HARVIE ON 2015: GREENS WILL CONNECT WITH ENERGISED ELECTORATE
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (31 Dec) predicted that 2015 would be a year in which his party would build on the connections it made with voters during the referendum campaign.
The Scottish Greens end 2014 with a membership surge - approaching 8,000 compared to 1,700 before the referendum - and a steady rise in the polls with UK voting intentions placing Greens above the Libdems and Holyrood voting intentions suggesting 8 to 10 MSPs in 2016.
"The Scottish Greens had a good referendum, and our distinctive Green Yes campaign allowed us to connect with an energised electorate on so many issues, from welfare and online privacy to jobs and local democracy. Our burgeoning branches around the country are in a healthy position to build on that as we approach a Westminster election like no other, in which everything is up for grabs.
"A key issue of the May election here in Scotland will be the devolution of further powers, and while the Scottish Greens are proud to have played a key part in securing agreement on powers over fracking, energy companies and railways, it's clear many Scots don't see the Smith proposals as durable. As long as Scotland remains at the margins of influence over the economy, workers' rights and foreign policy, we will continue to be subject to Westminster's whim.
"2015 will also show why so many people have responded to the Scottish Green campaigns against fracking, the TTIP corporate power grab and cuts to public services. SNP ministers will have to rule on coalbed methane drilling near Falkirk, a major unconventional gas development and an issue on which they've tried to face both ways. And with a Scottish Green MP there'd be a real challenge to the Westminster consensus on austerity, tax breaks for big business and spending billions on weapons of mass destruction and the nuclear alliances that go with them.
"Scots want good jobs and deserve better wages yet we've seen work become insecure and poorly paid for many, while wealth continues to accumulate to those who need it least. Scottish Greens have plans to rebalance our economy and we look forward to getting that message across in the months ahead."