Patrick Harvie: People stop me in the street and say well done for my speech to King Charles

PATRICK Harvie has said those who attacked him with “abhorrent abuse” after his message of condolences to King Charles should “come up”.

Viewers were divided after the speech, in which he detailed Queen Elizabeth’s progress over her 70-year reign. Some called Harvie an “embarrassment,” while others praised him for “speaking the truth to those in power.”

“I was stopped by people on the street and said: Well done”

Speaking to The National, Harvie seemed unfazed by the comments as he explained that he had reacted differently than people “in the real world”.

He said: “Pretty much everyone who has spoken to me in the real world has been polite and said they enjoyed the speech. I had several people in the chamber afterwards who came up to me and praised her.

“And I got stopped by people on the street and said, ‘Well done.

“I think social media acts like an echo chamber and amplifies a lot of polarized reactions, but I also think it allows people to hear the things they want to hear.

“People who have already made a decision that they will be hostile, whether they are the Greens or people who are not big fans of the monarchy in general, people who have made a decision to be hostile will become hear the things she wants to hear.

“I’ve seen people on social media and some have emailed me saying how dare I not offer condolences when I’ve been very explicit. You know I used those words.”

Indeed, Harvie sent condolences on behalf of the Scottish Greens to “her son, his entire family and all those whose lives have touched her” during the September 12 motion.

Controversy over “God save the King”

The leader of the Scottish Greens added that he was also criticized online for not saying “God save the King” at the end of his speech, pointing out that he is not religious.

“Regardless of what I think of the monarchy, I would not pretend to believe in any religion,” he added.

“I’d like to think that most people who are genuinely religious don’t want someone having to pretend to be religious out of social embarrassment.

“There are some people who just react in such an extreme way, and social media often makes that worse. Some of the people who accuse me of being disrespectful use some pretty obnoxious, offensive language themselves, so quite frankly, some of them just need to grow up a bit.”

Harvie demands space to discuss monarchy

In the days after the Queen’s death, King Charles was proclaimed monarch at ceremonies across Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Argus: Protesters in Edinburgh held up a white paper to demonstrate against a crackdown on anti-monarchy sentiment while the Queen's coffin lay in St Giles CathedralProtesters in Edinburgh held up a white paper to protest a crackdown on anti-monarchy sentiment while the Queen’s coffin lay in St Giles Cathedral

Several anti-monarchy protesters were subsequently arrested and charged, while Police Scotland came under fire for their handling of dissent at the event and in the days that followed.

Harvie, who believes the post-independence Scottish public should elect their head of state, said the Queen’s death has raised “important questions” for those who favor a republic, they say amid national mourning.

He explained: “It should absolutely be sympathy for someone who has lost a loved one, but it shouldn’t be that in this immediate transition to a new hereditary monarch, a new person becoming king, there just isn’t room for it should not be such that there is no room to discuss it, no room for the ability to even speak out against it.

“Even if that opposition is a minority view in our society, and I don’t know, that has never been tested in a vote, but even if it is a minority view, it is allowed to be expressed and it should be expressed respectfully. I think we’ve always tried that.

“I think we will continue to find the balance there.

“And there’s another round of all this sweeping reporting next year with the coronation, which I think will be more important in showing that our response to that is about the institution rather than a person who has sadly died.”

The National asked Harvie if he thought there was a confounding between the Queen’s death and King Charles’ quick accession to the throne after Labor leader Keir Starmer told protesters to be “respectful” during the mourning period.

The Argus: King Charles was proclaimed the new monarch at ceremonies in Edinburgh and across the UKKing Charles was proclaimed the new monarch at ceremonies in Edinburgh and across Britain

He said: “It’s part of the purpose, of course, to have a handover in that way. They do it in a moment of shock and sadness, and people who had strong feelings of affection for the Queen are in that mood.

“The immediate handover in this context means, in part, closing the potential for discussion and debate about it.

“That’s part of the purpose and there are those who do that, as I said in the speech, others who value consistency and consistency and tradition and therefore see the monarchy as a successful institution.

“I think human progress must continue, and being too attached to consistency and tradition is unhelpful.”

The Tories’ plan for energy bills

Harvie also expressed concern about the UK Government’s energy plan, which was announced hours before the Queen’s death.

He said it should have been “urgent” to get support ahead of winter.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg did not back the budget support, opting instead to extend oil and gas licenses and lift the ban on fracking.

He added: “I absolutely respect people’s need to express their grief, those who feel it that way, that’s right for them.

“Even if this were an elected head of state, if they died in office, you would expect a degree of national mourning, you would expect a degree of the country to pause to breathe something this shocking, but so would you.” expect to continue important government actions in light of an emergency situation.” Patrick Harvie: People stop me in the street and say well done for my speech to King Charles

Fry Electronics Team

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