Thursday, 18 September 2008

Robin Harper retires


I meant to blog on
this a few days ago - when I heard the news - but life got in the way. So apologies for coming in late on this one.

Robin Harper MSP, Co-Convenor, male, of the Scottish Green Party, has decided to
stand down from that position and not seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament in 2011.

The PR system that is used to elect MSPs gave Robin Harper the opportunity to become the first Green Parliamentarian in Britain.


I think - in contrast to
Tom Harris MP - that diverse opinion in Parliament is good for democracy, and that Robin Harper and his Green colleagues (6 prior to 2003; only Patrick Harvie now) have offered a fresh alternative to the mainstream parties in Scotland and that Robin himself has contributed massively to the "New Politics" in Scotland. I'm sure his personality, his politics and his scarf collection will be missed from Holyrood when he does leave the place in 2011.

One good thing for his party is that they can now re-evaluate their decision to have a system of co-convenors - as their sister party in England and Wales has done. I have always been uncomfortable calling Robin Harper the "leader" of the party when he was (from 1999-2004) the "Principal Speaker" then "Co-convenor, male".

Incidentally, I see that Patrick Harvie has already got
his nomination in for the position. He is, I think, a natural successor.

I'll stick my neck on the line and say that the Scottish Greens probably will change their leadership situation - and that Patrick Harvie will become their first "Leader".

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