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Green Party policies that having nothing to do with recycling (or riding a bike)

Leafleting during the UK elections. 

The Scottish Green party are a bunch of vegan middle-class hippies whose policies are all about recycling. 

If you thought the above was true, well, you're forgiven. The Scottish Green Party does has an image problem in that it's all middle class hippies who are all about the ethics but have no diversity within their party ranks. It's why we sometimes get called "Tories on bikes".

But with the upcoming Scottish elections I thought it was maybe time I got the soapbox out again. The Scottish Green Party have policies covering everything from defence, to education, to animal rights and trade unions, and I do want voters to go to the polls knowing what they're voting for.

So, as promised I've rounded up several policies the Scottish Green Party have which are nothing to do with recycling (or riding a bike, or eating organic tofu). 

1. The decriminalisation of sex work, but still taking measures to ensure it's consensual
If you know me and know my feminist issues you'll know that where a political party stands on the issue of sex work is an important one. The stance of the Scottish Green party is that sex work -such as brothels and pornography - should be legalised and de-stigmatised, and what goes on between consenting adults is no one else's business. However, policies are still included to recognise that some individuals are coerced into sex work and preventative measures will need to be in place.  

2. Free lifelong education
Some of us are lucky that we can easily fund a Masters degree or PhD. Some of us are lucky enough that we worked out what we wanted to do while at school and never changed our mind before retirement. But most people aren't. If you want to do a Masters or a PhD the Greens believe you should be entitled to do it for free. The Greens also believe that career changes shouldn't be restricted to people who can afford to re-train. 

3. Introduce detailed national food labelling
From the Green policy document: "The SGP will legislate to ensure that all foodstuffs are clearly labelled so as to indicate the manner and place of production, estimated food miles and to any subsequent processes to which they have been subjected. We will also introduce a statutory scheme to introduce labelling for suitability for the following, and other, dietary requirements: vegetarian, vegan, Kosher, Halal,gluten and nut free. The national standard labelling system will also guarantee minimum standards of animal welfare for all sold products produced in Scotland."

Y'all know I can get behind that!

4. Support the right to join a trade union
Because it's much easier to stand up to your boss when there's a group of you in a union, rather when it's just yourself trying not to let your bottom lip tremble. Joking aside, trade unions are in place for a reason and it's to make sure employers don't take advantage of employees who are scared they will be fired if they have the audacity to leave work on time. 

5. Support the UN but also call for reforms
I'll put my hand-up in the air and admit that the UN isn't my political strong-point (yes, I know my degree is in International Management so I should know more than I do, but shht). So if the UN is a strong point for yourself you should make yourself familiar with this policy. 

6. Devolving more power to local communities
If having lived in three different cities within the same country has taught me anything, it's that one policy doesn't work across all communities. What works for people in the central belt and what works for people in the islands differs strongly. And I'm sick to the death of the central belt getting loads of investment while my home city gets forgotten about. Handing over responsibility for more policies to the people who live in the damn area is something this Aberdonian who lives/works in Glasgow but has a degree from a Dundee university feels strongly about.

7. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to health
The Greens strongly oppose any privatisation to the NHS. But the Greens also believe in preventative measures to improve the nations health as a whole from free sporting facilities, to community food projects to mental health support groups.

8. Addressing the causes of crime
Prison is essential for keeping dangerous people off the street. But there are many people who turn to crime due to poverty, mental health problems or lack of good role models. That is something the Greens believe needs dealt with. They also believe that CCTV surveillance has gotten out of hand, and does not fix the underlying roots of criminal behaviour.

9. Radical democracy
Power goes to people's heads, which is why there needs to be more 'checks and balances' in the Scottish Parliament. A fairer voting system, fixed term parliaments and regulation of party funding are three ideas that the Greens put forward in their policy document.

10. Scrapping Trident
Because we're peace loving hippies. 

morag | mo adore
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