Will the SNP ditch ‘fringe extremist’ Greens?

Is First Minister Humza Yousaf at risk of sacrificing crucial SNP votes by refusing to ditch his party’s coalition with the Greens? That’s what a growing number of nationalist politicians are worried about. This week, the Bute House Agreement (a framework between the two parties that allows them to govern together) came under criticism from the SNP’s own politicians – and the party is as divided as ever over what to do about them.  The party’s relationship with the Greens needs to be examined, SNP backbenchers believe – and Fergus Ewing and Kate Forbes have gone so far as to call for a party member vote on the Bute House

Greens select Kathleen Stock’s persecutor

It’s not been a great new year for the Greens. From the north of Britain to the south, two examples in the past week haven’t exactly shown the party at its best. First, the Scottish Sun revealed that Lorna Slater, the co-leader north of the border, told aides she didn’t want to work every day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow – despite billing it ‘the last chance to save the world.’ Slater, who has now been dubbed ‘Lorna Slacker,’ told government officials she didn’t want them to arrange more than ‘two things in one day’, before being snapped on the first day of COP drinking in a pub at 5 p.m.  And

The shame of the SNP’s grubby power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens

This afternoon Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, co-leaders of the Scottish Greens, will become ministers in Nicola Sturgeon’s government. The appointments come after Green members ratified a cooperation agreement over the weekend. The unity pact is a strategic masterstroke by Sturgeon, handing her an overall majority at Holyrood, insulating her from internal SNP criticism and coopting a rival nationalist party. There is one midge in the porridge, however, and it’s this: the Scottish Greens are unhinged. Not merely eccentric or a little outside the mainstream, but full-blown, solar-powered, honest-to-Gaia cranks. For an illustration, consider a motion debated at their autumn 2015 conference in Glasgow. I was a political reporter back

The German Greens can’t make up their mind on Afghanistan

The situation in Afghanistan has suddenly dominated the debate in the middle of a sluggish German election campaign. Candidates to succeed Angela Merkel are having to declare their positions. Military intervention is out of the question without US backing. The question then becomes a repeat of the Syrian crisis: will Germany once again open its doors to potentially hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants? It’s an unequivocal ‘nein’ from the government. ‘There will not be another 2015’ came the strong response from the ruling coalition of Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the SPD. The Green party, currently in opposition but the second strongest party in most polls, are fudging the

Labour is in last chance saloon

If they have any sense – a proposition I will test later – officials from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru will be beginning meetings to work out a pact for the 2023/24 election. If they do not agree to a joint programme, there’s a good chance that Conservatives will be in power until a sizeable portion of this article’s readership is dead. The next redrawing of constituency boundaries in 2023 is almost certain to favour the Conservatives, adding ten seats to the already unhittable target of 123 constituencies Labour needs to win to govern on its own. There’s a possibility that Scotland could be independent by the end

The German Greens are floundering

Cracks are beginning to appear in the shiny veneer of the German Green’s professionalism, a feature that was supposed to mark out the insurgent centrist party and contrast them against the spluttering greyness of the outgoing Merkel regime. If indeed the Greens are to win a quarter of votes in September’s German elections— as their most favourable polls suggest — that would mean a tripling of their vote share compared to 2017. Given the jump in the scale of the party’s ambition, one may be forgiven for expecting a corresponding increase in competence. But so far, the Greens’ campaign has been amateurish to say the least. One of the biggest

The Green party’s gender intolerance problem

Is the Green party determined to make its female members feel unwelcome? After voting down women’s sex-based rights at their spring conference, the party has now suspended the co-chair of its women’s committee, Emma Bateman. The reason? According to Bateman, her decision to question whether trans women are female is to blame. As a trans woman, who also happens to be a science teacher, I know that trans women are most definitely male. Indeed, it is only because we are male that we can be transwomen. But where gender ideology is concerned, the Greens appear to have lost touch with reality. Bateman is no transphobe but – as with many other women –

Caroline Lucas finds Rishi Sunak’s weak spot

Rishi Sunak’s Budget has been greeted fairly favourably. The Chancellor has succeeded in avoiding sparking uproar on the Tory backbenches. And Labour’s response was muted. But not everyone is happy. Step forward Caroline Lucas. The Green party MP, beamed in to the Commons from Brighton (where else?), found a fatal flaw in Sunak’s announcement: ‘I say in all seriousness, our nation’s health and prosperity would be better served by a Chancellor who cared rather more about hedges and hedgehogs and less about hedge funds’ Mr S is glad to finally hear MPs sticking up for the issues that matter…

The elitism lurking at the heart of the green movement

There’s a movement in the UK that is trying to block the building of essential new council housing. It is also agitating to stop the opening of a new coal mine, which would deprive working men and women of a good, honest way to make a living. What is this movement? A neo-Thatcherite organisation, perhaps, hell-bent on finishing Maggie’s task of putting coal miners out of work and shrinking social housing? A bunch of aristocrats and toffs, maybe, who are sick of their leafy living areas being swarmed by council-house residents and the precious countryside being blighted by such ghastly things as mines and factories? Nope, it’s environmentalists. It’s greens. It’s