Glasgow has been playing host to the Scottish Green Party. Its party conference is being held in the city on the 20 and 21 October. And its co-convener Patrick Harvie stole the show of conference season with a powerful speech.
In defence of migration
Harvie’s speech was wide-ranging, covering issues from Brexit to climate change to welfare. But it was his vigorous defence of migration that really is a must see.
He started by slamming the way in which migration is debated in public life, to loud applause from the audience:
I am sick to death of hearing the issue of migration debated only in terms of the economic benefit to us. How much to do they pay in? How many benefits do they claim? Migration is a more human story than that. And human lives are about far more than their economic worth.
And he continued by making a powerful case for the value of migration:
The freedom to decide where to live, where to work, where to learn or where to make a life is something that enriches us all.
Next, he went further still. Taking on those who want to further restrict migration, Harvie had this to say:
I would love to live in a world, I want to live in a world, in which nobody feels that they’re forced to move. That they have no choice but to escape persecution, threats to their life, economic desperation or environmental collapse.
But in the meantime, I refuse to live, I am not willing to live in a world in which the countries which cause those very problems around the world are the ones throwing up walls and fences and borders to control and demean the lives of others.
Patrick Harvie’s migration pledge
After delivering his damning critique of the debate on migration, Harvie made a firm commitment that the Greens will defend migration:
So the Greens will never use the language of the insipid centre ground of politics, portraying freedom of movement as only economic self-interest. We will stand for freedom of movement as a force for good in its own right, and in defence of migrants against a deliberately hostile environment designed to humiliate and traumatise them.
You can watch the full speech [from 1:11:09] here.
Scottish Green Party’s track record
This strong stance against demonising migrants marries with the Scottish Green Party’s policy and its key figures. The party’s other co-convener, Maggie Chapman, described the UK’s migration policy as “racist”. In its 2016 election manifesto, the Scottish Greens stood on a platform of accepting more refugees into Scotland and closing Scotland’s only migrant detention centre. And in June, Green MSP Ross Greer successfully persuaded the Scottish government to give refugees the right to vote.
While the debate on migration becomes more toxic across the UK, interventions like Harvie’s in defence of migrants are important. They could help shift the public narrative and create an environment for more humane migration policies.
– Join The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read more articles on The UK’s Green Parties.
Featured image via Youtube Screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?