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Penicuik by-election

Midlothian Greens select parent campaigner for Penicuik by-election

Helen Armstrong is selected by Midlothian Green Party members to contest the Penicuik by-election for the Scottish Green Party on the 22nd March.

Helen has lived in Penicuik with her family for more than eleven years, and currently chairs the Penicuik High School Parents’ Association. She is a consultant ecologist who has campaigned to protect primary school playing fields; who is passionate about protecting Midlothian’s green spaces, and who wants to see strong communities being built, not just mass housing.

Helen said:

“I love Penicuik’s strong sense of community, the friendliness of the people and the huge range of activities that take place, largely run by committed volunteers. The voluntary groups and Council-run facilities which make Penicuik a special place to live need strong support from Midlothian Council and if elected I will fight hard to protect them.


“I joined the Green Party because I believe we are the only party that understands the connections between economic, environmental, community and personal health and wellbeing. Our vision for Penicuik is one where local businesses thrive and provide fulfilling jobs in a clean, green environment and where schools, healthcare and housing really meet the needs of local people.

“The voting system for Council elections means that there is no such thing as a wasted vote and I urge Penicuik voters to give their number 1 vote to Midlothian Greens to call for a different, and a better, way forward for Midlothian.”



Patrick Harvie on poverty

As a politician, how does it make you feel passing a person begging on the street?

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens: Empathy for the person themselves, but I also feel ashamed of our society for allowing the chronically unequal distribution of resources, of opportunities and of hope.

What’s more important – tackling poverty, tackling inequality or mitigating the impact of poverty?

Poverty and inequality both matter, and ‘mitigating’ them will never be enough. Thinking that only poverty matters, and that a safety net at the bottom justifies a vast gap between the richest and the rest, breaks the feeling of connection and solidarity between people and can never lead to a cohesive society. We need to deal with the structural causes of poverty and inequality, in particular, the massively unfair distribution of wealth in our society.

Read more from Holyrood Magazine’s Q&A with  Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie



A truly productive economy must provide prosperity that benefits everyone

Amid all the big disagreements in Scottish politics, there are still some areas of common ground. From arch Brexiteers to committed Europeans, from Union flag wavers to those still wearing Yes badges, and from austerity cheerleaders on the Tory benches to left-leaners who passionately believe in a new economic vision for the country; pretty much everyone agrees about one thing. We have a woefully low level of productivity.

We can look at our low productivity and say “something must be done”. But if the actions we take are grounded in tired and failed economic assumptions, they’ll ignore what matters in life.

A truly productive economy must provide prosperity that benefits everyone and the kind of secure, rewarding work and public services we all want and need.

Read more:





5 easy ways to stop climate change without changing your lifestyle

We don’t know who started the rumour that fighting climate change calls for huge lifestyle adjustments, but we’re here to tell you that’s straight up wrong. The effects of global warming are monumental, but that doesn’t mean you need to make massive changes to your lifestyle to help stop it.

Here are five easy ways you can get started.




Agenda of solidarity need bolder Parliament, radical action on tax & services


Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“With a minority government, this term will need to be one of compromise and open-minded discussion. The Scottish Greens will work constructively to improve government proposals but we will also challenge them where necessary.

“Cutting Air Passenger Duty should not be a priority given its negative environmental and social impact. Investment in energy efficient housing, which could slash fuel poverty and tackle climate emissions, must be dramatically increased given the slow progress to date.

“The prospect of a Social Security Bill is welcome and Greens have already proposed constructive ideas for preventing the UK’s sanctioning regime from impacting on people in Scotland. We hope Scottish Ministers take those ideas on board.

“Educational attainment is understandably a priority with strong cross-party support for action, but national policies should funded by national resources, not a raid on local taxation as the Scottish Government have proposed. Tweaks to the unfair, out of date Council Tax with additional revenue taken from councils is not an acceptable approach.