SP16: The Morning After

I’ll confess to being a lightweight. I snuck off for a few hours sleep right after the Clydesdale results were called and woke up right after the Lothian list so unlike virtually every other political pundit in Scotland right now, I’m able to type only marginally less coherently than normal.

So. How about those results?

The Green contingent has expanded three-fold and whilst I’m more than a little upset that neither of the two candidates covered by my branch, Kirsten Robb and Sarah Beattie-Smith, made it in I’m heartened by the success of the others notably Andy Wightman in Lothians. Who Owns Scotland? We’re about to find out!

My hypothesis that the SNP would come back with another majority appear to have been disproven although a clear pro-independence majority remains. Arguably, the Greens could call this a result significantly in our favour as we move to the wrangling over Parliamentary positioning begins.

I’m willing to be wrong again but I can’t see much appetite for an offer of a formal coalition. It doesn’t seem like good game theory for the SNP to offer up a Ministerial position (almost certainly something like Energy or Environment) just to avoid a two seat minority. Especially when they already have form for running a minority government with a fair degree of success.

I could see a discussion over some kind of Supply and Confidence arrangement based on some concessions that the Greens have campaigned on and over which there’s already a substantial level of support within the SNP membership.

I’ll make one prediction on this point. Unless the SNP are willing to rely on Tory support, Fracking will not happen in Scotland. Good.

I’d be hoping that there might be some more movement over local taxation and, perhaps, the Scottish Government will let Andy formally get his teeth and claws into the Land Reform Bill. That’ll be a joy to watch. The Greens campaigned on giving the Scottish Government the courage to be bolder on a range of issues. Here’s hoping it can.

So, on the vote itself. We saw hints of the total flight of the Right and Unionist vote within Labour as early as November last year but even as the last polls came in they appear to have underestimated the depth of that flight. Ruth Davidson’s campaign to get people to vote Unionist, rather than Conservative, appear to have been successful. What shall be interesting to watch now is what she does with that support. How far can they be pushed on Austerity (or how far can blame for it be deflected) before the Union-at-any-cost vote starts to tally up just that?

Where it leaves Labour is another great unknown. They’ve been utterly wiped from their birthplace in Glasgow and Lanarkshire and have retreated to the Morningside Reds of Edinburgh. They appear to have three choices ahead of them. Either ossify as an increasingly marginal voice in Scottish politics; Abandon the Unionist vote and try to out-left the SNP (I don’t think at this stage that even a drastic Home Rule or Federal position would draw back those now set on independence) or try to out-right the Tories (which would mean claiming, adopting and accelerating Austerity). I cannot honestly see a route back to the forefront of Scottish politics for Labour barring some singularity event such as actual independence or some act of self-destruction within the SNP greater even than the one that UK Labour appear bent on.

The proportionality of AMS was stretched rather to its limits last night. Despite narrowly missing out on a majority the SNP, as the largest party, were the largest beneficiaries of the system gaining approximately 9 seats more than their regional vote percentage would have suggested. The Tories though also benefited gaining about two more seats than their regional vote share whilst Labour broke about even, the Greens losing one seat and the Lib Dems being rather drubbed by the system, losing three seats to the maths. This calculation would have been mitigated by the addition of 6 “Other” seats which, on these results, would have more likely have been distributed amongst the sitting parties rather than going to smaller ones. In most proportional voting systems around the world a minimum threshold of 5% is often applied and, in our case last night, no small party achieved more than 2% nationally or more than 4% in any single region.

Seat Allocation

It’ll be interesting to see if there are any calls for electoral reform based on these results the way even the SNP made a mild complaint about their overwhelming success under FPTP last year.

Another topic which will now need to be thrashed out is the position of Presiding Officer. I reckon that this year the wrangling over whether the party/ies of government or of opposition give up an MSP for the post will be particularly intense this year given the slim margins and the tactical situations faced by each of the parties. The SNP won’t want to dilute their minority any further, Labour won’t want to shrink further either, the Tories and Greens will want to capitalise on their gains to maximum effect and if the Lib Dems lose one more MSP they cease to be an official parliamentary group.

Personally, I’m rather disturbed by the concept of choosing the PO from the MSPs in the first place. Why should the electorate who have only just chosen their representatives have to give one up as the PO must remain neutral, must resign from the political party and whip and have severe restrictions on where and how they vote (Only in the event of a tie and only to maintain the status quo or further the debate). To me, this isn’t a job for a Member of the Scottish Parliament. I’d look towards inspiration from the “checks and balances” of the US. Perhaps the PO should be appointed from a pool of senior judges or similar judicial positions? They are already used to applying impartially the rule of law so should trivially be able to manage Parliament in a neutral manner.

Of course, an alternative to a Presiding Officer could be an elected President, but that is likely to be a discussion for a post-independence situation…

Where do we go from here? I honestly have no idea. Going from bracing for a substantial majority and “the most boring Parliament” of the devolution period (as one pundit put it) to back to the days of actual discussion about policy I think the next five years could be one filled with potential…if we choose to allow it. For a last word:



How To Vote in SP16: A Quick Guide

The Scottish elections for the fifth session since the Restoration of Parliament are almost upon us. Fun Fact: Due to the voting age being lowered to 16, this will be the first election to include voters born AFTER the start of the first session in 1999.

The following is a quick guide on how to cast your vote (especially if it’s your first time):

You will receive two ballot papers somewhat like these fictional examples:


On the PURPLE Constituency paper, you will see a list of PEOPLE who are competing to represent your constituency. They may or may not be a member of a party and will indicate thus under their name. Place an X in the box next to the person you think will best represent your constituency. (If they are a member of a party, this may or may not inform your choice)

On the PEACH Regional paper, you will see a list of PARTIES competing to gain the most seats in Parliament. The Parties may have a final advertising pitch or by-line such as “Nicola Sturgeon for First Minister” or somesuch under their name.
Place an X in the box next to the party whose policies most appeal to you and that you would like to see have more seats in Parliament.

Do not place any other markings, writing etc on either ballot as this may void that vote.

Then follow instructions in your polling place telling you in which box to place each paper.

More details on how your votes are counted as well as some myths and common misconceptions can be read here:



Greening Tax

“Unless Scotland has the boldness and the courage of its convictions to use the abilities that the Scottish Parliament is going to have in the next session to have a fairer, more progressive approach to taxation…many more communities are going to find that the public services they rely on will continue to be under threat.” – Patrick Harvie

Yesterday, the Scottish Greens published our proposals for reform of both the national income tax and a replacement for the local council tax. The proposals themselves can be read by clicking on the image below but I’ll spend a bit of time here explaining how they work and what might have been missed in some of the media coverage about them.

Green Tax


First though we need to remember just what the purpose of tax is for. It’s so easy to get caught up in the arguments over how much more or less a particular tax or tax change would raise without considering the deeper impacts of what a particular tax is supposed to do.

The Principles of Taxation

Why do we tax people in the first place? It’s a substantial chunk out of your paycheck every month and there’s not one of us who has, at some point, wondered what they could have done with that money instead.

The reasons for taxation are broadly covered by three principles:

Revenue Generation:- There are many services, such as roads, emergency services, healthcare, education etc, which we, as a society, have decided are best funded collectively. We may argue over just how much is paid for in this way and how much is funded ad hoc or privately but there are vanishingly few full blown anarcho-libertarians, especially in Scotland, who believe that absolutely everything should be in private hands and that Government shouldn’t exist at any level. For everything else, taxes are collected to fund the State and its operations.

Redistribution:- Societies are rarely entirely equal at every level. Some people end up earning or accumulating more than others, some people end up not earning enough money to meet their basic needs. Some regions end up with a greater concentration of wealth than others. Some, due to size or geographical constraints (such as the Highlands and Islands) simply require more funds to deliver the same level of services than others. It is well known that more equal societies experience greater levels of wellbeing and lower levels of ill health and other negative effects. Most societies, therefore, employ tax, alongside policies such as social security and welfare, in a progressive manner such that the richer pay more according to their abilities and the poorer gain more according to their needs.


Reshaping:- This is the carrot-and-stick approach of taxation. Governments often develop policies designed to encourage their citizens towards certain activities or discourage them from others. One prominent example at the national level would be the levies on tobacco and alcohol which are, at least partly, there to try to encourage us to smoke and drink less (obviously, taxes can fall into multiple categories and the Revenue Generation aspects of these taxes cannot be discounted, especially when used improperly).

In addition to these principles on the purpose of a tax, we must consider how it is structured so that it works in an effective manner. In 2013, local council body COSLA published a report into the effectiveness of current local taxes and in it laid out six principles outlined below.

LT Prin

Essentially, these principles boil down to taxes being fair, easy to manage and employing a sense of subsidiarity whereby local powers should, wherever possible, be used to effect local solutions. Whenever discussing a potential tax, local or national, all of these principles must be upheld or accounted for.

Income Tax

SGP Tax Bands.png

The Green proposal for the use of the income tax powers due to come with the implementation of the Scotland Act 2015 includes not just a tweaking of the rates nor the use of clumsy rebates as Labour (briefly) seem to have  considered but the full use of what powers we shall have to create new bands appropriate to Scottish income distribution.

The headlining feature of these proposals, as one may have suspected, was the inclusion of a 60% rate on earnings over £150,000.

This certainly did grab the headlines coming so soon after the SNP announced that they would not be raising the top rate past it’s current 45%. Their decision was based on this document which suggests that the “tax induced elasticity” (TIE) of the richest 1% in Scotland may be substantially higher than in the UK as a whole. Simply put, they fear that Scottish millionaires may flee elsewhere if we tax them at a higher rate than their southron counterparts. Their claim is that in the worst case scenario, enough high earners would leave that the actual revenue collected could be up to £30 million less than would be if tax rate remained as it is (one has to remember that if a top rate tax payer leaves, you also lose what they’ve paid in lower bands too).

Now, I have a couple of reasons to doubt this will impact as badly as they fear. In particular, having had a read through the book on which the UK TIE figures are based and having back-calculated their suggested maximum top-rate income tax for those UK figures, the implication appears that if the high end TIE rate the SNP suggests (0.75 compared to 0.46 for the UK) were to come to pass the maximum allowable income tax rate would be something on the order of just 30%. I would suggest therefore that the conviction attached to that worst case scenario is somewhat low as not even the Scottish Tories have went into this election on a platform of cutting the top rate of income tax.

My other reason for skepticism over this fear of tax flight in relation to internal tax boundaries is the case actually seen in the United States (In particular, as found by this paper by Young et al in their study of tax migration and border effects) where each state has far more control over many taxes than Scotland has and consequently sees quite sharp tax boundaries between states. Now this is not to say that that tax induced migration does not occur but in the words of the paper linked to above it seems to occur “only at the margins of statistical and socio-economic significance”. This appears to be true even at easily commutable borders so don’t be readily expecting a cluster of Scottish millionaires moving to Carlisle or Newcastle.
[Edit: Alternate link to the Young paper here.]

The reason for this is quite profound. As it turns out we can broadly place the richest echelons of society into to one of two groups. The “transitory millionaires” who really are just seeking somewhere to park as much of their wealth as possible without contributing much to society in general and the “embedded elites” who more closely fit that classic-to-the-point-of-cliché term of “job-creator”. These folk are the ones who have built a business in their locale and, as it turns out, it is not a simple case to uproot it and move it wholesale elsewhere (especially when higher property prices may make the operation of that business significantly more expensive). Perhaps, we in politics have been too quick to conflate these two distinct attitudes among the most well off in society. Perhaps we should instead be asking which of the two groups we would prefer to have influence our policy decisions?

On the Greens’ part, we are not making any prediction of revenue based on our 60% rate. We’re operating on the basis that our changes to the top rate of income tax will not attract any additional revenue (although the changes overall could bring in some £331 million per year) and this managed to attract some attention during the recent STV Leader’s Debate with the Tories asking what the point was if revenue didn’t change and asking how that would improve the economy. Well, we’ve seen the answer to that in the principles section above. The Green tax plan would significantly reduce inequality within Scotland. From a social standpoint, this should significantly improve general wellbeing within Scottish society and from an economic standpoint there will be benefits due to what’s known as the Marginal Propensity to Consume. Essentially, if you increase a multi-billionaire’s income by £100 then it means next to nothing to them or their lifestyle but if you increase the income or decrease the tax burden of a minimum wage worker by £100 then it will give them the ability to pay down debts or spend more on goods and services on which they would not otherwise have been able to do so. By this means, a revenue neutral tax change which decreases inequality most certainly can have a positive economic benefit. It reflects poorly on Ruth Davidson that during that debate she either didn’t know or didn’t want others to understand that fairly fundamental point.

Property Tax

Incidentally, the Young paper linked to in the previous section points out that a far more significant cause of high-earner migration than income tax is a draw towards expensive housing which is a famously immobile asset and which leads us neatly on to the second half of the Greens’ proposals.

Given how limited the set of devolved national taxes actually are and given how long overdue we have been for doing something, anything, about the Council Tax, it’s perhaps no surprise that a large proportion of the campaigning has been dedicated to those taxes over which Holyrood does have near unfettered control.

Faced with the increasingly loud rhetoric over the need for change from many parties and the cross-party consensus on the need for radical change laid down by the Commission on Local Tax Reform’s final report it’s therefore been a deep disappointment that it has been left to the Greens to be the only party to lay down a system of local residential property tax which is meaningfully different from the Council Tax. The Lib Dems have dropped their long standing aspiration towards a local income tax. RISE have stuck to the plan for an income based service tax inherited from the SSP but have appear to have opted to set rates nationally thus remove the advantages of local control. The SNP have decided to keep the present system, including the quarter century old, out of date valuations, but will increase the rate multiplier, nationally, on the top couple of bands. Labour have come up with a system of a per household flat rate poll tax with the addition of value based percentile tax (In my previous article I mischaracterised this as a banded tax due to a misunderstanding of their press statements on the topic. I was in error.) which, on the face of it, is an interesting change but their actual calculations will leave us again with a tax which is deeply regressive with respect to house value.

The Greens, however, have opted to levy a local property tax based entirely as a percentage of the property’s value. This Residential Property Tax would be nominally set to 1% of the property’s value but it will be entirely within the local council’s power to set that rate at whichever value they wish and will be coupled with a scheme of reliefs for low earners similar to the system currently in place.

Of course, such a large step change in the tax system requires careful management and people will need time to adjust their financial affairs to reflect the change so we also propose phasing in the new RPT over the course of the next five year Parliament by stepping over to the new system in 20% increments until Council Tax is fully abolished.

The graph below shows this transition as well as a comparison of the tax regimes proposed by the SNP and Labour as a percentage of a house’s value (RISE’s SST, being income rather than property based, isn’t directly comparable in this way).

Green RPT Both

The contrast is quite profound. Incidentally, the large change in nominally band “C” and above properties may look alarming but one must remember that the lack of revaluations since 1992 has led to many houses, some 57% of the total stock, sit now in the wrong council tax band. The house I’m currently in is a fairly graphic example of this being a band “D” house with a present market valuation of approximately £100,000. Converting from the present Council Tax to a 1% RPT would actually cut the bill here by some 10%.

Also of specific note within these plans is a system of redistribution across councils. Essentially, there are some council areas containing a lot of very expensive houses (Edinburgh, say) and some where property prices are comparatively cheap. It couldn’t be fair that one of the higher priced areas takes the decision that they could cut property taxes to a bare minimum and still fund local services, as happens in places like Westminster, whereas lower priced areas must pull those tax levers harder. Therefore, the block grant given to councils will be calculated on the assumption that they will charge the 1% RPT which will remove much of the temptation from those councils with higher property values from perpetuating the cycle of inequality. They still would have the power to reduce those rates, but they’d have to be accountable to their voters for doing so.

But what of land? Isn’t that a core tenant of Green policy? Well, herein lies an aspect of property tax which has been almost entirely missed by the media and yet lays the path towards possibly the greatest change within them. The RPT includes a slider which will allow a council to weight the RPT between taxing property and taxing land. If a council decided to, say, weight 100% towards property and 0% on land then the system would look most like the present council tax (albeit, as said, greatly more progressive) whereas if another council weighted 0% on property and 100% on land then the system would be functionally equivalent to a Land Value Tax and those who owned not just a large house but also a large estate would have to account for those holdings. In practice, many councils will seek some compromise between the two and the Green proposal lays out an example as currently used in Denmark where a typical weighting is something like 70% on property and 30% on land. Once again, localism is the key here. Council regions which are largely urban will likely wish to weight towards property whereas more rural areas, particularly those with patterns of unequal land ownership, may wish to weight towards land. Simply setting a national rate is unlikely to be sufficient or effective in every region of the country.


I  hope this then lays out our proposals for income and property taxation. I know. It’s a complicated issue which doesn’t soundbite very easily but we’re entering an interesting phase of Scottish politics whereby our Parliament will be getting more power than ever before and the need to use those powers effectively will become more important than ever before. Scotland Can be bolder if we want it to be.


My thanks to Andy Wightman for technical advice provided for this post. His blog Land Matters can be read here.

We Need To Talk About: The “Tactical Vote”

“People who think about politics every day greatly overestimate how much time the average person spends thinking about politics” – A maxim that every political activist should pin on their wall.


One of the many, many parodies of the #SNPOUT “Tactical Voting Wheel” seen in the run up to the 2015 UK General Election. Source: Youtube

We’re just about to cross into the single digit weeks remaining before the 2016 Holyrood elections and among a subset of the political campaigning community the inevitable debate over the “tactical vote” rumbles on. I, myself, have had a couple of fairly interesting conversations with a few such voters over the past couple of days which crystalised a few thoughts in my head about it.

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Greening Your Vote

Note: This article assumes that readers are fully familiar with the AMS voting system used in Scotland. If you are not or would like a refresher please read this article first:- How Scotland Votes: A Guide to the Scottish Elections

Greening Your Vote in the Scottish Elections

SGPlogoI’ve mentioned in a previous post that we in the Greens general regard the First Past the Post voting system as an unfair and unrepresentative system. It punishes all of those parties which poll less than about 35% of the electorate with fewer seats than they deserve whilst rewarding those parties which can achieve just slightly more than that with almost all of the power. For a smaller party like the Greens this means that looking for seats within the constituency vote is a particularly difficult enterprise and, in all likelyhood, would result in a waste of resources more effectively spent elsewhere.

For this reason it is very likely that you, as a voter, will not see a Green candidate on your constituency ballot paper next year (although exceptions like party co-convenor Patrick Harvie’s campaign in Kelvin will be one to seriously watch).

The great advantage within Scottish politics, however, lies in the Regional ballot. I’ve detailed in my How Scotland Votes article how this ballot is used to ensure proportionality within the parliament as a whole but this article intends to deal with another of its great strengths. The regional ballot allows voters who may describe themselves as “traditional” voters of one party to compliment or nuance their voting intentions by voting for another party as well.

I will here argue that in the Holyrood elections next year there is great scope for many voters to consider seeing a regional vote for the Greens not as a “splitting” of their vote but as a strengthening of it. Even when your “traditional” Constituency affiliation has been with the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats or with the SNP there is much that you may also find appealing within Green politics and much which may lead to you to giving us your Regional vote.

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How Scotland Votes: A Guide to the Scottish Elections

A Guide to the Holyrood Election System

The Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament Building. Source: Wikipedia

The Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament Building. Source: Wikipedia

I know that it feels like we’ve just finished a rush of politics and campaigning and that the next step will be a while away but believe me, a year is not a long time and the 2016 Scottish Parliament General Election will be upon us before we know it. The various parties and actors are already starting to formulate their plans and draw their lines and the speculation over what could result from the vote and how those results could be achieved are being debated over the various Internet and social media channels.

In much of this speculation and amongst my conversations with some of my peers I’ve realised that more than 15 years after the first Scottish elections there remains much to be said about our level of knowledge about how our votes are cast and how the seats are calculated. Here, therefore, is a guide to how it all works.

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How to Make Housing Affordable

Tenementhouse(Image: Tenement House, Glasgow. Source: Wikipedia)

Housing is always a touchstone issue during election campaigns and this one is most certainly no different. Two of the most oft-quoted in the manifestos this time round are: “How can we build “Affordable Housing”?” and “How can we afford to build them at all?” It seems strange that we are quite content to allow banks to borrow, or even flat out create, the funds it requires to supply us with a mortgage for a house but it is almost anathema for a government to do something very similar. I am going to make the very simple case that we need to dispense with this illogical paradigm and start looking at how to build a stable, long term housing policy fit for purpose.

For the purposes of this exercise I looked at a couple of example mortgages available from the commercial banks today. One typical one offered me a £90,000 mortgage with an initial interest rate of 4.2% fixed for 2 years. Assuming that that rate didn’t change over the 25 year term of the mortgage I would be faced with paying £485 per month for those 25 years until the loan was paid off. The total amount repaid (discounting inflation) would be just over £145,000. Given that we are currently experiencing historic lows in our interest rates and that they are unlikely to drop further this gives us the lowest bound to the repayment. Add in, on top of that, the profit margin demanded by a private landlord and the costs soon mount up rather staggeringly. It really is no wonder that many of the UK’s richest people are in the property market.

But what would happen if the Government borrowed that money instead and invested it in a social house for me? Today, May 4th 2015, a 25 year UK bond attracts an interest rate of 2.515% (Source: http://uk.investing.com/rates-bonds/uk-25-year-bond-yield). The first thing to note is that this interest rate is guaranteed to be fixed for the entire 25 year term. There could be no uncertainty over the possibility of unaffordable interest rate rises of the kind which led to so much chaos during the 2008 crash. This opens the way to a long term government housing policy rather than the election-by-election tinkering we see now.

At this lower interest rate we could charge the same £485 per month and expect to have the loan paid off in full almost five and a half years early at a total cost of only £114,500, a saving of £31,000 or 21%. By having the government borrow for us, we can afford five houses for the price of four! Alternatively, the monthly rent could be cut by £80 per month and the 25 year term maintained whilst still undercutting any private landlords (even if they pass on their bank mortgage at cost).

What happens after the loan is paid off could be a matter for government policy. The rent could be maintained, providing the government with a ready and reliable revenue stream. Or the house could be granted at a discounted rate or entirely rent free to the tenant for the remainder of their occupation (with the house returning to the social stock once it is no longer required), or the rent could be reinvested into more housing stock to keep up with demands from population growth and (dare I mention that dreaded word?) immigration. The UK’s population is growing at less than 1% per year meaning that we’d need just one new house built every year for every one hundred in the stock. The rents from those hundred could easily accommodate for that level of demand. Our hypothetical £405 per month rent for 25 years is now just £410 per month, still greatly cheaper than our private landlord and we no longer need to worry about the costs of housing the next generation (wherever they come from).

Of course, many other questions still remain underneath this housing policy such as: where do we build these houses? (the old green belt versus inner city regeneration question), how do we manage (or tax) the land on which they are built?, what infrastructure do we build around them?, or how can we encourage business development in or near these areas to provide jobs for the residents. These are most certainly vital questions to be answered as part of a holistic and complete housing policy but one thing is certain. Neither your bank nor your private landlord concerns themselves with these questions. Even if none of them are answered within this article I believe that I have demonstrated that allowing a government to borrow to invest in our society need not be the terrible thing that some politicians would have you believe it would be. Surely, lining the pockets of the banks and landlords the way we currently are is the least effective, most costly way we could possibly be doing it? TCG logo

Dr Craig Dalzell: Candidate Statement – Holyrood 2016

CragprofBy now many Green members in the South of Scotland will have received their ballot papers for the candidate selection  for the Scottish Elections next year.

Here is my candidate statement as it appears in the ballot paper.

My political introduction came through the independence referendum when, early in the campaign, I joined Yes Clydesdale. Throughout the campaign I played an active role within the campaign team on the ground during canvassing, public events and street stalls as well as within the campaign literature regularly writing for Yes Clydesdale’s monthly magazine and helping to run the largest community page on Facebook outside of the official campaign pages.

I particularly found a niche within the campaign on the topics of the economy, finance and energy policy and became a valued contributor through researching these topics and then sitting on panels during public meetings to take questions on them.

Having been convinced of the Green case and becoming part of the post-referendum surge it is a natural progression for me to help out in any way I can to further our goals.

As a Green MSP I shall strive to put my skills to work to help promote public engagement with and understanding in the important issues faced by our country. I am a great proponent of local and participatory democracy and would make it a goal to encourage as many people as possible to take an active part in the running of their area and to help people regularly stay in touch with their representatives so that the former can put their views across to us and make their concerns heard and so that the latter can keep people informed about ongoing debates and legislation.

If you’re a Green in the South of Scotland considering who to select for your representatives on next years list I hope that I meet your expectations. This is the largest  candidate ballot that the Scottish Greens have ever carried out in this region and the strength of the pool of candidates is incredible. It’s going to be a tough choice for all voters but the team which we select will doubtless do the party and the country very proud indeed.

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Scottish Greens D&G Hustings for Holyrood 2016

My contribution to the Dumfries and Galloway Hustings for the 2016 Scottish Elections.

The channel also has links to the videos of the other candidates there on the night. Each candidate was given (just!) two minutes to make their pitch.

It was a fun night and I look forward to the next one in Biggar tomorrow in front of Lanarkshire Branch.

A rough transcript of my speech (somewhat played with on the night) is below the fold:

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