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Greens in government?

Life working for the Green Party in Scotland

By James Mackenzie

Green politics in Scotland have come a long way in the last ten years – then, we had no-one elected to anything, and now we’re going into today’s election holding 7 seats out of 129.

The group we got elected last time have proved themselves very capable, even though four
years ago many of them had no idea they were about to become parliamentarians. We’re also the only party to come through the 2003-2007 session without any scandals, which may or may not help us!

What’s more, as many of our European colleagues have been previously, we’re on the brink of a possible role in government. Over the last month the Daily Mail has been alarming its readers with polls that show
the Greens getting up to 11 seats.

I have a love-hate relationship with elections. There’s an intense camaraderie within the team, and even though the public don’t appear to have picked it up yet, it’s certainly very exciting for an insider.
It’s also a particular professional delight when you see a speech you’ve helped write appear as the Press Association’s quote of the day.

I’ve had three so far, ahead of my two Green media colleagues, as it happens.

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However, modern electioneering could have been designed to cause sleep deprivation. The day starts early with radio news – Good Morning Scotland unless we know we’re on Today – followed by the review of the
cuttings and into the day’s action.

It’s a long run through to Newsnight Scotland, which starts at 11am. The opt-out from network Newsnight was a bodged solution, flawed because Scots always miss the last item from London, but their team is
the cream of the crop of Scottish BBC, and they have the best analysis and inside tips. The day’s not even over when they finish at 11.30, though, because some of the papers come online early, before 1am.

All of which means that the long section in the middle, the actual work, is usually done in that curious mix of energy and exhaustion. And if the Mail’s right, it’s not even going to be over on election night. Greens in government in the UK? You heard it here first.