IT has been heartening to see the grassroots pushback from within the Scottish Greens in recent days. The party, having been increasingly centralised and stage-managed in the interests of a few, is now witnessing organising on a scale unseen within, as Greens look to get out from the toxic relationship we find ourselves in with the SNP.

The Bute House Agreement (BHA) has not only run its course, its end is long overdue. Full disclosure: I did not vote for the agreement in 2021, but as a member in Glasgow and as part of our elections and campaigns committee, I worked to make the best of our time in government.

I think that pragmatic approach has been similar for most ordinary members.

Sadly, that same approach has not been taken by our partners in government – particularly of late – and it has been disappointing to see them be allowed to get away with it, time after time.

Bouncing our leadership and MSPs into supporting a Council Tax freeze to save the Bute House Agreement should have been the biggest red flag, but yet, party leadership sided with an SNP policy Patrick Harvie opposed before entering government. In 2021 he said: “Greens will oppose ministerial vetoes over locally-made decisions.”

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This pledge was abandoned and instead the Government was allowed to plod on, with housing and education budgets slashed along the way and college lecturers left by the wayside.

Now we find ourselves at a crossroads, after a week where climate targets and the rights of trans people have been attacked, both by the Government and the NHS, and members are making clear that a change in direction is needed, both within government and within our party. Policies such as the Council Tax freeze and education are the perfect examples of why the BHA must end.

With a lack of any progressive opposition in Holyrood, as Labour slide unendingly to the right, and the SNP leadership is dragged in all directions by their own regressive wing, the Scottish Parliament needs left-wing voices holding the Government to account. That group can be the Scottish Greens.

We have seen the effectiveness of MSPs such as Maggie Chapman and Gillian Mackay, fighting for the rights of women, workers, and more from the Holyrood benches. We need more of this, and a clean break from the Bute House Agreement will allow a fresh start, and for more progressive voices in Holyrood.

Niall Christie

Scottish Greens party member

SO now we have it officially – the Scottish Government has given up on the climate catastrophe. What is the point of independence when the future of humankind has been abandoned to greed and profit?

I’m 76. I have no wish to see starvation and a total lack of hope of feeding ourselves. I’ve been trying to save – and even indeed generate – electricity to help the planet’s future. Why do I bother? It’s become pointless.

Tony Kime


THROUGH all the negative machinations emanating from Westminster, Scotland’s social democratic tradition, from 60 years when Winnie Ewing won Hamilton to 25 years of a devolved Scottish Parliament, is still thriving.

Tory governments with no Scottish mandate have inflicted more than a decade of misery on Scotland and with no hope of change from Labour, exiting a broken Brexit Britain is the only option. The devolved SNP Holyrood administration has tackled, to the best of its ability, poverty, child and old folks’ concerns, along with health, housing and education and has given hope to those who feel abandoned.

Against a hostile Unionist media, decades of Westminster lies have been exposed. Confidence has grown in believing that a well-endowed Scotland could do so much better as an independent country, in control of all of its many economic assets.

Grant Frazer


LIKE a puppy that just got a big-boy toy, Anas Sarwar of Scottish Labour sounded so thrilled in Holyrood when carping about the SNP/Greens re-timetabling of environmental targets. I’m as sad as anyone that this has happened.

However, before Sarwar gets so excited at Tory-lite Labour not being currently in the frame (or the loop or the game…) that he puddles the political carpet, let’s recap.

Starmer announced last week that he’d be OK pushing the nuclear button. Why he said this and to what audience, is anyone’s guess – even if he actually means it – that really is anyone’s guess.

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Secondly, Labour had to be dragged kicking and screaming (by Scottish Labour ironically) to a slightly more compassionate position on the slaughter in Gaza.

While the leaders of Scotland and Ireland and the Welsh Parliament (without the support of Labour) all called for an urgent ceasefire last year – which might have helped to de-escalate the latest Middle East nightmare – Labour simply followed the Tory line.

Now, put those two things together and you have to wonder why Sarwar is bothering to put his two-pence worth in on a subject that – if his lord and master has his way – may become ... how can I put this ... irrelevant…

Amanda Baker


I TRUST the US, UK and others, in the interests of ensuring no further escalation of tensions in the Middle East, will have planes in the air to intercept any missiles Israel may feel the need to fire at Iran in retaliation for the barrage launched by Iran.

Cameron Crawford


I CAN empathise with Clare Darlaston about her commitments on identity photographs in order to be able to vote in Westminster elections. I presume she wasn’t including Holyrood where such an item is not necessary for Scottish elections.

Unfortunately, she apparently believes and suggests that evidence of ID is to be found on a passport or driving licence only. Not so Clare!

With regards to younger, older and less well-off voters, there is the possibility that most of those three groups of the Scottish voting public possess a bus pass – another means of acceptable identification.

If I recall there was an article in The National itemising accepted forms of identity not so long ago. If you go online and Google “accepted forms of photo ID”, you will find 20 different examples.

Alan Magnus-Bennett