I KNOW lockdown has been a wee bit harsh on a lot of folk, but a fair few in the media and politics seem to have their brains currently melting out of their ears over the SNP-Green deal.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Patrick Harvie has cloven hoofs, and Lorna Slater a tail and horns given the utter pearl-clutching over-the-top hyperventilating nonsense we’re hearing. It seems to be the most dangerous agreement since the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939. Perhaps, the Greens and the SNP will be dividing up Poland this September? I don’t know, but I’m sure some columnist and political has-been can tell us.

The word "embarrassing" doesn’t do justice to the hyperbole and screaming fits. There’s too much guff and bull to put into one column but for starters we had Andrew Neil losing his marbles in the Mail, describing the Greens as "Marxists".

C'mon, rea,ly? Could we maybe have some respect for language and history? Marxist? Last time I checked I didn’t hear the Greens calling for the end of democracy and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross chose to deploy poison instead of wildly over the top fantasy when he accused the Greens of being "anti-family". It’s a homophobic dog whistle and has been for decades. Mr Ross either knows that, which makes him too nasty to lead a mainstream party, or he doesn’t know that, which makes him too stupid to lead a party. He historically opposed gay marriage.

Read more: SNP/Greens? Nothing could be worse than current disaster

Then we’ve got the turgid, dull, broken-record commentators who tell us that it’s all just "student politics". These are the same commentators who, variously, backed the war in Iraq, backed full-fat Brexit, backed austerity – backed just about every stupid or cruel policy that’s ever been cooked up because their horizons stop at the end of their nose and are limited only by their pocket and partisan exceptionalism.

Scottish Tories and their spear-carriers in the press shout about a "coalition of chaos". That snappy wee line might work if the Tories themselves weren’t the lords of chaos. Take a look in the mirror: you’ve got this chap called Boris Johnson running your party, and flapping around in the wind like one of those giant inflatable dummies found outside car dealerships in America.

How can any of this mob have the temerity to use the word "extremist’"about the Greens? Again, if they aren’t foaming at the gob telling us "Trump ain’t so bad" and sneering at equality, they’re thinking up jolly wheezes like proroguing Parliament, or slashing money for the poor. That’s extremist – not wanting to fix an environment that’s collapsing around our ears.

Here’s the problem with this type of commentary by politicians and media pundits: it’s thoroughly self-defeating. When the Greens don’t come and sell your children or install a wind farm in your living room, the screaming froth brigade are going to look like the idiots they are and always have been.

If you’ve ever wondered why there’s so little trust in the media and in politics, this is the main reason. It’s filled with lying nonsense. Criticism is good – more, please, more: subject the SNP to brutal forensic scrutiny; put the Greens on the rack and stretch them over their policies and what they plan to do as part of this pact. But for pity’s sake keep it real. Otherwise journalism and politics are fatally undermined – and journalism and politics happen to both be, you know, pretty important in a functioning democracy.

Nicola Sturgeon on the steps of Bute House after the 20201 election win

Nicola Sturgeon on the steps of Bute House after the 20201 election win

There’s only one thing that’s "studenty", and it’s the kind of pap that’s been peddled by the usual suspects for weeks.

Here’s a few truths about the SNP-Green deal – whether you like it or not, the SNP has played a bit of a blinder. Nicola Sturgeon has completely outflanked the opposition as she’s now unassailable in parliament, unlike her shaky last term. Now, that is bad – as it means more power is sucked up by the SNP. Concentrate on that, oh ye rhetoricians of doom, not your makey-uppy nonsense.

The pact also shows up the SNP’s abysmal record in government. Does it really take co-opting the Greens for the nationalists to get to grips with the environment, equality and economic fairness? If not, Nats, then explain what the hell Alex Salmond and Ms Sturgeon have been doing for the last 14 years? Practising their bridge game?

On the Green side, it leaves the party with nowhere to hide. They’re out of opposition and if they can’t hack it, then they’re done. If they end up as SNP shields providing green cover during COP26 they’ll be banished to history. Good – if the party can’t mature and do a proper job in power, who’d want them anyway?

In terms of public life and Scottish politics, I hope – and this is simply a personal hope so I may well be asking far too much – that we might see the benefits of real cooperation in parliament instead of the usual Punch and Judy idiocy preferred by so much of our commentariat and political class.

Read more: If Greens do join SNP in government, what will it mean for Scottish politics?

Both parties will have to shave off their hard edges. The SNP will have to genuinely address the environment instead of mouthing phoney promises and doing naff all. The Greens will have to compromise on some, until now, comfy principles which were only inviolable in opposition – and crucially learn how to present themselves as a party which creates jobs.

We’ve already seen a spirit of compromise begin. Who’d have thought the likes of Joanna Cherry, for instance, would back a pact with the Greens? Certainly not those vocal types on social media who rally behind her.

We need to scrutinise the hell out of this agreement – but we need to do so in a sane manner. If there’s positives, say so – the public need to know that; if there’s genuine problems, then hammer Ms Sturgeon and Mr Harvie and Ms Slater remorselessly.

The Greens entering government represents change – and guess what? Dyed in the wool conservatives, free market zealots and moral majority types don’t like change. Why? Because until now, they’ve been the ones in charge.

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