Recent posts by Patrick Harvie MSP

Minority government could mean better dialogue, law & budgets

Patrick Harvie MSP Sat 5 Nov, 2016

Many people in Scotland will be disappointed with the modesty of reforms to the council tax agreed by MSPs this week.

The Scottish Government often talks about how decisions on Scotland’s future would be best taken at the Scottish Parliament rather than at Westminster – and Greens agree.

We must find a way to secure a brighter future for Scotland’s students

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 28 Oct, 2016

“The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scotland,” reads a rather grandiose monument at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. I put it rather more simply than the former First Minister when I told a student protest outside Holyrood in 2011: “If I ever vote for fees, sack me.”

Education is a right that should be available to all, not just those who can afford it. Creating more opportunities for everyone who wants to gain a place at college or university is vital for our collective prosperity and quality of life.

Patrick Harvie: "Join our cause"

Patrick Harvie MSP Sat 22 Oct, 2016

Mark called these extraordinary political times and I was going to begin by suggesting that 2016 might just be the weirdest year in modern politics - it has been bizarre. I think my greatest sympathies this year go out to Charlie Brooker, whose Screenwipe for the year is going to have to be about six hours long in order to fit everything in! We've watched throughout the UK as – for example – the Labour Party continues on its apparent course toward meltdown. MPs who seem to want a leadership election as often as UKIP have one!

Blocking UCG is just the start of Scotland's energy future

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 7 Oct, 2016

The Scottish Government’s decision to ban Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is first and foremost a victory for people power. But it also speaks to the wider energy choices Scotland must face in the near future.

From the outset, the whole idea of setting undersea coal seams alight seemed like an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

We cannot allow inhumane treatment of refugees to continue

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 30 Sep, 2016

Scotland, and Glasgow in particular, has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.

Harvie: "The case for Scotland retaining its relationship with the EU inevitably changes the case for independence"

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 16 Sep, 2016

Readers of the National are unlikely to need a reminder that Sunday marks the second anniversary of Scotland’s independence referendum (perhaps to be known in future as Scotland’s first independence referendum).

Let's lock tax dodgers out from all forms of public support

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Sep, 2016

Tax avoidance is nothing new. For as long as there have been taxes levied, there have always been people willing to jump through every loophole they can find to avoid paying their fair share. It’s unlikely that any tax system will ever be perfect, and the problem has grown as the financial and business environment has become ever more complex.

This more balanced Parliament can unlock creativity that’s needed

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 2 Sep, 2016

So that was summer. Just a few typical “silly season” stories this year… the UK vote to quit the EU, the renewed prospect of Scotland reconsidering independence, the Chilcot report, a sudden bout of Tory backstabbing before a new Prime Minister took office, economic turmoil, ever-more urgent climate warning signs, open civil war in the Labour Party with the prospect of splits to come, devastating acts of violence in Europe and the middle east, and of course continuation of the bewildering delusional nonsense from the Cult of Trump.

Let’s make progress toward the stronger, diversified economy we need

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 26 Aug, 2016

The phoney war that is the annual GERS debate has broken out again. It’s all too predictable, but with Scotland’s public finances under scrutiny I make no apology for once again challenging the dominant assumptions about oil and gas. In 2014 the Green Yes campaign published figures showing that the multinationals operating in the North Sea were receiving around £1 billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – despite making huge profits.

Let's ensure Scottish employment programmes don't have sanctions

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 19 Aug, 2016

One of the most frequent arguments heard in 2014 in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country was that it would give us an opportunity to operate our own social security policy, setting a different political course from Westminster. In the face of the UK Government’s full scale assault on the welfare state, many people saw the need for a radical change and saw independence as the means.