Maggie Chapman – former co-convener of the Scottish Green Party and a long-term contributor to Bright Green was elected as an MSP for the North East region in the 2021 elections. We are republishing her acceptance speech in full below.

Good evening everyone.

I’d like to begin by thanking all the staff who’ve worked so hard over the last three days to get us all safely to this point: polling place staff, vote counters, and those who’ve been cleaning up after us as we wait, and all others involved across all local authorities in the Region.

Thanks too, to the amazing North East Greens campaign team – candidates, volunteers and Jack, our campaign staff member … you’ve all done us proud. And, thanks to Peter, my rock. I would not be here without you. And, it’s your birthday tomorrow, so happy birthday my love.

I’d like to pay a special tribute to someone who would have loved to see today. 5 years ago, in the NE Green campaign, Joe Brown led our campaign team. He died in January, and I dedicate this green win to his memory, and his love of siskins.

One of my first political memories is of the assassination of the great South African liberation leader Chris Hani. I mind his words this evening: “what is important is the continuation of the struggle… what we do for social upliftment of the working masses of our country”.

It is a huge honour to be elected as a Green in the North East – a region dominated by an energy industry that we need to transform. I am very proud of the positive and hope-filled campaign we ran. And I’m humbled to be given the opportunity to work to deliver a green Just Transition in what should be the economic powerhouse of Scotland’s new economy – an economy motivated by care and compassion, rather than one motivated by profit. The Green Just Transition will create good jobs, in renewables, public transport, digital and care … jobs that make the world better, whilst helping us tackle the climate emergency. That is our struggle. It is one I embrace.

Scotland has spoken decisively – there is a clear majority for Scotland to determine its own future. And no one will stand in the way of our democratic rights.

And, a word to those who thought that beating up on trans people would be an easy ticket into Parliament … the people of the North East … indeed, the people of Scotland, have rejected you. It is time you left politics. For good.

So, huge thanks to all those who put their faith and trust in the Greens … who are looking to us to work with others to create a better Scotland. A green, more equal, fairer, and independent, Scotland.

I will finish with the words of another hero of mine, John Maclean: “I have been fighting and will fight for an absolute reconstruction of society for the benefit of all.”

Thank you.

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