Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What's Patrick Harvie Up To?



When the Scottish Green Party's joint lead, Patrick Harvie, stood alongside Alex Salmond at the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign a fortnight ago I thought there had been a pre-launch understanding that the Greens would take a strong role in the promotion of independence for Scotland.

However it would appear not all was as it seemed when Patrick Harvie signed his support on the whiteboard.  Now he says:

"We feel frustrated by the lack of progress towards a genuinely inclusive campaign, and concerned that a non-inclusive campaign will be less likely to succeed."


Green policy is to support independence and the party advocates a multi-option referendum. The question of a multi-option being on the ballot paper has yet to be decided and so too is the party's formal joining for the 'Yes' vote.

What I can't understand is why Patrick Harvie decided taking a high profile part in the campaign launch was a good idea when his party had not formally joined the campaign because it 'was not inclusive enough'.

It's obvious the SNP would be the lead party in the campaign because its manpower and resources are much higher than the Greens could muster, but I think Mr Harvie has done his party and himself a disservice complaining so soon after he was filmed smiling broadly in the company of other independence supporters.  What is his point?

Have the party members complained that they were never informed of his close association with the Yes Scotland campaign or has Patrick decided to make waves because his voice isn't being heard?

It could be a little of both but certainly he hasn't done himself any favours by moaning about inclusivity.  His comments seem more like a case of soor plooms than a genuine grievance about the SNP. He should have ensured his party were satisfied with their position in the campaign prior to standing on a platform with Alex Salmond.

Patrick Harvie is a popular and eloquent politician.  Achieving such a headline in the Daily Record will do him and his party little good. Time to drop the whinging Patrick and, if the SNP won't show you the reverence you feel you deserve, then you're perfectly capable of presenting your case for independence without Alex Salmond holding your hand.

Achieving independence for Scotland is much more important than the position of a few politicians. Margo MacDonald, who sent a message of support to the campaign, suggests that the issues upsetting Partrick Harvie have been caused by poor planning.  She may be right, but it was Patrick Harvie's responsibility to find out the details of his party's role in Yes Scotland before he appeared as one of the cheerleaders at the launch.

Picture by Ian Rutherford.

15 comments:

tedioustantrums said...

I hate to say it but I may agree with P Harvie of the Green fraternity. Of course we all have views which cross the boundaries of political parties and that's my defense, for the moment at least.

Alex has been coming out with stuff which is not his to either promise or to state. The Queen remaining as Head of State, retaining the English Pound, maintaining BBC access and joining the EU or not and the most ridiculous of all maintaining the Saltire within the Union Flag! These topics and more must be part of the discussion post successful Yes vote for Scottish Independence and include everyone in Scotland.

This sort of spat is seized upon by the NO campaigners as evidence of shambolic and ill considered actions of a party who don't listen, think they have a right to do as they wish and whose egos have grown larger than is wise. Over to the SNP to thoroughly demonstrate that this is not the case.

It's early days. Mr P Harvie answered questions well during his appearance on Question Time. He came across as being honest because he was prepared to say he didn't know when asked about how things would be following Independence.

I think SR is of course right in two specific posts over the past few weeks. One was regarding a win for the pro-independence side in the referendum and again with the SNP looking and sounding tired.

The referendum is far too important to be left to a few politicians from one party. It must embrace as wide a sample of Scottish views as possible in order to achieve the goal of independence.

If we win we can argue the toss afterwards and develop a system to find the best way forward.

We have to win independence. A vote for independence cannot be viewed as a vote for the SNP. It must be framed as a vote for SCOTLAND and as the best way forward for us all.

subrosa said...

I agree with many of your points TT, but why has Patrick Harvie started this public row when just a couple of weeks ago he was Alex's bestest pal?

You're right, he's just creating fodder for the unionists and he'll know that. But will his party members be impressed?

JRB said...

Sorry Subrosa, but I would have to argue that you have hold of the wrong end of the stick.

The question surely, is not what are Patrick Harvie and Margo MacDonald up to – but rather – what is going so dreadfully wrong with the ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign.

The ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign is supposed to be a cross-party movement for independence, yet all the key positions are held by SNP supporters, with Alex Salmond as the spokesperson.
The ‘Yes Scotland’ movement is rapidly becoming the campaign arm for the SNP.

And no mater what way would like to think, the ‘Independence’ debate cannot be separated from ‘politics’. So if we want independence it is becoming obvious we will have to support the politics of the SNP and travel in the direction in which they wish to take us.

But – much as I wish for independence – I do not wish to enter Europe, that is merely jumping from the frying pan into the fire – I do not wish to have our rural landscape ruined by alternative green(?) energy sources – I do not wholeheartedly support some other current SNP policies.

So why is there no room in the ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign for those of us who support independence, just not the SNP’s vision of independence.

RMcGeddon said...

Patrick Harvie is a good speaker so hopefully he stays on board.
As for his belief in climate disruption and windmills etc...well we won't go there lol

subrosa said...

I would suggest that Margo is near to the mark with her reason JRB, with the 'bad planning' comment.

For me it's not a problem having the laddie Noone and Jennifer Dempsy running the show at present. Both have been very active for some time and are very acquaint with modern technology. I doubt if Patrick has such resources in his party.

However, as you say, there's obviously something not quite right and too much 'dictatorship' from the heid bummers (the SNP).

This isn't the first time the SNP have cocked up. My list would take days to type, but they ought to know by now that bad planning results in bad policy. Seems they have not.

I'm disappointed Patrick has taken his grievances public so quickly although I'm sure he has his reasons. As I said in the post one is possibly that he didn't refer to his membership before he palled up with Alex.

The Yes campaign must get a grip of the situation or they will quickly lose votes. Not everyone supporting independence votes SNP by any means.

subrosa said...

RM, the SNP support these policies too.

When we get independence will anyone be brave enough to speak out against the climategate scam?

RMcGeddon said...

SR..yes sadly all of the parties in Scotland believe in the global warming scam so we've just got to accept that for now.
It's not all bad news though because Germany and Spain have stopped supporting the scam due to financial difficulties and a shortfall in energy due to useless windmills and solar panels. Hopefully we won't have to suffer the blackouts and will stop the scam sooner.
'Sustainable' energy is only 'sustainable' as long as the taxpayer teat is feeding it.

Nikostratos said...

Patrick Harvie is not in the snp does not support the snp and is not bound by its code of slavish mindless obedience to Alex Salmond.

Therein lies the problem at hand he would like discussion debate and input to the campaign.
The snp just wish him to sign off on whatever they propose and put in front of him.

Whats a believer in Democracy to do???

DougtheDug said...

I think Patrick Harvie has really shown his political naivety here.

The only reason there is a "Yes Scotland" campaign is because the SNP have worked hard to gain votes, seats and money not only to fund a referendum campaign but to actually have the numbers in the Parliament to get a referendum bill through the Parliament.

Without the SNP Patrick would never have had the chance to moan about any independence campaign.

The Greens may believe in independence but that's not what they campaign on and as you point out they are very much a minor party whether or not it's independence you're talking about.

I'm not sure what Patrick expected from Yes Scotland. Perhaps a seat on the board with a cushion and his name on it and his favourite breakfast cereal in a bowl on the table.

I get the impression that he expected to be treated as a big wheel in the independence campaign and was waiting for his invitation to arrive rather than fronting up as the leader of a minor party and asking, "How can I help?".

It would have helped the Greens considerably to be on board from the start instead of Patrick taking the hump, telling journalists how terrible the Yes Scotland campaign was and then tweeting desperately all night trying to do some damage limitation when the story hit the press.

If the Greens were on board now then Patrick would be on every platform for every event and he and his party's profile would be enhanced considerably due to the publicity they would get as a result of the money and organisation the SNP have put into Yes Scotland. Now he's not going to be seen until the decision in October and even then that's not a given that the Greens will go with the Yes Scotland campaign.

As I said, politically naive.

Observer said...

I think that as usual Tom Gordon was causing it with his article in the Herald. I have no doubt that Harvie did not particularly want this to come out.

However I think it is naive to think that the Greens, the Socialists, & the SNP can happily co-exist in the same Yes campaign. The SNP are playing things very safely, far too safely for those with radical views who might want independence to signal radical change. The SNP are portraying themselves & thus independence as anything but radical - it is becoming ever harder to understand what they actually mean by independence.

I don't see any problem with those outwith the SNP who also favour independence, but not Alex Salmond's version, running a parallel campaign. After all a vote for independence is not a vote for the SNP to run Scotland - it is a vote for the Scottish Parliament to run Scotland - a Parliament that will include Greens & Socialists.

We may all be on the same side when it comes to wanting a yes vote, but there is no single vision of what Scotland will look like afterwards. So why should there be a single campaign?

www.greenworldbvi.com said...

Its true that everyone is concerned about the climate and favors "tilting at windmills" so to speak. Although many people will never be convinced, I think one way forward is to propose a kind of halfway there solution, namely the abundance of natural gas now available through new fracking technologies. One could really argue that nat gas is a fantastic bridge for the next 50 years until true renewables (instead of flaky ideas) are developed enough to be efficient on a mass scale. Both Scotland and the rest of the UK have huge unconventional nat gas resources as well, and the technology to exploit these resources is there. Might give people an alternative to the all or nothing approach of the Greens.
alternative investments

subrosa said...

We're a sight more democratic than some other countries I could mention Niko.

subrosa said...

I'm wondering what he expects too Doug and that's why I'm surprised at this outburst.

You're possibly correct. I've credited him with more skillfulness than he deserves.

subrosa said...

I'd like to think that Observer but Tom Gordon isn't one of those who writes without a decent flame at his back.

You make some excellent points. I too don't see any problem in other Yes campaigns running. In fact that may be far better for the result.

subrosa said...

I'm not concerned about the climate greenworld. It will continue to change as it has done for thousands of years and without me having to spend chunks of my hard earned cash supporting it.

I don't have any money for any form of investment. Doing my best to keep my head above water right now.

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