Ahead of the election on Thursday the polls are showing that the Scottish Greens are expected to do well again, which could lead to a further coalition with the SNP if the SNP fails to reach a majority, according to the Scotsman yesterday.
As you’d expect, the Scottish Greens are big on animal welfare, wildlife conservation and tackling driven grouse shooting and wildlife crime. Alison Johnstone MSP had an opinion piece published today in the Edinburgh Evening News and here is an excerpt:
‘However, nature reserves alone are not enough when so much of Scotland’s uplands are intensively managed so that a few people can shoot wildlife.
And it isn’t just the grouse that are killed. This year I won protection for mountain hares which are killed in huge numbers because landowners think it will boost grouse populations. There is no evidence this works.
And of course, there is the appalling legacy of raptor persecution, which sees birds of prey continue to disappear near these moors, or found killed. It is a stain on Scotland’s reputation.
NatureScot, the agency which is supposed to be protecting Scotland’s nature, is far too quick to hand out licences to kill.
Within a year of beavers being declared a protected species, a fifth of the population was killed under licence. It’s time to address the nature emergency and deliver real protections for Scotland’s native species, before it’s too late.
The Scottish Greens manifesto pledges to review the priorities of NatureScot and other agencies, strengthen licensing, end bloodsports, ban cruel traps like snares and deliver a fully-resourced Wildlife Crime Investigations Unit in Police Scotland’.
For the full article please click here
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is terrified of the Scottish Greens. We saw this in March when the SGA refused to invite the Greens to its political hustings (see here) and in April when the SGA said, in a moment of hilarious irony, it was going to complain to the Electoral Commission about the Greens’ election campaign material which the SGA claimed was ‘misleading’. My analysis suggested it wasn’t the Greens who were the ones publishing misleading information (see here).
Interestingly, the SGA is now paying for sponsored adverts on social media, targeting the Scottish Greens. You might think, if they are paying to get their material under the noses of people who would otherwise be beyond their reach, the SGA might pay for a decent graphic designer as well as check the facts given in the ad, but apparently not. Here’s one of the dodgy ads doing the rounds on Facebook:
You’ll notice that the accompanying text doesn’t match the text in the ad – one says that 13,000 rural jobs will be lost, the other says 10,000+.
Whether the claim is 13,000 or 10,000 jobs, the number(s) appear to be unsubstantiated. Further, should the SGA chose to actually read the Scottish Greens’ manifesto instead of reverting to immediate hyperbole and hysteria, they’d see that the Greens focus on actually creating jobs in the countryside, promising ‘at least £895M over the next five years in restoring nature whilst investing in rural communities, creating over 6,000 green jobs’. The Greens are also committed to ensuring that the licencing of grouse moors ‘is properly resourced and well enforced’ – how does that equate to rural job losses if grouse moor managers are abiding by the law?
It has been pointed out to me by one blog reader that the SGA may be breaking the rules by actively campaigning against a political party during an election campaign. This sort of behaviour is not permitted by organisations holding charitable status. On its website, the SGA has been at pains to claim that its election material has been put out under its status as a Limited Company, rather than as its Charitable Trust status. I’m told that a complaint has been made to OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator with a request to investigate.