home. If you’re very observant you might have spotted an occasional mention in the media that there’s a wedding taking place in Winsdor this weekend. Let’s all hope that the happy couple won’t have to face a grilling from their bank manager anytime soon as they set up home together.

Scotland can be a thriving, welcoming and internationalist country

Ross Greer MSP Fri 11 May, 2018

If it wasn’t obvious before, these last few weeks have shown just how rotten the UK government and its immigration systems in particular are for those unfortunate enough to experience them.

They have themselves made a far stronger case for devolving immigration & asylum powers to Scotland than we could ourselves, causing untold damage to families, communities and our national economy in the name of Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ policies and obsession with slashing the number of people coming to this country.

The Tories are throwing a wrecking ball at the devolution settlement

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 4 May, 2018

When is consent not consent? This kind of question can be complicated, and when it becomes the focus of both public debate and legal process disagreements and misunderstandings can arise because of nothing more than woolly use of language. Most of us have an instinctive idea of what consent means, but until we actually discuss it openly we can’t rely on the assumption that we all share the same definition.

We can’t yet abolish the monarchy ... but we can tackle poverty

John Finnie MSP Fri 27 Apr, 2018

My Green colleague Patrick Harvie got it spot on when he called out the excessive “fawning over privilege” by some politicians about the birth of William and Kate Windsor’s third child.

In case you missed it, Patrick’s amendment to a Tory motion, that was in awe of the royal couple and their new baby, received quite a bit of media attention. In it, Patrick rightly congratulated the parents of the thousands of children born in the UK on the same day while highlighting that 30% of the babies will be born into poverty.

Ending disability assessments is the highest priority for Scotland’s new social security system

Alison Johnstone MSP Wed 25 Apr, 2018

There’s no doubt the UK’s social security system makes a mockery of its name. It often undermines people’s security, leaving them dependent on charities to put food on the table, and it does not afford its users the dignity and respect we would hope for in a fair society.

This week, Scotland has a chance to take a different approach. The Scottish Government’s Social Security Bill, covering aspects of newly-devolved powers, is an opportunity to put dignity and respect at heart of how people are treated.

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?
 

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