NEWS RELEASE – NATO hypocrisy is a profound misjudgement

Posted on October 19, 2012

Scottish Greens have described the SNP’s change of policy on NATO as moral hypocrisy, and a terrible misjudgement that will alienate anti-nuclear Scots who are still considering whether to vote for independence.

Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

“Rather than building a platform of distinctive policies that make the case for a radically better Scotland, the SNP leadership seem determined to quash the party’s better instincts.

“It is moral hypocrisy of the worst kind to be so vocal in opposition to Trident but in favour of an alliance based on the nuclear protection of other states. This is a profound misjudgement that sets the face of the SNP against radical Scotland at a time when they should be energising campaigners.

Mr Harvie added:

“The SNP have also backed a policy of spending at least £2.5billion every year on defence in an independent Scotland. The idea of a NATO-backed minimum spend on defence is highly disturbing and seems designed to fall into step with the military posture of the UK and US, aggressively projecting power around the world.

“Ultimately, this is now SNP policy but no more than that. We are some way away from the first elections in an independent Scotland, and if and when that happens Scottish Greens will put a strong case opposing NATO membership to the people.

“Meanwhile we continue to welcome everyone who wants a to be part of a truly anti-nuclear, anti-war party to join the Scottish Greens, and work towards a peaceful future.”


  1. I have been fervently pro independence, although not able to vote as living in France. Gutted at this decision, now even if I could vote I might just not. Its like back in the day when folk voted labour only to get Tory Blair. If this principle can be tossed aside …….what’s next and what’s the point? I’m a bit less proud to be Scottish tonight. Salmond has let us all down.

    Comment by claire morris — October 19, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  2. You need to occupy the real world! Anyone rejecting NATO will be rejected by the Scottish electorate.Sad but true. I recall Robin Cooke’s ethical foreign policy proposals. Got nowhere?
    If you want to be in charge to change things you need to get elected. Get of your high horse. If we win the referendum you can start to negotiate. If you don’t you are fu**ed!!?? And don’t you think the Yanks have already had a word??? Do you think we can beat them?? Especxially before we have independence??

    Comment by Alex Grant — October 19, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  3. Hiya, Patrick,
    I fully respect your position, but as someone who voted for today’s motion I would like your reaction to the following:

    a)Do you consider that the people of Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan are better or worse off following Nato intervention?

    b)Do you consider that the Eastern European/ Baltic states owe anything of their current democratic constitutions to Nato’s insistence on proper democracy/respect for human right to their desire to join Nato (contrast Ukraine & Belorussia)

    c) Do you consider it right that Nato forces are intervening in the Indian Ocean to protect seafarers against pirates?

    d) Do you consider your vision of the future sufficiently certain that you are prepared to commit you grandchildren’s children to it?

    I’d be interested in your answers,



    PS I agree about the hypocrisy, BTW. Realpolitik.

    Comment by Kininvie — October 19, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  4. I was there voting for Amendment (C) attempting to retain the exisitng SNP policy of not joining NATO.
    Far from creating a policy “fit for purpose” what we have is an unrealistic, hypocritical and shamefully duplicitous “political fudge”.
    Apart from being an obviously seen through Power Procuring Ploy, it is premature and a grossly unwise and unprincipled gamble that this will increase the “Yes” vote in the Independenc Referendum. I am of the firm opinion it will have exactly the opposite effect, alienating more voters than it will attract. Politicians play with the Nuclear conundrum at their peril. The moral, ethical and practical questions thrown up by the possession and deployment of Nuclear Weapons are of such significance that they completely transcend the competent remit of
    any political party, as expressed in a manifesto.
    Far more logical to have refrained from this crazy game of rounders with a live hand grenade on TV followed by the predictable and inevitable division, derision and resignations and unworkable mess and to have referred the question to the Supreme Court of Democracy. First attempt to deliver a Yes majority in the Independence Referendum, then ask the people in a dedicated Referendum, devoid of Party intrigue, whether they wish to possess Nuclear Weapons? If as I hope and suspect that answer was NO it would then be unethical to join NATO a Nuclear first strike military alliance. Such a result would also give the moral mandate to instruct RUK (rest of UK) to remove their unwelcome and illegal Nuclear Weapons, within a reasonable timescale. What the leadership have produced here by a slender 29 votes is a breathtakingly naive shambles, which has divided their party and made their ultimate goal of an Independent Scotland much less achievable and significantly less desirable.

    Comment by Arthur Robertson — October 26, 2012 @ 12:15 am