Recent posts by Patrick Harvie MSP

The government must be ready to listen before putting a budget before parliament

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 6 Oct, 2017

Party conference season is upon us. With Theresa May’s farcical performance in Manchester earlier this week, every other leader can be confident that’d be hard put to do any worse. This weekend it’s the turn of the SNP, whose members will no doubt be eager for some positive, upbeat announcements to cheer.

The first of these was announced on Tuesday; the temporary moratorium on fracking and other forms of extreme energy production will be extended. These technologies will not be deployed in Scotland, and this will certainly feature prominently in the First Ministers speech.

Plate up for the planet

Patrick Harvie MSP Wed 27 Sep, 2017

Last week I signed up, as over 10,000 people have this summer, to the Plate Up for the Planet campaign. It’s a 7-day pledge to try out a vegan diet, and the idea got a few of us in the Green Group interested. As today is the last day of my pledge, I wanted to get a few thoughts down on how I’ve found it and what, if anything, it might change for me.

Our future prosperity lies with the low carbon economy

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 22 Sep, 2017

I promise not to ask readers of the National for any more favours (at least until next month) if you could all do me one tiny thing today: respond to the Scottish Government’s climate change bill consultation before it closes at midnight.

We must keep pushing the Scottish Government beyond its comfort zone

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 8 Sep, 2017

Over the summer I’ve spoken with both supporters and critics of the SNP who agree that the mood has been somewhat flat in recent years, compared with the more dynamic and innovative years of their first spell of minority government from 2007-11. The First Minister seemed to recognise this, indicating over the recess that her government had a need for a reset.

Don't let tax cuts for frequent flyers take off

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Aug, 2017

Summer, such as it is, nears an end; politicians are gearing up for a return to debating chambers around the country. Councillors have returned already, sadly including the racist and sectarian ones whose leader Ruth Davidson seems to regard their voting numbers as more important than any principle. Holyrood and Westminster will start their business again at the start of September. Not before time.

We need to have zero tolerance for those who discriminate

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 4 Aug, 2017

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.

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

Patrick Harvie MSP 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.

Donald Trump is not alone in risking the future of our planet

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 2 Jun, 2017

"President Trump is pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement. How will the panellists deal with that?” Coming in the closing stages of the election campaign’s final UK-wide televised leaders’ debate on Wednesday evening, this question was followed by the presenter asking for it to be answered “briefly”.

We shouldn’t hoard power but put it in the hands of local people

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 7 Apr, 2017

Holyrood is in recess this week, but a recess that comes just a month before Scotland goes to the polls in the council elections was never going to be a quiet time! I’ll be getting out around the country over the coming weeks, but recently I’ve been campaigning with our Green candidates in my home city of Glasgow.

Patrick's open reply to Tory MSP's anti-independence letter

Patrick Harvie MSP Tue 21 Mar, 2017

Dear Annie,

 

Thanks for your email about my party’s position on the call for a Section 30 order. I’m sure you wrote it in all seriousness, but I hope you’ll understand why it set me laughing grimly on the train home from Edinburgh when I read it.

The timing was odd, coming nearly five months after we debated the consequences of the EU Referendum result and issued our call for a Section 30 order. However, that point is rather minor compared with the rest of the email.