Souter donation shames SNP
For immediate release 13 February 2011
The Scottish Greens today condemned the SNP for accepting another cash injection from millonaire Brian Souter, the main backer of the campaign in 2000 to retain the homophobic Clause 2A, opposition to which inspired Patrick Harvie to join the Scottish Greens. Prior to a similar donation in 2007, the SNP had been committed to bus re-regulation, but this measure was dropped from their 2007 manifesto. Comments from a Scottish Government spokesman today confirmed to the Sunday Times that the SNP administration would oppose moves toward equal marriage, despite the measure being supported by 59% of Scots in a poll conducted for the Green MSPs last year.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
"It's no wonder that this economically and socially conservative administration has such appeal for a millionaire with attitudes to gay Scots which should have gone out with John Knox. The message this sends out is that the SNP is for sale to the highest bidder, and it's no surprise that the same day they unveiled this donation they're also on the record opposing equal marriage. Last time he gave them this much money, a long-standing commitment to improve bus services mysteriously disappeared from the SNP manifesto. I wonder what he wants this time.
"The campaign against Souter's bigoted agenda inspired me to get into politics, and any principled party would have told him where to stuff his money. This isn't America, though, where elections can be bought and sold. The SNP are delivering tax cuts for the rich and public service cuts for the rest. If the people of Scotland want decent services and business to pay its fair share, the Greens will be their only alternative in May.
"We will of course also be campaigning in the election for full equality for same sex couples in Scotland who want to marry - it's not just right, it's also popular, and sooner or later equality will be delivered whether the SNP and Brian Souter like it or not."
Angus Reid polled 1001 Scottish adults between 14th April and 16th April 2010. The question asked was as follows:
How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry one another if they want to.
Figures are this poll (2006 Social Attitudes/2002 Social Attitudes)