Recent posts by Patrick Harvie MSP

The Scottish budget must be a bold, anti-poverty budget

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Nov, 2016

Sometimes in politics a simple phrase gets lodged into everyone’s consciousness, framing a debate. This is sometimes deliberate, but it can happen by accident too. As Scotland approaches the first budget in which meaningful tax decisions will be made, one example of this needs to be challenged.

Councils shouldn't have to spend scarce resources repaying unfair loans

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 18 Nov, 2016

Recently I wrote how disappointed many people would be at the timid tweaks to council tax agreed by parliament. Local services deserve a firmer financial footing. To add to that, this week I published a report detailing Scotland’s 32 local authorities’ huge amounts of unethical and unsustainable long-term debt, which currently totals £11.5bn.

US election may be legitimate but Trump’s politics are not

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 11 Nov, 2016

It probably goes without saying, but I’d prefer to be writing about almost any subject imaginable today, instead of the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency.

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.