In Conversation…Mr Green

Scottish election aftermathWho’s your favourite MSP? Tough choice? How about Patrick Harvie of the Greens…he comes out top of many people’s list as an honourable, calm and sensible voice seemingly outside party politics although obviously, he isn’t.

He doesn’t just get Green votes, he gets personal ones too from all sides, which is good but frustrating as he is an agenda setter but seems consigned to be standing just behind the big boys and girls in the Holyrood class photos.

Today in Glasgow I interviewed Patrick before a live audience and tried to tease out of him what he really thinks. I didn’t interrupt unnecessarily, I hope and it makes for a sane listen. It’s at now.

We hear his view of the campaign, where he disagrees with the SNP, doesn’t want the rejection of Trident to lead to oil exploration off the West Coast and wants us all weaned off the oil drug. He rarely flies, preferring in once case a cabin on a cargo ship across the Atlantic! He’s on his own there….


We hear about his youth, the link between Green and LGBT politics and it’s the first time I have worn shorts to interview somebody else also wearing shorts…(this is NOT a LGBT issue).

Have a listen at, download from iTunes or check out Twitter thingy at hashtag bateman_podcast.


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13 thoughts on “In Conversation…Mr Green

  1. Enjoyed the interview Derek. Good to hear more about what makes your victi.. ahem, guests tick. 😀

    Personally I’d like to see more Green activity and representation in our parliament. We do need fresh thinking on sustainability for the long term and I agree with Patrick, the SNP have made great strides in that direction, but more parties and representation with a view to a balanced and sustainable economy across the board would be most welcome.

  2. Derek
    I was part of the audience yesterday at the Central Hotel, and really enjoyed the discussion. Patrick is a very engaging and inspiring speaker. I think we are privileged to have a politician in Scotland who is so thoughtful, intelligent, committed and sincere. There are few around who fit that description.
    I also enjoyed the discussion before Patrick arrived about the state of the campaign. It made me think of the famous Labour rally in Sheffield (I think) at the 1992 general election, with Kinnock shouting “We’re all right”. At the time the polls were calling it for Labour, but the interesting thing was that, at the time of the rally, Labour knew, from their own private polling and canvassing, that they were about to lose.
    I wonder if the No campaign are in a similar position.
    And thank you again for the blogs – keep them coming!

    • Antoine Bisset

      You can be committed, dedicated, outspoken, persistent, persuasive, believable, and completely wrong.

      • Of course. But being thoughtful, intelligent and sincere (which are are the adjectives I used) is not a bad place to start.

  3. Strangely on topic for a link but a myth busted from an unlikely source and relevant to that most contested of resources… oil.

    Perhaps something you could look at Derek?

  4. Why not just put a link in at the foot of the article, Derek?

  5. Not sure that I follow Patrick’s logic in an independent Scotland *either* exploiting North Sea oil *or* building a sustainable renewable energy infrastructure. They are not mutually exclusive. One can lead to the other over time.

    I do see the need for a long term plan for North Sea oil exploration and extraction. It needn’t be a free-for-all sprint race. Hopefully, we can all agree that the management of this resource (and the growing renewables industry) is best overseen by the Scottish Parliament.

  6. lastchancetoshine

    Derek any chanceyou could get an experienced broadcast engineer on board? I’m sure there’s some out there owe you a wee favour. That constant ringing, verging on feedback makes this quite a hard listen, I imagine it’s a pain in the hall as well and it’s easy fixed at source. Sorry for writing this here , I can’t work out how to ask directly. fell free to delete this .

    Otherwise tip top, interesting conversation, keep it up!

  7. Enjoyed the interview. I think Patrick has shown that small parties with strong representatives can have influence beyond actual numbers. Perhaps in a new Scotland with arrangements for cross party co-operation there would be an even greater influence? I am looking towards a constitutional framework which does not allow a Westminster-style dominance of party machines which can exert enormous control over individual members by means of patronage etc.

    Anyway that’s for another time. Keep up the broadcasts, Derek.

  8. Enjoyed the interview Derek, and especially the wee discussion while waiting for Patrick to turn up. Refreshing to hear a politician in relaxed conversation, without the frantic need to avoid saying anything that could be spun out of context. I wish more (all!) interviews were conducted in this manner, thanks to both of you.

  9. I think you are blazing a trail here for the future of Scottish broadcasting.
    Intelligent, honest debate on the real issues of the day, on demand and accessible ……..

    I look forward to this quality of output coming to Scottish screens /airwaves after 18th September….

    I also expect to see Mr Harvie playing a significant role in Scottish government for many years to come…..More politicians of his calibre are badly needed to work together to restore humanity to politics and keep Scottish people engaged in shaping the new Scotland…

  10. Drew Campbell

    Pat Harvie is one of the YES campaign’s greatest assets – an independent voice on Independence, motivated by real democratic values.

    I believe we are going to win, and I believe the Greens are going to be even more important in the New Scotland that all of us will be working to build. I think – hope, believe – we’ll see a huge realignment in Scottish politics, some of it before a 2016 election because Yes will shatter the Scottish Labour Party to pieces. A New Left party will develop, perhaps an alliance of Labour for Independence stalwarts with people from the SSP and other previously unaligned activists. Scottish Labour will most likely morph into some form of Social Democratic Party dominated by bug, angry beasts returning from Westminster. Perhaps something healthier will emege from that quarter but more likely they will descend into endless recriminations and vicious backstabbing. I certainly hope so.

    Into that gap we could also see a new right-of-centre Scottish Party, encompassing the likes of Murdo Fraser, Charlie Kennedy and, er, Danny Alexander. Not a fan of this stripe of politics, but it deserves to be represented and I would not underestimate the focus and experience they could muster or how they could become a genuine force in Scottish politics.

    The SNP will most probably sail to victory on the goodwill that would follow a Yes vote, but there are internal tensions that suggest the National Party may well begin to fracture. I’d contend that’s a good thing – they are an alliance who will have achieved their ultimate goal and once that is consolidated following a first elected Independent Parliament. It might be healthier for Scottish politics if it did splinter. That’s no slight on the SNP. I have worked with many of the members in this campaign (and others) over the years, and if Yes happens they will be remembered in history as a group of committed patriots who acted with intelligence and integrity to deliver a renewed nation. I salute them, whatever the result.

    The Greens, however, are going to grow in importance. Scotland’s oil based economy could lead us down a very dodgy path, with undue influence from the petro-chemical. The Greens, especially led by someone with the talent of Patrick Harvie, could be the most crucial voice in the mix that emerges – consistent, radical and sane.

    , but also a New Right – more centrist and less

  11. Patrick doesn’t need to worry about the West Coast. The mass of oil yet to be extracted, despite the rhetoric, is to the west of Shetland.

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