There are many words to describe Patrick Harvie but ‘clinician’ certainly isn’t one of them. Yet his trademark arrogance was out on display this weekend when the co-leader of the Scottish Greens deigned to sully himself with a round of media interviews. Appearing on BBC Scotland, Harvie was asked about the decision of NHS Scotland to pause the use of puberty blockers on children, following the publication of the Cass report.

That decision has prompted an outcry from members of Harvie’s band of eco-zealots, with fellow Green MSP Ross Greer describing the review as ‘a straight up transphobic and conservative document.’ Harvie was asked three times by the BBC whether he agreed with these comments, and whether he accepted the findings of the report, or even believed it was a ‘valid scientific document.’ The exchange went thus:

Interviewer: ‘Do you accept that the Cass report is a valid scientific document, a valid piece of research?’

PH: ‘I’ve seen far too many criticisms of it so far to be able to say that…’

Interviewer: ‘So no?’

PH: ‘There will be a ministerial statement next week about what happens and I want to be really, really clear that the decision was made last week was not a government decision. It was made by individual clinicians, and if they need more evidence that it is best practice around the world, and has been the case for a long time till it can continue, then we need to work with them to make sure that our evidence is there.’

For a party which likes to bleat on about ‘following the science’ on Covid and climate change, it’s just a shame that the Greens can’t do the same when it comes to children’s welfare…

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