IT has been a dramatic and emotionally draining week in Scottish politics. Very important legislation was passed that will impact everyone as we deal with the current crisis, and it was frustrating to see some parties fail to take practical actions to deliver on previous promises. This doesn’t just apply to the climate emergency, but to all kinds of ideas to make Scotland a fairer place which sound good but are dropped when it comes time to take action.

That said, there were several highs and Scottish Greens wins in the emergency laws. I was delighted that MSPs backed a ban on emergency bailouts for any company avoiding paying tax by registering in a tax haven. My Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie proposed this amendment, which was backed by a petition of more than 7000 signatures on our website. Companies who operate out of tax havens to deliberately avoid paying the taxes that we depend on to pay our nurses and carers, to build our railroads and hospitals, should not get taxpayer money when they get into financial difficulty. This is simple fairness. It was absolutely the right thing for Scotland to join many European nations and Wales in making this commitment.

Let’s be clear, though, this move isn’t the final word. The wealthiest companies find all kinds of ways of dodging their responsibilities, but this marks the beginning of a new approach to reining in those who shamelessly avoid paying tax, and we can continue to build on what we’ve achieved.

It’s time for governments everywhere to start making the polluters, the tax dodgers and companies that shamelessly exploit their workers face up to their responsibilities. This is a start, and hopefully the basis on which we can look at rebuilding our society’s shredded social safety net.

Scottish Greens MSP for the West of Scotland Ross Greer also had success in his campaign to protect students from predatory landlords. The Scottish Government originally told Greer we couldn’t help students terminate contracts with private student halls providers, despite the fact they can’t live there at the moment. But that has now been done.

There was a guarantee to respect the rights of 16 and 17-year-olds, including making sure lockdown fines can now only be issued to those over 18, and we also managed to lift the restrictions on Freedom of Information requests so that public bodies can be held accountable again.

It was incredibly frustrating when the Scottish Government kicked the development of Low Emission Zones in our cities into the long grass, at a time when we should be protecting people’s lungs more than ever. We’ve at least made sure the Scottish Government has to report back on progress by the end of the year.

Scottish Greens MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell worked hard to make sure that councils will have the ability to keep the expanded spaces for cyclists and pedestrian, that we’ve won during this crisis.

In one swoop, this has significantly improved the quality of life and of air in towns and cities. Noise levels are reduced, we can hear the birds, children can ride their bikes and play safely in the streets. By keeping these spaces, when Scotland starts moving again, we can build back from this crisis a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland.

Let’s embed what we’ve learned from this crisis about keeping people safe and keeping them moving, rather than resign ourselves to going back to terrible traffic jams, noisy streets and choking fumes.

SADLY, though, this is where the good news ends. It was particularly distressing to see the SNP and Conservatives join forces to deny Andy Wightman’s attempts to protect tenants during and after this crisis. I can’t see any reason why the emergency laws couldn’t have protected tenants from rent hikes for two years. Interest rates won’t be going up, landlords have mortgage holidays, there is no justification for rent increases. During a national emergency it would also have been a relief to many to ensure no tenant can be evicted as a result of rent arrears accrued during this time of national crisis.

These aren’t even radical ideas. It is normal in most normal European countries that you can’t lose your home because of rent arrears. But the Scottish Government, who did a deal with the Tories to support landlords, couldn’t even match it when it came to supporting tenants. I hope that tenants in Scotland remember whose side the SNP came down on when it comes time to vote for a new government in 2021.

Possibly the most frustrating aspect of this whole sorry saga is that at their party conference, SNP members passed a motion on rent controls. The current Housing Minister Kevin Stewart even campaigned for them. This is literally their party’s official policy, but they chose to side with the Tories and not to enact it.

It was another example of where the SNP has betrayed its own members, and for people like Wightman, who has steadfastly campaigned for the rights of tenants throughout his career, and always looks to build consensus to get things done, it is incredibly depressing.

The Scottish Greens will continue to push for the progressive policies that we present in our manifestos, to always side with workers and tenants, and to continue to work for a fairer, greener, independent Scotland.