25 November 2008

Green Team

Via James, we learn that Eleanor Scott, former MSP for Highlands & Islands will be the Greens' Co-Convener, along with Patrick Harvie.

As I outlined previously, Scott would not have been my first choice - that would have been Maggie Chapman - and it does give off a slight 'back to the future' approach that I wouldn't expect of them. Having said that, she does provide a balance to Harvie, besides the obvious gender balance, insofar as he represents an urban part of the world, where her patch is more rural; he is in the Central Belt, whereas she was the only female candidate from outside it; he has a youth and dynamism about him, while she is an experienced campaigner in the Party. So whatever the individual merits of the female Co-Convener candidates, Scott, on reflection, balances the Green ticket well.

Nevertheless, with Patrick Harvie effectively acting as Leader, certainly in terms of his prominence at Holyrood (compared to Robin Harper, his predecessor), it will be a challenge to Scott to have an impact with the general public. Certainly Alison Johnstone was not successful at doing this, and Shiona Baird had some prominence, but was eclipsed by Robin Harper and relied on her place at Holyrood to a degree. Eleanor Scott has a tough job on her hands and the Greens may find themselves sleepwalking into a single Leader structure. That wouldn't be the worst thing for them but, like their English and Welsh colleagues, they need to reflect fully on the matter.

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