Last night’s edition of Newsnight Scotland focused on climate change, following James Hansen’s appearance at the Edinburgh Science festival to receive the Edinburgh Medal.
Following a profile of Dr Hansen, I took part in a studio discussion with Chris Goodall.
Though the threat of a strike by fuel tanker drivers is receding for now, the UK Government’s mishandling of recent events has been widely condemned. But the longer term issues for a society that’s still fatally dependent on fossil fuel are still worth considering. I discussed these on Thursday’s edition of Scotland Tonight, alongside Alan Douglas and Alex Johnstone MSP.
The week has been dominated by the issue of the independence referendum, and the UK Government’s
[a] crass attempt to intervene and pull strings.
[b] proposals for a fair, decisive and legal vote.
(delete as applicable)
On Thursday, the matter came to the Holyrood chamber, with a debate opened by Johann Lamont, entitled Scotland’s Future. Here’s my contribution to the debate:
…and a discussion in the Newsnight Scotland studio the same evening:
Last night Newsnight Scotland discussed the possible collapse of Scottish Power’s project to develop carbon capture and storage technology at Longannet, which the Guardian reported earlier in the day.
Newsnight invited me to discuss it with Professor Stuart Haszeldine of Edinburgh University.
We’ve always been willing to support research into CCS technology, but I’ve been consistently challenging the Scottish Government not to approve new fossil-fuel power stations on the assumption that CCS can be fitted later. It’s a speculative technology, and if it pays off one day it could play a huge role. But till then the focus needs to be on cutting our energy demand, and generating as much as we can from renewables.
This week I took part in STV’s series of 30 minute election interviews, perhaps the most detailed grilling that Alex, Iain, Annabel, Tavish and I have undergone during the campaign so far.
The Scottish Green Party have today launched their party election broadcast for the 2011 Holyrood poll on Facebook and Twitter, 24 hours before its first airing on Monday. The film, entitled ‘Because’, features party supporters and members who share the Greens’ vision for Scotland, as well local campaigners telling how Greens have supported their efforts to protect their homes, community hospitals, local schools and green spaces.
The film features 26 speakers from across the Scottish regions, including former BBC Scotland correspondent Louise Batchelor, land rights campaigner Andy Wightman, artist David Shrigley, and Michael Forbes, who was threatened with eviction by Donald Trump. The broadcast also features music by Edinburgh band White Heath from their forthcoming debut album “Take No Thought For Tomorrow”.
Patrick Harvie said:
“During the last Parliament we worked with community campaigns across Scotland, from the North Kelvin Meadow group in Glasgow to the Menie residents threatened with eviction by Donald Trump. Greens supported local hospital campaigners, fought to keep schools open, and worked to protect the green spaces communities rely on. We could not be more pleased to see so many people prepared to come out now and say why they in turn are giving their second vote to the Greens in May.”
The broadcast is available on Vimeo and on YouTube.
It will be aired first on April 11 at the following times: BBC 1 at 22.35, BBC 2 at 23.30 and STV at 22.40. The radio version is on BBC Radio Scotland at 15:55.
The film was directed, shot and edited by Simon Hipkins and James Alcock from Macmillan Media.
The 26 people featured in the Scottish Greens’ party election broadcast are, in order of appearance:
1. Merle Ferguson, from Ardentinny
2. Elanor Gordon, from Invergordon, filmed in Stirling
3. Rob Kay, from Kilsyth, Green list candidate for Central region
4. Marij van Helmond, Dunoon
5. Emily Freeman, Edinburgh
6. Idem Lewis, Glasgow
7. Anne Widdop, director of a small company in Edinburgh
8. Andy Wightman, land rights campaigner and land value tax expert
9. Douglas Peacock, North Kelvin Meadow campaign, Glasgow
10. Helen Houston, Moffat
11. Michael Forbes, threatened with eviction for Donald Trump’s development at Menie, Aberdeenshire
12. Dorothy Bothwell, Friends of Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen
13. Kim Suprajirawatananon, Glasgow
14. Dominic Hinde, Edinburgh
15. Gordon Cowtan, Fintry
16. Louise Batchelor, former BBC Scotland environment correspondent, Kinross
17. Uzma Tufail-Hanif, Edinburgh
18. Veronika Tudhope, postal worker and active in CWU, Green list candidate for Central region, Kilmarnock
19. Jim Evans-Ewing, Glasgow
20. David Shrigley, Glasgow artist
21. Callum Whiteford, Edinburgh
22. Simon Hackin, founder of Greenworks, an Edinburgh wood reuse and recycling enterprise
23. Sarah Holliday, from Tiree, filmed in Edinburgh
24. Graeme Holbrook, Moffat
25. Jack Hunter, Edinburgh
26. Emma Pattinson, Edinburgh
27. Dominic Hinde (again)
28. Kim Suprajirawatananon (again)
29. Jim Evans-Ewing (again)
The track featured is “Sunday In Fragments”. For more on White Heath, visit them on Myspace.
The Scottish Green Party’s three key election campaign pledges are as follows:
- No fees – keep tuition free
Education benefits us all, not just students, and must be based on the ability to learn, not to pay.
- Fairer taxes – invest in public services
Only Greens are offering an alternative to the cuts to public services: investment built on revenue from big business and the better off.
- Cut your bills – insulate every home
We would insulate every home for free, boost jobs and tackle climate change.
This month Newsnight Scotland has been asking each of the main party leaders into the studio in turn, for a one-to-one interview looking ahead to the Holyrood election. Tonight, it was my turn!
A little delayed, but here is my speech in the Stage 1 debate on Margo MacDonald’s End of Life Assitance Bill which took place on December 1st.
I was disappointed that there were only sixteen votes in favour, but I don’t think that this will be the last time Parliament debates proposals to allow people to make their own choices as they face the end of life. Margo is due huge credit for working hard to develop proposals and bring them for debate.
This week the Scottish Parliament debated the new Scotland Bill, which has been published by the UK Government and which MPs will ultimately decide on. Here’s my contribution to the debate: