Friday, 23 November 2012

New working group in Scottish Parliament.


There has been an Interesting  development in thr Scottish Parliament where Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone of the Scottish Green Party have reached an agreement with Independent MSPs Margo MacDonald, Jean Urquhart and John Finnie to establish a working group under the Parliament’s Standing Orders.

Ms Urquart and Mr Finnie quit the SNP last month after the party voted to change policy and scrap its opposition to the nuclear-armed NATO defence partnership.

The new alliance will give the MSPs involved representation on the influential Parliamentary Bureau which decides Holyrood business, in turn providing them with further opportunities to contribute to debates in the Chamber.

A joint statement issued by the Independent/Green Group agreed that

5 MSPs have decided to form a technical working group to assist them in their Parliamentary duties.Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone of the Scottish Green Party have reached an agreement with Independent MSPs Margo MacDonald, Jean Urquhart and John Finnie to establish a working group under the Parliament’s Standing Orders.This grouping will give the MSPs representation on the Parliamentary Bureau which decides Parliamentary business, in turn providing the MSPs with further opportunities to contribute to debates in the Chamber.The Independent/Green Group agreed this statement:“The five of us have discussed ways in which we can work together, and after taking advice from colleagues on our options, have decided to form a grouping to enhance our ability to represent our constituents.“Although every member of our grouping is pro-independence and believes strongly in a more equal, sustainable Scotland, it is by no means a formal, party-based arrangement; no MSP has changed, or plans on changing, their party affiliation or on taking positions different to those they have taken in the past.“We all look forward to pushing for an independent, fair and peaceful Scotland both inside and outside of Parliament, and to working with MSPs across the Chamber to achieve these goals.”

This is a welcome mood supporters of Independence who are dissatisfied with the SNP government  and would like to vote for a progressive alternative to without having to abstain ot vote for the Unionist Parties need to feel that they have an option.

I was impressed with Patrick Harvie the Scottish Green Leader during the last Scottish elections and was disappointed the Greens didn't get more members elected to the Scottish Parliament.

Of course the Scottish Greens a re a separate Party unlike the Greens in Wales who are an offshoot of the Greens in England.

The new alliance will  also have the same Number (5) s the Lib Dem Holyrood, who currently get a slot at FMQs two weeks out of three: So they will be seeking a  similar response.Though whether Harvie will be seen as leader and ask the opposition question or it will be divided amongst them waits to be seen.

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