We must do all we can to offset the malignity of the Tories and DUP

Patrick Harvie Fri 16 Jun, 2017

“May I say just one more thing Prime Minister; if you must do this damn silly thing, don’t do it in this damn silly way.”

So spoke the fictional, and now almost legendary civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby in perhaps his bluntest ever advice in an episode of Yes, Prime Minister. It’s a warning which has been coming to mind a lot recently, and it could have been made specifically about the disastrous decision to take the UK out of the European Union, and the damn silly way in which it’s being done.

Greer questions plans by Education Secretary to change educational structures

Thu 15 Jun, 2017

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 June) questioned plans by the Education Secretary to change educational structures, including by giving headteachers greater administrative responsibilities.

The Education Secretary's proposals follow a governance review, criticised by teacher and parent representative bodies and which Mr Greer has described as a distraction from the real issue in schools: cuts to staffing.

Harvie presses First Minister to commit to decision on fracking this year

Thu 15 Jun, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (15 June) used First Minister's Questions to press Nicola Sturgeon to commit to a decision on whether or not to ban fracking by the end of this year.

Mr Harvie highlighted that the government's fracking consultation, which closed two weeks ago, has received tens of thousands of responses, one of the biggest ever responses to a government consultation.

Ruskell criticises Scot Gov "woeful" investment as progress report shows increase in air pollution zones

Thu 15 Jun, 2017

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 June) criticised the Scottish Government's "woeful" investment in walking and cycling as a progress report on its air pollution strategy shows an increase in air pollution zones.

Four new air quality management areas were declared last year, bringing the total across Scotland to 38.

Ross Greer blast arms dealer lessons in schools

Wed 14 Jun, 2017

The Scottish Greens have slammed government ministers for their failure to condemn a ‘Dragon’s Den’ lesson plan putting children in the role of arms dealers.

After questioning by Green MSP during portfolio questions, education secretary John Swinney said that it is up to teachers to “determine the appropriateness” of external organisations visiting schools, including representatives from the defence industry.

Other opposition parties at Holyrood ignoring need for sustainable jobs

Wed 14 Jun, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (14 June) accused the other opposition parties at Holyrood of ignoring the need to invest in sustainable jobs, as they attempted to turn a debate on the economy into one on the constitution.

The Green amendment to the government's motion highlighted the Scottish economy's over-dependence on oil and gas, the need for well-paid work in low-carbon industries and redistribution of wealth.

The other opposition parties' amendments talked about independence.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

Finnie welcomes decision of chair of Scotland's police watchdog to stand down

Wed 14 Jun, 2017

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (14 June) welcomed the decision of the chair of Scotland's police watchdog to stand down from the role.

Andrew Flanagan is resigning from the Scottish Police Authority amid concerns over his conduct and the transparency and governance of the organisation.

John Finnie MSP said:

“Andrew Flanagan has made the right decision, albeit at the wrong time.

Finnie urges investment in cycling infrastructure as figures show rise in road deaths

Wed 14 Jun, 2017

John Finnie MSP, Transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (14 June) urged investment in cycling infrastructure in light of figures showing a rise in road deaths, including a rise in cycling fatalities.

In 2016 there were 191 fatalities, fourteen per cent more than in 2015, and 8 cycling fatalities, three more than in 2015.

John Finnie MSP said:

Default 20 mph speed limit in residential streets and better public transport can help tackle the public health crisis that is air pollution

Wed 14 Jun, 2017

A default 20 mph speed limit in residential streets and better public transport can help tackle the public health crisis that is air pollution, according to Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, who will today (14 June) lead a debate at Holyrood on National Clean Air Day.

'Teachers are already considering going on strike and rising inflation will only make the situation worse'

Tue 13 Jun, 2017

The prospect of teachers supporting industrial action was discussed at Holyrood today when a Green MSP questioned the Scottish Government’s lack of action on improving teacher salaries.

Ross Greer MSP questioned the education secretary about the freeze on teacher salaries in the wake of the EIS union voting to launch a campaign that could include strike action in response to real terms cuts in salaries over the last decade.

In response, Education Secretary John Swinney acknowledged that it was “difficult to support” the public sector pay freeze.