South Lanarkshire Greens hosted an evening bringing together about 40 people from the East Kilbride area concerned about the rising levels of child poverty. Currently 26% of children in Scotland live in poverty. With the introduction of benefit caps, Universal Credit, two child limits for child benefit, and cost of living increasing this is forecast to increase to 37% by 2022 .
South Lanarkshire Greens have raised concerns after hearing complaints by SLC Facility staff that they have had to come in to work in schools on the recent severe weather warning days, despite police warnings stating that the public should only travel if absolutely essential, due to a risk to life. This is despite the fact that children and teachers throughout South Lanarkshire were given three 'snow days' off from Wednesday to Friday last week as schools closed.
Ask any Scottish Green Party (SGP) activist and they will tell you that we get the usual “I vote SNP so we can get independence” or “I support the Greens but we need to get independence first” rhetoric. The SNP receive the largest share of the pro-independence vote but a huge chunk of their voters are on the left of the party’s policies and political position of ‘centre-left’. It could be asserted that these voters would be better placed aligning themselves with the SGP who have ambitious policy to eradicate poverty and land ownership to name just two.
I am happy to read more positive coverage of Universal Basic Income (UBI) especially links with the current state of the economy and work as a solution to our problems. I write about this topic as it has had a huge amount of coverage mostly positive, apart from The Times writer Kenny Farquharson who labelled UBI as ‘state pocket money’, in most papers and political blogs.
After reading Paul Hutcheon’s interesting interview with Tory MSP Annie Wells on her experiences of homophobic bullying I felt both sympathetic and angry simultaneously (Meet the working-class girl from Glasgow who was bullied at school for being gay and became the nicest Tory in Hollywood). I can understand and relate to some of the torment she endured at school as I too am a gay person.
As the fine tuning of the Scottish Budget looms we have already seen spectacular tribalism from pro-UK parties. Scottish Labour have stated they will produce a document detailing what they would if they were in power; great but they are not in power. The SNP are operating a minority government, which pro-UK parties love to point out when it suits them, which means some consensus will have to be made with another party in the chamber for it to pass.
I have just read a stream of tweets from Scottish Labour, Scottish Tories and SNP about the current situation and performance of NHS Scotland. Now, I got really frustrated as I have just gone through both the English and Scottish NHS systems in the past week due to sustaining an injury whilst in Blackpool over the New Year. This blog is not to compare the two health services at all, but how politics of performance management and the use of scientific management to set targets is wrong and not appropriate for healthcare.
After reading several articles quoting John Curtice’s findings from his study on Scots attitudes to Brexit, and specifically to freedom of movement and immigration, I was surprised by the outcome and what was covered in the national press.
Scottish Green Party Co-convenor and Rutherglen Reformer columnist Patrick Harvie MSP visited Rutherglen this week.
Mr Harvie represents the Glasgow region, which includes Rutherglen & Cambuslang to Chair a public meeting on "How Can We Make Rutherglen Better?". Joining him on the panel was Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament Amy Lee Fraioli who has been MSYP for Rutherglen since 2015 and local activist Brian Finlay who is also the Green candidate for the upcoming Rutherglen North & Central Council By-election.