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

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 11 Aug

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

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.

Short-term lets in ten million pounds a year tax break

4 August, 2017 - 10:11

New analysis by Andy Wightman MSP shows that as visitors descend on Edinburgh for festival season, £10.6million of taxes are being avoided this year due to the boom in private homes being let out as holiday accommodation.

Win for Ross Greer MSP over Arms Dealing Lessons

2 August, 2017 - 14:03

After pressure from Ross Greer, Education Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney have agreed that a lesson plan which involves pupils role-playing as arms dealers is inappropriate for use in Scottish schools. This lesson plan involved a Dragon’s Den style scenario where pupils would compete as arms dealers to sell weapons during World War I, coming up with battle plans and justifying the ‘effectiveness’ of their weapons, including bayonets and flame-throwers.

Green MSP wants answers on Ajax hooligans decision

31 July, 2017 - 15:13

A Green MSP is seeking answers from the Scottish Government as to why visiting Dutch football fans, accused of attacking supporters and vandalising pubs prior to a match in Glasgow in 2015, will not be prosecuted.

John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ justice spokesperson, has lodged a number of parliamentary questions to find out why the decision was taken not to charge suspected Ajax supporters accused of rampaging down the Gallowgate area of Glasgow prior to a Europa League match with Celtic two years ago.

Indefensible that we are still allowed to assault our children

John Finnie MSP Fri 28 Jul

"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.

Greens blast government for sneaking out critical education report

26 July, 2017 - 13:19

The Scottish Government has come under fire from the Greens after it attempted to sneak out an education report, critical of current policy, without a press release or announcement.

Petrol car ban must lead to Scottish Government action say Greens

26 July, 2017 - 12:04

The Scottish Greens are calling on the Scottish Government to spell out what it will do to tackle pollution over the next two decades after the UK government announced a ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

While the Greens have welcomed the move, the party’s transport spokesperson John Finnie says the Scottish Government should not go at Westminster’s pace on tackling pollution and improving health and instead show “real vision” for a “carbon free future”.

Finnie, a Highlands and Islands MSP, said:

Attainment gap funding not enough say Greens

24 July, 2017 - 16:03

Education funding announced today by the Scottish Government is not enough to reverse “the decade of cuts to teachers, support staff and resources” say the Scottish Greens.

Ross Greer MSP, the party’s education spokesperson says that any attempt to close Scotland’s attainment gap cannot be done in the “classroom alone” and that significant investment must also be made in “better paid jobs, warmer and more affordable homes and strong public services”.

Repeal Bill is a threat to democracy and a power grab too far

Ross Greer MSP Fri 21 Jul

The much awaited draft Repeal Bill has now been published. This is the most important bit of legislation relating to Brexit.

It will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, transferring most EU laws into UK law, and give government ministers in London and Edinburgh extensive powers to amend, repeal and even create new laws without the normal parliamentary process.