Patrick Harvie used today’s final Scottish Parliament debate ahead of the independence referendum to invoke the memory of Margo MacDonald, who urged rivals to recognise they have opponents not enemies.
The independent MSP for Lothian, who died in April, urged mutual respect in the debate. Margo helped form a Green-Independent grouping at Holyrood with Patrick, his Green MSP colleague Alison Johnstone and former SNP MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urquhart.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“Margo was right. Scotland deserves a respectful debate, and both sides should strive to achieve this over the final weeks of this creative and engaging campaign.
“Whatever the result on the morning of 19 September we must not return to the kind of politics that left so many people unimpressed and disconnected; the kind of politics Westminster has shown no desire to change. This referendum has reignited public discussion and big ideas and beyond the result we must keep alive the deeper question of what kind of country we want to be.”
Mr Harvie also highlighted the Green position on North Sea oil:
“Greens will continue to oppose the obsession all other parties have shown with squeezing out every drop of North Sea oil. That goes for the SNP just as much as successive UK governments.
But it’s the No side which shows a lack of ambition either for Scotland’s economy or for our environmental responsibilities. They want to extract every last drop in the face of climate obligations, and at the same time fail to invest the revenue in new industries that can take oil’s place.
“By voting yes we’d have the opportunity to build an economy on resources that will last for all future generations.”
And he urged undecided voters to look beyond the White Paper:
“A Yes vote is not an endorsement of everything in the SNP’s White Paper. The most exciting element of this national debate is the creative and broad movement which has developed as the opportunities of independence have become clear.
“The campaign to win a Yes vote must connect voters with the wide range of ideas out there for an independent Scotland, and not just what the current government proposes.”