SO the Scottish Greens have been in government just a handful of days and there’s yet to be a People’s Soviet declared anywhere in the central belt. Balmoral hasn’t been stormed by Red Guards. There’s been no Battleship Potemkin moment at the Royal Yacht in Leith. Workers haven’t risen up. Grangemouth wasn’t expropriated. The ruling classes weren’t even carted off wholesale to HMP Barlinnie. It’s all most disappointing.

We were promised an eco-marxist state – a full-scale revolution was coming, according to some overheated commentators – yet all we’ve got so far is a rather inauspicious start to the Greens in government. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to even know that Greens were in government.

Politics remains so stubbornly centrist in Scotland that you’d be forgiven for thinking that being co-opted into government has drawn some of the fervour of Green Party leaders. Though that was always going to happen. Being in opposition is easy; being in power means compromise.

Some Green loyalists will feel it unfair to hold the party up to scrutiny so early into its term in government. However, although the Greens have their share of cultish types, as any political movement does, they’re also a bit more accepting of the idea that the leadership has to be pushed and questioned in order for the party to live up to its principles.

Read more: Time to calm down – the Greens aren't going to destroy our way of life

That’s necessary: as the Greens are already becoming identified with the SNP’s failures in government. Greens may have some hokey-cokey – halfway in, halfway out – relationship with Nicola Sturgeon’s administration, but in the public mind, where the SNP fails, the Greens now fail too.

A lot has been made of comparisons between New Zealand Greens and their deal with Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party, and the pact with the SNP which put Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie in ministerial seats. There’s a big difference though, and it’s one that’s likely to hurt the Scottish Greens. New Zealand’s Greens got onboard with a brand new government. Mr Harvie and Ms Slater are now part of a tired Government that’s short of ideas. There’s understandably lots of frustration across the nation with an SNP Government that’s been in power 14 years. Rather than stealing some of the gloss from a new administration, Scottish Greens have to suck up the fact that they’re now identified with the old status quo.

The hits are already mounting. First, there’s the SNP’s recent programme for government (PfG). It’s being kind to call this package of bills "tepid". It’s not a wicked set of legislation – far from it, the spirit of the PfG is pretty decent. But it doesn’t do much. "Radical" isn’t a word you’d apply. Yet isn’t "radical" what the Greens are supposed to be? The PfG may be the work of Nicola Sturgeon, but now the Greens are in government it’s also got the imprimatur of Mr Harvie and Ms Slater.

The biggest problem for the Greens from the PfG was the downgrading of plans for a Scottish publicly-owned not-for-profit state energy company. The idea was first floated by Ms Sturgeon in 2017 when she said that “energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland – renewable, of course – and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible”.

Sounded great, right? The Greens pressed Ms Sturgeon earlier this year to speed up the plan. However, the public energy company was absent from the PfG, which doesn’t look great for the Greens now they’re in government. The plan currently is to press ahead with a watered-down public energy "agency". Metaphorically, less an army, more a community support officer.

Of course, this opened up a flank not just for opposition parties to attack the SNP but also the Greens for abandoning their principles and having no real influence on Ms Sturgeon. Who didn’t see that coming? It’s not like this wasn’t predicted. The Greens were always going to be used as a convenient shield by the consummate political operator First Minister as COP26 approached. What better way to greenwash yourself than by cynically making the Greens your best friends?

Ironically, SNP members kicked up a fuss about the downgrading of the public energy company at their party conference this weekend, making it look as if the nationalists not the Greens care more about the environment.

Then we had anger that a crofting reform bill wasn’t in the PfG, despite SNP promises that this traditional way of life would be protected. You can’t get much greener in the public mind than crofting – so again, the Greens get the blowback.

The Machrihanish renewables firm which was heralded as bringing a revolution in green jobs to Scotland has gone into administration. Union leaders are now describing claims of green jobs as a "myth". Clearly, this historic cock-up isn’t the fault of the Green Party – but if you’re sitting in office when bad news comes, you’ve got to carry the can, otherwise what’s the point?

Read more: What New Zealand teaches us about Scotland's SNP-Green deal

Greens were also seen to backtrack on their rather bizarre opposition to SNP vaccine passports. The party was previously against passports but then voted for them now they're in government. Again, that’s the concept of compromise working – and compromise is a good thing – but the Greens did a woeful job of explaining their u-turn.

What’s noticeable is that other Green members – those not in government – are now stretching their wings more, at least from the public’s perspective. Green MSP Maggie Chapman has been in the news a lot - leading opposition against plans to criminalise protest outside Holyrood (which her party then later swung behind), and suggesting workers and passengers should be on Scotrail's board. It seems as Green leaders find themselves having to compromise in power, the party’s radical edge may stay in relatively good health among those members not in government.

Scotland, with our Punch and Judy politics, isn’t very used to political compromise. So far though the only compromise seems to be from the Greens. It might be nice to see the nationalists give a little too. Otherwise the Greens in government could compromise to the point of self-destruction. There’s only so much those other Greens not in government can do to keep the public believing the party really remains radical.

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