By a Newsnet reporter
Delegates at the Scottish Green party conference in Glasgow have voted to support the Yes Scotland campaign in support of Scottish independence. Green party members backed a motion put forward by the party’s co-convenor, Patrick Harvie MSP, pledging the party to full participation in the Yes Scotland campaign.
Mr Harvie’s motion read:
“Conference welcomes the progress which has been made toward an inclusive form of governance for the Yes Scotland campaign, and agrees that the Scottish Green Party should seek full participation in this organisation.”
Although Mr Harvie participated at the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign, he later expressed his disquiet and disappointment that the campaign was not “all-inclusive”. However Mr Harvie now recognises that the Yes Scotland campaign has worked hard to overcome the problems he identified.
Addressing the conference, Mr Harvie told delegates that Yes Scotland was no longer dominated by the SNP and had “evolved into the sort of organisation it should have been from day one.”
The party also voted to form its own pro-independence campaign to run in tandem with the Yes Scotland campaign, designed to promote distinctively Green policies.
Speaking after delegates to the conference had accepted the motion, Mr Harvie said:
“Today’s decision ensures that Greens take a front-row seat in this exciting debate, promoting fresh and radical ideas on Scotland’s future.
“Greens are not nationalists, and we’re not motivated by devotion to one flag or the other. But we can see huge opportunities to make our country fairer and greener. We look forward to working with Yes Scotland to set out a transformational vision for Scotland’s society, economy and environment, and building a campaign to win.”
“Greens are clear in our steadfast opposition to Scotland remaining in the Nato nuclear club and committing billions of pounds on an outdated approach to defence. Over the next two years, we will argue for a vision of Scotland as a peaceful country with social justice, equality and environmental protection at its core.”
Chairman of Yes Scotland Dennis Canavan, the respected former Labour MP and MSP who left the party to sit as an independent at Holyrood, welcomed the Greens’ decision to participate in the official Yes campaign, saying:
“Yes Scotland is a very broad and inclusive church, comprising people with many shades of political opinion and none but united in their belief that independence is the best option for Scotland and the Scottish people.
“I am thrilled that the Scottish Green Party has decided to play its part in the Yes campaign and I know they will play a key role in helping to deliver independence in the 2014 referendum.”
Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said:
“The momentum is very much with the Yes campaign and this extremely welcome development is another tremendous boost as we continue to build the largest community-based campaign in Scotland’s history.”