Scottish Greens will continue to deliver change that is needed here in Scotland - Lorna Slater
It was a political game and a stunt. They can see the difference that we are making with Scottish Greens in government, and they don’t like it one bit.
Whether it is the introduction of free bus travel for everyone under 22, the rent cap and protections that are supporting tenants all over our city and beyond, or the most progressive taxation system anywhere in the UK, these are the kind of policies that they fear.
The vote followed the UK Government’s decision to torpedo the Deposit Return Scheme – a policy that our Parliament had voted overwhelmingly to enact.
The scheme we proposed was very simple and was modelled on the many successful recycling schemes already in use around the world. In effect, whenever any of us bought a can or bottle we would pay a 20p deposit that would get back when we returned it to one of thousands of sites across the country.
It would have been a game changer and would have represented a massive step forward for our relationship with recycling and waste. All systems were ready to go, then, right at the last minute, Downing Street intervened to sabotage it.
The decision to effectively block the scheme will have a terrible environmental impact at a time when we need to be reducing emissions and taking climate action.
Beyond that, it has hugely and irreversibly undermined devolution while costing millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs.
The Tory attacks were predictable, but what was shocking was seeing the Labour Party unanimously lining up to support them.
Labour is well aware of what the Tories have done and why they are doing it. That’s why the Welsh First Minister, a Labour politician, Mark Drakeford, has made clear he shares the Scottish Government’s concerns.
The Tory vote was unsuccessful. In truth, it was never designed to work. It was designed to intimidate me, and it didn’t succeed in doing that either.
I am grateful to every MSP who supported me, and to everyone who took the time to email or left me positive comments on social media.
Because, at heart, this wasn’t just a vote on me or my role as minister. It was a vote on the rights of the Scottish Parliament and the work we are doing to ensure Scotland plays its role in tackling the climate crisis.
I’ve had better and easier weeks, but I didn’t stand for office because I thought it would be easy. I did it because I could see the change that was so badly needed and I knew how little time we have to do it.
The Scottish Greens are here to stay, and we’re just getting started. Despite the Tories’ best efforts, we will continue to drive that change, and will do so from government for years to come.