Recent posts by Patrick Harvie MSP

Greens should challenge Growth Commission report’s ideas

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 1 Jun, 2018

If the SNP’s Growth Commission was supposed to do anything, it was to provoke debate. Debate is certainly needed about a new proposition for independence, because the one thing every 2014 Yes voter should be able to agree on is that what we don’t need is simply a re-run of an argument that failed to win a majority then, in circumstances which have already changed dramatically. That would be a recipe for a second and perhaps even final defeat.

We’ve got our priorities royally wrong if we care more about the wedding in Windsor than real people’s lives

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 18 May, 2018

Couples starting out their lives together, whether married or not, often face tough financial decisions, over issues like where to call home. If you’re very observant you might have spotted an occasional mention in the media that there’s a wedding taking place in Winsdor this weekend. Let’s all hope that the happy couple won’t have to face a grilling from their bank manager anytime soon as they set up home together.

The Tories are throwing a wrecking ball at the devolution settlement

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 4 May, 2018

When is consent not consent? This kind of question can be complicated, and when it becomes the focus of both public debate and legal process disagreements and misunderstandings can arise because of nothing more than woolly use of language. Most of us have an instinctive idea of what consent means, but until we actually discuss it openly we can’t rely on the assumption that we all share the same definition.

Working for a more just world can’t be done by saying “I wouldn’t start from here”

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 20 Apr, 2018

As the Commonwealth Games holds the attention of sports fans, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in London, there has been another round of speculation about the organisation’s future, and debate about its past. Is the Commonwealth merely a legacy of Empire, a reminder of the brutal crimes of Empire, or is it a mutually beneficial community of countries bound together by bonds of friendship?
 

Martin Luther King must be remembered for his belief in our collective ability to rise against injustice

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 6 Apr, 2018

An enduring memory from my teenage years was hearing for the first time, in documentaries to mark the twentieth anniversary of his assassination, some of the speeches of Martin Luther King. Now, as we mark the fiftieth anniversary, his words have lost none of their searing power.

Everything about the Brexit crisis appals me

Patrick Harvie MSP Thu 29 Mar, 2018

I was born just a few months after this country joined the European Community, and in the 45 years since then Europe has proved itself as a protector of human rights, the planet’s most progressive global voice on climate change, and the most successful peace project in history. It has created a future in which young people are no longer sent to other European countries to kill one another, but can choose for themselves where they want to travel, learn, work and live.

In light of Cambridge Analytica & Facebook revelations, placing digital rights at the heart of policy is an urgent priority

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 23 Mar, 2018

It used to be said that politicians complaining about the press was like sailors complaining about the sea. These days the same might be said of social media; many people in political life have very serious criticisms not only of the way social media changes behaviour, permits abuse and trolling, and proliferates disinformation, but also of the basic business model.

Why we need to save our Scottish Youth Theatre

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Mar, 2018

When the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament was officially opened in 2016, the Scottish Youth Theatre performed a flash mob recital of the Edwin Morgan poem, “Open the Doors!”. Perhaps its best known lines are about what Scots aspire for in their parliamentarians: “A nest of fearties is what they do not want. A symposium of procrastinators is what they do not want. A phalanx of forelock-tuggers is what they do not want. And perhaps above all the droopy mantra of 'it wizny me' is what they do not want.”

Scotland can’t remain one of the world's climate leaders if we stand still

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 23 Feb, 2018

“If the world follows the lead of Scotland and makes its claim with these long-term targets and the rallying of business and civic and political leaders, then it's clear which direction we're going.” These are the words of former US vice president Al Gore, whose sobering documentary An Inconvenient Truth laid bare the harsh realities of our changing climate and the impacts on the planet if we don’t take urgent action.

It’s time to free up local communities to make their own democratic choices

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Feb, 2018

The polarisation of Scotland’s politics is often frustrating. Some people blame the independence movement for that, but I often notice that some of the people who portray the cause of independence as divisive are the same ones who stubbornly refuse to see beyond that dividing line. The recent antics of Labour, Conservatives and the LibDems passing up every chance for proper engagement in the budget process was a case in point.