Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

Greens attack 'casino capitalism'

Patrick Harvie
The Scottish Greens have seen a rise in membership of 7%

The "excesses of casino capitalism" were attacked by Patrick Harvie, the co-leader of the Scottish Green Party.

At the party's weekend conference in Dumfries, the Glasgow MSP took aim at the four main parties.

He said global market failures, climate change and inequality means the world is changing and countries need to adopt green thinking to prosper.

Donald Trump's controversial plans for a new tourist and golf resort north of Aberdeen were also part of the agenda.

Mr Harvie urged delegates to work for a society which "values the wellbeing of all people more highly than the material wealth of the richest few".

He said: "For years Greens have argued that the market-dominated economic policy of the old parties could only end in failure."

And he added: "Over the course of this year we've seen that failure played out in appalling fashion. It has been a failure of the market, but also a failure of politicians who have supported, celebrated, and even courted the excesses of casino capitalism.

"Labour, Tory, SNP and Lib Dems alike have all spent years making speeches about supporting the risk takers - until those risks failed to pay off and the taxpayer was landed with a bill of historic proportions."

'Mainstream issues'

Mr Harvie also said: "The Green movement stands as a challenge to all those parties, opposing the idea that vast sums of taxpayers' money must be committed to re-establish the same failed economic model, which left half the world in poverty and precious natural resources plundered or squandered."

The weekend-long conference - which has the theme Green - the Colour of Money - was also to hear from former Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Ford, who chaired the council committee that originally rejected US tycoon Donald Trump's plans for a golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

The application was later called in by the Scottish government and approved.

Mr Ford has now joined the Green Party - which claims to have enjoyed a 7% increase in its membership in the last year, to give it more than 1,000 members.

Mr Harvie said: "There has been a steady increase in interest in the Scottish Green Party, its work, and what it stands for in recent years, as well as a mainstreaming of green issues, and this is manifesting itself in a corresponding increase in the membership of our party."

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