Greens Conference Hears Party Leading The Change In Scotland

21 October 2017, 07:27 | Updated: 21 October 2017, 08:15


Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie will claim his party is "leading the change" in Scotland with its radical policies.

Mr Harvie will use the party's annual conference in Edinburgh to highlight achievements the Greens have helped make.

He will make clear the party must "never become the kind of party that tries to win by offering a safe, unchallenging middle-ground agenda".

The Greens have led the way in pushing for a ban on fracking and have also been the party to introduce legislation to outlaw smacking, with the Scottish Government confirming this week it will support a member's bill by Green MSP John Finnie on the subject.

"The list of Green achievements at Holyrood is long and getting longer," Mr Harvie will say.

"We're leading the change on issues from air pollution to rent control, and from the fracking ban to the announcement of a publicly-owned energy company, and it's clear that the positive Green agenda we've been pushing for years is making real progress.

"With support growing for Green campaigns like our bills to protect children from violence and to make 20mph speed limits the norm, and for core Green ideas like universal basic income and land value tax, it's clear that we have much more progress ahead."

He will insist that "leading the change is what Greens have always done", saying from the party's earliest days it had "pushed at the edges of what's politically possible".

Mr Harvie will tell activists: "We were the first to call for meaningful action on issues like climate change, radical land reform and equal marriage, and these are now mainstream - though it often takes the rest of the political landscape a decade to catch up.

"Now, with critical challenges ahead like the chronic inequality in our society, the continuing environmental crisis and the recklessly destructive Brexit power-grab, we must respond with practical ideas, but also inspire people with a vision of what's possible.

"We must never stop pushing at the boundaries; we must never become the kind of party that tries to win by offering a safe, unchallenging middle-ground agenda.

"We'll keep leading the change in Scottish politics, advocating investment in the post-oil economy that lies ahead, finding new ways of sharing our wealth more fairly and living within environmental limits.

"Other parties will no doubt still take their time to catch up but the radical Green agenda will keep moving the political agenda in the right direction."