Published On: Sun, Dec 31st, 2017 at 11:45am

Happy New Year from the politicians

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Some Scottish politicians have put out New Year messages and they are included here.

So ahead of the bells at midnight here is what they want to say to you.

The First Minister has issued her message on video at the beginning of the Year of Young People in 2018. In events the length and breadth of the country the year has been devised by young people across Scotland.

She said : “In 2018 we will take steps to strengthen young people’s rights and ensure they have an even louder voice in decisions about their own lives.”

Photo courtesy of the First Minister of Scotland

Ruth Davidson MSP for Central Edinburgh and leader of the Scottish Conservatives said : ““Every festive period, people look forward to a decent break, and time spent with loved ones.

“But to allow for that to happen, others are still at work.

“The emergency services who keep us safe. The road gritters who stop accidents from happening in the first place and the train drivers and all night garage employees there to ensure we can get where we need to go. To them, thank you. 2017 was another busy political year in Scotland with elections at local government and Westminster parliament level.

“The public have been patient with a politics of turmoil. But as we turn the page on the year that’s past – we look forward to what’s in store for us in 2018. While politics will continue, other events will take centre stage.

“Glasgow hosting the European Championships; Team Scotland competing at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and the officially designated year of young people.

“In 2018, I hope all of us will be inspired by the endeavour of our athletes, the warmth of our host city and the energy of the next generation. Scotland has a lot to look forward to.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the devolution referendum, so it is time to take stock on whether it has met all the aspirations those of us who campaigned for it, set it.
“The Parliament wasn’t designed as a talking shop – it was to be a place which offered the people of Scotland a different path if we felt we needed to choose one. The last seven years of Tory austerity have made the need to do things radically differently, an increasingly acute one.
“But the SNP has been a timid, managerial government, content to be a conveyor belt for Tory austerity rather than a bulwark against it.”
Mr Leonard added: “Scottish Labour’s focus on using the powers of the Parliament has won the argument but the Scottish Government needs to be more radical to make the real change the people of Scotland need.
“The coming year will see Labour push the government even harder to make those desperately needed changes and make the Parliament work in the interests of the unemployed, the dispossessed, the homeless, those struggling in poverty, and all those whose lives are currently pre-destined because of where they’re born.
“2018 is also the Year of Young People and it is a year when we will demand more action to turn the lives round of young people with experience of care.
“Tackling inequality and poverty, particularly child poverty, is at the heart of Scottish Labour’s mission – and should be at the heart of Scottish society too. That’s about the development of an industrial strategy to kick start sustainable economic development. It’s also about a fresh look at the distribution of wealth in Scotland which is fuelling widening inequality.”
He added: “Scotland, like the rest of the UK, desperately needs a Labour government to deliver the radical change we need to see – and it will be Scotland that delivers a Labour government for the whole UK at the next General Election.
“We know that inequality, injustice and poverty are not inevitable and that they diminish us all. We know that austerity is a political choice not an economic one.
“Scottish Labour will never apologise for putting those with the least at the heart of our plan to change Scotland. In 2018 we will bring that message into the Parliament and out into Scotland.”

 

In their New Year message, Scottish Green Party co-conveners Maggie Chapman and Patrick Harvie MSP said 2018 can be a year of progress on human rights and public services, and they pledged to continue to fight for “justice, solidarity and our shared environment.”

Maggie Chapman said: “It has been clear that the world is in crisis for some time. Since the financial crash elites have used almost every trick in their box to keep control. The old world is dying. But by deepening inequality and accelerating climate change they have made the situation worse for themselves.

“In 2017 we began to see signs that the crisis is coming to a head. The new world is struggling to be born. In 2018 we will be ready for the birth of a new world. And we will fight to make sure that justice, solidarity and our shared environment are at the heart of that new world.”

Patrick Harvie MSP said: “At the turn of the year we can always look back at the highs and lows we’ve just seen, and at the hopes and fears we have for the year ahead. In many ways 2017 has been a year of extremes.

“The challenges of climate change, global justice and peace remain daunting. In all too many places political and economic interests hold on to power by making these problems worse, not better. In the US, we’ve seen an increasingly deranged and dangerous example of this. But we’ve also seen people coming together in response, building new alliances and stronger movements from opposing the arms trade to ending investments in new sources of fossil fuel. We’ve seen a wave of new awareness of issues from plastic pollution, to trans equality – fights that are very far from won, but where real and lasting advances are within our grasp.

“And at home, a UK political landscape increasingly dominated by a hard right jingoistic cult that seems determined to abandon our place in Europe and tear up the achievements of free movement, strong social and environmental protections, and a continent at peace. But we also see a willingness in Scotland to challenge this agenda, to remain part of that international community, and finally to use the power we now have to start building a fairer economy at home and protecting the public services we all rely on.

“Greens have played an important part in achieving this change, and we’ll keep focused on the positive opportunities that lie ahead. 2018 can be a year of progress, from equality and human rights, to environmental protection; from investment in our communities and public services, to building stronger relationships with all those around the world who work for the values and vision we share.

“I’d like to wish everyone the very best for the year ahead; let’s make 2018 a year we can look back on knowing that we helped make it that bit better. Happy new year.”


About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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