Scottish Government stays tight-lipped on Trump relations

Despite recent call for action by Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Government avoids commenting on Scotland’s relationship with the United States under Donald Trump

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT has reaffirmed its opposition to prejudice and hate crime, saying “they will never be tolerated in Scotland”, but has avoided commenting specifically on the issues raised by Patrick Harvie in his recent call for Scotland to do more in opposing the far right and the administration of Donald Trump.

In a response to Scottish Greens co-convener Harvie’s public letter to Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson last week, covered in detail by CommonSpace yesterday, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government told CommonSpace: “Prejudice and hate crime will never be tolerated in Scotland – that is a core value shared across Scottish society, and a message that we will always repeat on the global stage.

“Prejudice and hate crime will never be tolerated in Scotland – that is a core value shared across Scottish society, and a message that we will always repeat on the global stage.” Scottish Government spokesperson

“We are taking forward an ambitious programme of work to tackle the underlying causes and conditions that allow hatred and intolerance to flourish.

“An independent review of hate crime legislation is already underway, with a remit to consider if new categories of hate crime, not currently legislated for, need to be created.

“We look forward to considering those recommendations and ensuring we have the right protection in place to tackle hate crime wherever and whenever it happens.

“We are always happy to engage in dialogue about what more can be done to promote tolerance, respect and tackle discrimination in any form." Scottish Government spokesperson

“Beyond that, we are always happy to engage in dialogue about what more can be done to promote tolerance, respect and tackle discrimination in any form."

While the statement does not contradict or refuse any of the suggestions made by Harvie in his public letter, the Scottish Government statement avoided any mention of Trump, the far right or recent events in Charlottesville – where 32-year-old anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer was deliberately knocked down and killed – and the subsequent controversies surrounding Confederate monuments and their white supremacist defenders.

In his letter, Harvie argued that “as a country with a longstanding close relationship with the US, we have a responsibility to reconsider how we should conduct that relationship in this new and dangerous context.

“Given the global nature of the various strands of extremist ideology organising now in the US, we must also consider the extent to which this threat may grow here at home.”

Picture courtesy of Michael Vadon

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