The Green Party in the Scottish independence campaign is virtually anonymous, without the presence of Patrick Harvie; they haven’t been seen as a dynamic force.
By the same token, the Scottish Socialist Party is also relatively meaningless, they may have won the battle against Tommy Sheridan but they lost the war!
The Greens say an independent Scotland would have the ability to pursue "bold" ideas for a successful economy.
As a statement this is meaningless, you argue every country that is independent has that ability, what makes the Greens think Scotland is special?
It can’t be because we have an SNP Government?
One of the things I blogged on some considerable time ago was a 'City Sovereign Fund'; this was part of local Government reform. The idea was that council departments should generate money rather than just spend their budgets. A department could keep part of the funds raised, the rest to the City Sovereign Fund with some diverted to the emergency funds to bulk that up. If you type into google, 'City Sovereign Fund', you should run across my article.
It was part of a bigger idea of the creation of ‘City Banks’.
Interestingly, the Greens also want the creation of a local banking network. In my idea the local banking network would be Council controlled.
Scottish Greens maybe onto something, however, the banking network idea needs to be expanded out with more detail from them.
Does a Yes vote in September's referendum give Scotland the opportunity to grow emerging sectors like the digital and creative industries and support secure jobs with fair pay?
It gives an opportunity that doesn’t translate into action.
There is no evidence to support that independence has any plans to do anything, the phoney flagship childcare policy has been utter blown away because the money isn’t there and there is 40,000 mums missing from the figures to justify the policy.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie visited Dundee games developer Quartic Llama launch a paper highlighting their vision of a fairer Scotland, presumably he took the train!
Mr Harvie said:
"Dundee is a great example of a local economy embracing international opportunities, and is at the forefront of the digital sector. It's essential we support the emerging sectors of the economy to create new jobs, and we have a better chance of doing this with the full range of responsibilities. The debate about independence provides an opportunity to ask what kind of economy we want. Satisfying, secure jobs with good pay are increasingly rare thanks to the hollowing out of the UK economy by corporate interests, with the main Westminster parties encouraging this approach. A successful Scottish economy would chart a different course. We could prioritise the small firms that provide us with a stable business base, reform bank lending and put an end to poverty pay. I hope the Green Yes contribution on jobs draws in undecided voters and shows them the possibilities that a Yes vote opens up."
That sounds like a lot of aspiration, if the Greens think the SNP is heading towards socialism they are way off base, Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond isn’t a socialist. In these kind of debates, the people who are losing are saying things like ‘opportunities’, ‘could’, ‘maybe’ and ‘fairness’; it’s all just buzzwords.
You can’t live on hope, and you can’t plan based on what you hope someone will do for you, you can’t leave your future in other people’s hands when their track record is suspicious.
The paper for those who wish to read it is called Jobs-rich, Fair And Flourishing: An Economy For All sets out how Scotland could create thousands of jobs by focusing on small business growth.
It appears that the Scottish Greens favour localisation, this flies in the face of what the Scottish National Party want which is more centralisation. The SNP is run as a one man band, below Samond and Sturgeon, the Nationalists have a real problem with a serious lack of talent. Other than controlling Holyrood, the SNP leadership really doesn’t care about council elections, Westminster or even the European elections. You can see this by the ‘efforts’ of the leadership when it isn’t their time to stand for election.
To sum up, the Scottish Greens may have some interesting ideas, everyone recognises the ‘Green’ brand, but given some of their other policies, they are way off course and will continue to remain on the fringe.
George LairdThe Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University