by Colin Campbell
THE rosiest night ever for the Green Party in the Highlands was the election for the first time of a Green Party candidate to Highland Council in the 1980s.
He may now be long forgotten now but Roger Winter’s success sparked scenes of jubilant celebration at the Inverness election count among his sizeable number of supporters present. I was there to witness it and it was undoubtedly the highlight of an an otherwise fairly humdrum declaration of the winners.
Elevation to Highland Council is not the summit of political achievement. But at the time it seemed a genuine breakthrough by a fledgling party which attracted the sympathy of many for their vast acreage of good environmental intentions.
In truth, Mr Winter, who a few older journalists will still remember with some fondness for his news-making capacity, did not turn out to be the ideal pioneering Green candidate.
He was either naturally eccentric or his widely praised success went to his head, it was never clear which.
He was combative and confrontational, excessively so, and as I recall on more than one occasion had to be escorted from the council chamber by perplexed council staff after his fiery rhetoric came close to causing fisticuffs with some other council members, and that would definitely have been a first.
He served one term and then disappeared without trace. I hope he’s still around somewhere and is now contentedly and rather more calmly tending his garden.
Mr Winter, despite his flaws, was looked on with favour as a pioneer for the Greens in the Highlands. His successors may be viewed rather differently.
In terms of political organisation and electoral support they have risen.
But in terms of being a party that enjoyed widespread favourability even among those who don’t vote for them it’s been downhill all the way.
This reached its nadir this week when for some utterly inexplicable reason their pipsqueak leader Patrick Harvie decided to step way out of line at Holyrood and make unpleasant remarks about the Duke of Edinburgh at a special session convened as a tribute to him.
His snide and sneering contribution three weeks before the Scottish elections made no sense whatever.
Those who think like he does will vote for one of the nationalist parties anyway. That’s the natural base for those who despise the Royal family, dislike the English, and pretty much hate Britain to the core.
Those inclined to support the Green Party are not liable to share any of these sentiments, and could well have been alienated by Harvie’s display of rancorous idiocy.
A leaflet from the Greens arrived with me on Monday, the day of Harvie’s outburst.
It cited a few of their alleged achievements at Holyrood but inevitably failed to mention their most significant role there, namely being lickspittle sycophants and servants of the SNP. Although at election time they may go quiet on the issue, they support the nationalists in their reckless pursuit of independence, and could well hold the balance of power after May 6. It’s not much of a balancing act however, as they will dutifully tip over as required in line with the SNP.
A vote for the Greens, despite the environmental commitments they try and impress on voters, effectively is a vote for the SNP.
Patrick Harvie ably demonstrated his contempt this week for the Royal family, in a week when the Queen will be in deepest mourning.
The leader of the Greens is the ugly, scrunched up face of anti-British nationalists. Some of those who are the underlings of this weaselly character are in the same category.
The Greens can no longer be viewed as a hale and hearty party abundant with natural good intentions, as they were back in the days of good old Roger Winter.
They have their own malign agenda to tear Britain apart. If that were ever to happen, ruined and bankrupt, we might end up being more reliant on home grown vegetables then we’d wish.