Friday 27 August 2021
For people who wanted to change the world quite so much, the Greens are a remarkably cheap date when it comes to nitty-gritty politics.
The first ever Green member of Durham County Council is Jonathan Elmer, who is also their National Spokesperson for the Natural World. His committee assignments are broadly as one would expect. In return for casting the decisive vote for the new administration at County Hall, the first change there in more than a century, he seems to have asked for little or nothing more than that the Leader should not be a Conservative. But he must have known that that would in any case have been unsaleable to several Independents.
In Scotland, the Greens could have insisted that all seven of their MSPs would be Ministers, with both of their Co-Leaders in the Cabinet. But they have come nowhere near that, although, as I predicted, both Alex Salmond and George Galloway are going in for the kill on road-building, on new oil and gas exploration, on fisheries, on gender self-identification, and on explicit sex education for small children. In the areas most affected by the first three, Salmond, at least, has a history of electoral success. Yet the Greens have denied themselves the positions from which they could have answered him and Galloway with the full authority and resources that they might have demanded.
All eyes are on Annalena Baerbock. This time next month, she could have it all. But she won't. Don't ask, don't get.