Green dissent no bad thing!

June 9, 2012
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It is a testament to the Greens internal democracy that they have decided to review within their membership the links to YES SCOTLAND! It is to be hoped that they don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

There are many who aspire to an Independent Scottish nation who do not fully see eye to eye with the SNP on what is being revealed as their vision of Scotland’s future. It would be a shame to lose support for the Independence movement on the basis of party political decisions which may or not be implemented in the future. It cannot be said too many times that this is not an SNP trip- all who want to climb aboard have the right to do so, and everyone’s vision is equally valid. The only thing that requires consensus is the constitutional issue, and even then that takes us only to a starting point. In the future an independent Scotland will be totally empowered to select the best course on each and every aspect of life including refinement of the constitution with the consent of the people.

It is understandable that the Greens would like to see all their policies carried through into the proposals, but they should be pragmatic enough to realise that as a smaller part of the movement than the SNP their voice will be less easily heard. It would be bad for democracy and for the movement if they were allowed to control the movement with any greater degree that their mandate warrants. That is not to say that individually their views are any less valid.

Having said that, if Patrick Harvey continues to advocate the case so well his personal political stature will grow and the Greens can only benefit from that. Their supporters need only recognise that even if their policies do not make it as far as the initial white paper they are immeasurably more likely to be in a position to realise their vision in the future than under any form of Westminster rule. Scottish Greens and independents need to continue to march with the band but are free to try and change the tune.

To look at the aspects of vision that the Greens hold where they differ from SNP, many older time SNP supporters may well find themselves as kindred spirits. If there are any socialists left in the Labour party they may also take a second look at the policies and constitutional position advocated by SG if they can recoup any political motivation apart from Union flag waving. This is an opportunity for the SG to be heard to a greater degree than is normally the case, while so many are watching. If it comes to two camps pressing the Independence case so be it. Providing that energy is not expended on internecine in-fighting then little harm can be done by attracting those of differing aspirations. The one danger is that the ultimate shared goal could be lost amongst the detail, which would suit the Unionist agenda perfectly.

It is highly unlikely that pro independence supporters will be driven away, but certainly those who could not run with the greens or SNP will at least have the chance to follow the camp with whom they are most closely aligned. It would certainly open the debate and make the statement that the SNP vision is not the set-in-stone future constitutional arrangement. It could see the Greens entering a newly independent Scotland with greater support than they have enjoyed up until now, to the eventual cost of both Labour and the SNP. It would be a good way to start a newly invigorated Scotland, with a refreshed political landscape


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