#GE17: Greens vow to stand up to Trump and Tories
The Scottish Greens will today use the final day of General Election campaigning to knock on as many doors as possible, including the US Consulate in Edinburgh, where two Green candidates will deliver a letter outlining the party’s objections to recent actions by Donald Trump.
The letter, signed by the party’s co-convener Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, underlines the Greens’ disapproval with Donald Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement and the president’s recent opportunistic political attacks on London mayor, Sadiq Khan on social media.
Patrick Harvie, Green candidate in Glasgow North, said:
“By voting for Green candidates and sending Scottish Green MPs to Westminster, people in Scotland will be sending the loudest message possible to the UK government and to Donald Trump that we will stand up to any attempt to normalise climate denial.
“Whether it’s at Westminster, or at Holyrood, Greens message to Trump is clear: If you continue to act in defiance of our common security, any future visit you make to Scotland will undoubtedly be met by vigorous protests.
“It is deeply regrettable that Trump has also chosen to exploit a murderous terrorist attack in London to make unwarranted criticisms of the city’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan. His comments over recent days, at a time when London is coming to terms with this horrific incident, have caused great offence both here and in the US.”
“Scotland needs a Green voice at Westminster. During the next parliament, a huge number of the social and environmental protections which have been achieved within the European Union will be transferred to the UK, where many Tories are openly calling for a bonfire of regulations.
“Greens led the way in achieving much of what’s now at risk, from capping bankers’ bonuses to controlling toxic chemicals. We need a Green voice to stand up for these protections.”
Lorna Slater, Green candidate in Edinburgh North and Leith, said:
“Scotland now has the best chance it has ever had to elect its first Green MP. That’s a really exciting prospect because in Brighton, Caroline Lucas has been doing a tremendous job of not only standing up for her constituents, but also championing the progressive movement across the entire country.
“We also need a Green voice to oppose the UK government’s cuts agenda and its failure to invest in the new, sustainable economic future we need. We have a plan to create over 200,000 high quality jobs in Scotland and we are making the case no other party is for the sustainable, fair and decent society we know this country can become.”
The text of the letter to President Trump:
Dear President Trump,
This is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for many people; a time in which wise leadership and foresight are needed.
It is deeply regrettable therefore that you have chosen to exploit a murderous terrorist attack in London to make unwarranted criticisms of that city’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Your comments over recent days, at a time when London was coming to terms with this horrific incident, have caused great offence both here and in your own country.
However, these comments were not only ill judged in their own right. They also come in the context of your administration’s decision to abandon the global commitment the US made to address the greatest threat to our world’s common security and wellbeing; climate change.
Your decision undermines the ability of the US to show international leadership, and it is also damaging to US domestic interests with so much future economic opportunity dependent upon the transition from fossil fuels toward a sustainable economy. We welcome the early signs that many US citizens are reacting to your decision by organising to build support for action to reduce carbon emissions.
Scotland is already on a journey towards a low-carbon economy, and your decision will not distract us. We have huge potential to grow jobs in renewables, and in oil and gas decommissioning. Of course our renewables sector is something you have tried but failed to stifle. Scottish Greens recognise the reality that the low-carbon economy is our only route to prosperity. On that basis, we are confident that we will be able to forge stronger relations with like-minded US cities and states, who have shown real leadership compared to your dereliction of duty.
We urge you to end your administration’s relentless hostility to environmental concerns, and to the scientists who inform us about those concerns. Everyone from the UN to the Governor of the Bank of England accepts that the bulk of the world’s fossil fuels must remain in the ground. In that context, if our economies continue to lock in high patterns of energy use from fossil fuels, then oil and gas can no longer be considered assets and must be seen as liabilities.
We note your interest in a state visit to the UK, and have seen suggestions that Scotland would feature in your itinerary during such as visit. We caution you that, if you wish to receive any kind of welcome, it is imperative that you change direction. If you fail to do so, the US will be fairly regarded around the world as a rogue state on climate change.
If you continue to act in defiance of our common security, any future visit you make to Scotland will undoubtedly be met by vigorous protests. Greens at all elected levels across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will take every opportunity to stand up to any attempt to normalise climate denial, and you can be assured that we will be far from alone.
Patrick Harvie MSP
Co-convener, Scottish Greens