LibLink: Christine Jardine on how the Scottish Greens are letting voters down

In her Scotsman column week, Christine Jardine takes the Scottish Greens to task. Since they joined the Scottish Government, the future of the planet seems to have taken a back seat to nationalism as they parrot SNP lines on independence.

Like their more senior nationalist partners at Holyrood, the party’s leadership has declared that if there is no second referendum on Scotland’s future within the UK, they will fight the general election solely on the constitutional question.

If they don’t get their way, they will re-define the General Election to suit themselves, calling every vote cast for a Green candidate as a vote for independence.

This is despite fewer their voters being split roughly half and half on the independence issue.

Activists who have spent decades awakening us all to the dangers of global warming now find that those in whom they placed their faith have become merely a bit player in the separatist narrative.

For the past decade and a half of SNP rule, Scottish politics has been governed by two different factors: actual policies and nationalism.

When the first fails the second is rolled out as a metaphorical fire blanket to dampen the anger while a target is found to redirect blame towards.

Usually, they call it Westminster.

Ironically, ignoring the fact that instead of being the stronger voice for Scotland there, which the SNP once promised, they are simply the whining voice of nationalism.

You can read her whole article here.


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  • Perhaps Christine Jardine might consider that continuing being tied to Wastminster, and it’s ever increasing ‘anti-Green’ policies ( tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, removal of green levies, etc.), might not be the best way for ‘Scottish Greens’ to serve their agenda……

  • Paul Barker 10th Aug '22 - 1:04pm

    Independence is Brexit cubed – currently Scotland is split 50/50 & actual implementation would be an Economic disaster. Holding a Vote on Independence would be essentially like tossing a coin – there s no sign of significant shifts either way.
    It seems to me that we should be looking for a Third Way – just saying “Federalism” hasn’t had any impact.

  • Andrew Melmoth 10th Aug '22 - 1:10pm

    Is it the LibDem position that Scotland should have no legal, democratic route to leaving the union?

  • Chris Moore 10th Aug '22 - 1:56pm

    There clearly is a legal democratic route for Scotland to leave the Union.

    The questions are

    1. Whether there is a clear majority who want another Referendum.

    2. Whether independence is desirable.

    The Lib Dem position is “no” to both.

  • John Lib Dem 10th Aug '22 - 5:11pm

    The Scottish Green Party’s priorities are introducing self-ID, independence, and the environment – in that order. Not a single one of their sitting MSPs is fit for public office and several of their more prominent activists and associated groups are outright bonkers. If our party in Scotland was willing to re-embrace critical thought, we could literally wipe the floor with them if we put the effort in.

  • George Thomas 10th Aug '22 - 9:09pm

    Is there anything Westminster could do that would those reading this be tempted by independence? Or is it more a “even if there’s just a 1% chance things could improve so we’re staying” sort of situation?

    I don’t believe independence has provided enough of an argument to say it would make things better, and through Brexit we’re now certainly more aware of the challenges especially of a bitter breakaway, but is Scotland really going to get better when Liz Truss or Sunak becomes PM? That could either be extended at next GE or lead into Keir Starmer (are things meant to be getting better in Scotland yet?) which will take us much closer to 2030. At the moment the strongest arguments on each side is why voting for other position would make things worse which is just a sad state for everyone.

    In 2014 Scottish voters were told that they would have more powers and it was hinted that staying in the UK was way to stay in the EU with both representing chance to make things better without having to leave the Union. It’s worth remembering that when debating whether there should be another referendum in Scotland, though personally I would suggest it shouldn’t happen before 2024.

  • The Scottish “Greens” proved their lack of environmental credibility when they campaigned for the 2014 White Paper on independence that required maximising the extraction of North Sea oil and gas AND hoping that oil prices remained at record high levels to be able to fund the NHS.

    Like most political parties, the Greens are a broad church, but the Scottish Greens in particular are dominated by those who like reactionary ‘anti’ politics. I think they justified their position on the grounds of being anti-Trident, and like many ‘Greens’ around the world are more anti-nuclear campaigners who enjoy fighting against the establishment rather than serious environmentalists taking a holistic approach to what’s best for the planet.

    @George – the Scottish Government has been given additional powers, and it was a fact confirmed by the EU that leaving the UK meant Scotland leaving the EU. The Greens still campaigned for it.

  • Fiona 11th Aug ’22 – 9:20am:
    The Scottish “Greens” proved their lack of environmental credibility when they campaigned for the 2014 White Paper on independence that required maximising the extraction of North Sea oil and gas…

    Perhaps they were aware that extracting our own natural gas produces less than half of the CO2 emissions of imported LNG…

    ‘Higher UK carbon emissions from imported LNG, report finds’:

    Production of gas from fields on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) generates less than half the greenhouse gas produced from imported LNG, according to Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

    Its analysis shows that gas extracted from the UKCS has an average emission intensity of 22 kg CO2e/boe, compared with an average of 59 kg CO2e/boe for imported LNG. This is due to a combination of the process of liquefaction and emissions produced by the transportation and regasification of the LNG once it arrives in the UK.

    Importing gas through pipelines, particularly from Norway, produces an even lower average of 18 kg CO2e/boe,…

  • @Chris Moore

    “There clearly is a legal democratic route for Scotland to leave the Union.

    The questions are

    “1. Whether there is a clear majority who want another Referendum.

    2. Whether independence is desirable.

    The Lib Dem position is “no” to both.”

    That’s an interesting position to take.

    I wonder if you could clarify a few points:

    1. you seem to be saying that the result of all recent parliamentary elections in Scotland in which pro-referendum parties won clear majorities should be ignored. Will you be extending that principle to Westminster Parliament elections?

    2. you seem to be saying that even if there was a “clear majority” that view would be overridden by the Lib Dem position that independence is undesirable so that they cannot even be allowed to vote on the matter. Is that your or the Lib Dem official position?

    3. The Lib Dems fought the last UK election on the platform that there should never be another independence referendum under any circumstances irrespective of the views of the Scottish electorate. Is there an official Lib Dem policy other than that?

  • Appalling ignorance. England has no right to tell its abused Scottish wife she can’t have a divorce or that she can’t manage by herself. Learn to live without 1/3 of your land mass and the strategically important Faroes/Iceland gap. Liz Truss is MP where UK’s worst A&E hospital is and Nicola Sturgeon where one of the best. Scotland cares about its people, England cares about anything but its people.

  • Maurice Leeke 11th Aug '22 - 3:01pm

    Chris Moore says that there is a clear legal route to Scottish Independence. What is that route if the Westminster government is unco-operative ?

  • Peter Watson 11th Aug '22 - 3:40pm

    Fiona “The Scottish “Greens” proved their lack of environmental credibility when they campaigned for the 2014 White Paper on independence that required maximising the extraction of North Sea oil and gas …”
    Also in 2014, Danny Alexander told us, “I have always been an advocate of Scotland’s thriving oil and gas industry, which is why I’m here today announcing the government’s ambitious package to continue to support this hugely valuable sector. We’re incentivising and working with the industry to develop new investment opportunities and support new areas of exploration. This will help ensure that the industry continues to thrive and contribute to the economy.”

  • @Jeff, that may be your view for why we should maximise North Sea Oil production, but it wasn’t the explanation given by the Greens. They just accepted that we’d continue to pump record levels at record high prices, assuming that both would coincide together indefinitely (when they’d never coincided in the past). As it was, the price of oil dropped and instead of creating £8bn/year revenue, it was effectively zero. At some points it was negative if you factor in the subsidies to the North Sea Oil sector the SNP insisted Westminster provide.

    Most nation states don’t go around offering referenda on succession every few years. It’s massively disruptive, and shouldn’t be entertained when there’s no evidence the majority want it. The 2014 referendum was justified on the basis that Scots didn’t get a way in whether or not to be part of the UK. 2014 gave us a say and we said we wanted to be part of the UK.

    Sturgeon said that she wouldn’t consider another referendum until such time as there was consistent support. She described that as 60+% in the polls for a sustained period. That hasn’t happened. The current push is the SNP pandering to the angry zealots in their party in the same way Sunak and Truss are pandering to the angry zealots in the Tories.

  • @Peter, Danny was wrong. I don’t know what his views are now and I hope he has a better understanding of the environment and come to realise that it was daft. Have the Greens admitted to getting that wrong?

    The reliance on oil money in 2014 wasn’t just an environmental disaster waiting to happen, it was a gaping hole in the economic future of Scotland, because the figures presented in the White Paper didn’t pass the most basic of idiot checks. A lot of nationalists like to claim that no-one knew that the oil price would drop, but they were too busy shouting PROJECT FEAR whenever it was mentioned. Even if you didn’t expect prices to drop like a stone there was no reason to expect them to a record high and stay there without impacting demand and rely on that as the basis for keeping the lights on.

  • Peter Watson 11th Aug '22 - 10:32pm

    @Fiona “Danny was wrong.”
    And the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (who commissioned the Wood Review that led to Danny Alexander’s announcement) was Ed Davey, who – also in 2014 – announced, “The review estimated that full and rapid implementation could deliver 3 to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent more than would otherwise be recovered over the next 20 years, worth over £200 billion. It is for this reason that I am committed to fully implementing his recommendations as quickly as possible.” (
    The year before, he also told us, “I love shale gas”. (

    “Have the Greens admitted to getting that wrong?”
    I’ve no idea, but Google tells me their 2021 policy was to “phase out north sea oil and gas in line with international commitments” with a few details, while the Scottish Lib Dems seemed a little vaguer and more passive with a “plan for the inevitable end of oil and gas by getting the transition right, accepting that decisions taken across the world to tackle the climate emergency will cut demand for fossil fuels almost completely”.

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