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The Gardening Section

When the history of the last decade in Scotland is written, the role played by the Scottish Green Party will come in for special criticism. I had never really thought much about the Green Party. While serving around the world in the Army, I had formed a hazy impression of them as well-meaning eco-eccentrics, the recipients of the none-of-the-above vote at elections and recently led by Caroline Lucas, who seemed to punch above her weight, and occasionally say something sensible on Question Time

It was only when I moved back to Scotland that I realised that the Scottish Greens were something entirely different, and only very tenuously connected to their English counterparts. In fact, it took an old friend of mine who has stood with repeated, and so far unfulfilled, optimism as a Green Party candidate in the South of England to explain the difference. 

“You see”, he said, “You and I are Limes. We care passionately about conserving the environment and we are green on the outside and green all the way through. That lot in Scotland are Watermelons, green on the skin and red to the core.” 

That definition helps to understand everything about ‘the SNP’s gardening section’ as we in the Alliance4Unity like to call them. Somewhere along the line, probably after the collapse of the Soviet Union made Marxism go out of fashion, extreme Leftists realised that pushing the doctrine of Marx and his foxhunting friend Engels was not going to get them anywhere. Instead they rediscovered the theories of the inciter of the French Revolution a century earlier, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

This opened up an agenda that contained a heady mixture of land reform and romantic back-to-nature ideas of returning Scotland to its pre-agrarian state. It is a deeply misanthropic philosophy. The Greens would like to see shepherds driven off the hills along with their sheep and replaced with forests, replete with wolves.

The SNP and the Greens became natural bedfellows as the SNP are also misanthropic, unless you are a racially pure Scot and support ‘independence’, that is. The Greens, for opportunistic reasons, also supported separatism and the SNP were delighted about this as they were both then able to game the electoral system, with the SNP focusing on the constituency seats and the Greens winning seats off the List in an unofficial separatist alliance. Then lo, in 2016, the Scottish Greens found themselves kingmakers and in coalition with the minority SNP government.

Since then, The Gardening Section has greedily extracted concessions from the SNP in return for supporting their legislation, and in doing so has forced it to give up any pretence of being ‘Tartan Tories’, with the notable exception of Fergus Ewing, who looks increasingly out of place. And just as the SNP has ‘natified’ the civil service, the gardeners have converted the RSPB to an increasingly anti-farmer stance. 

During all this time, Scotland’s countryside has suffered. Farmers have faced financial difficulties as the food processors’ and retailers’ power has been concentrated in the hands of quasi-monopolists.

Wild salmon have disappeared from our rivers, while poorly regulated salmon farms have spread disease. The red squirrel has become extinct across much of Scotland as the pox-bearing grey squirrel has spread.

Wading birds, like the curlew, have also declined rapidly, as the heather moorland where they breed has been covered in trees, and badgers and other predators have proliferated unchecked. 

Deer have been systematically massacred and left to rot on the hill to make way for yet more trees. Yet The Gardening Section has turned a blind eye to these problems, and instead, pursued a narrow vendetta against grouse shooting, seemingly purely to perpetuate the class war.

The countryside is currently braced to see what red meat the SNP is preparing to throw the Greens to help them get Humza Yousaf’s hated Hate Crimes Bill through Parliament. 

As a farmer, I have watched with deepening gloom as this unholy separatist alliance has ridden roughshod over rural interests, ignoring the advice given to them by organisations like the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association. And my heart soared when I heard George Galloway say that we will ‘obliterate The Gardening Section at the polls.’ 

May can’t come soon enough.

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Written by Jamie Blackett

Jamie Blackett farms in Galloway and is the author of Red Rag to a Bull, Rural Life in an Urban Age (Quiller). Follow him on Twitter: @Jamie_Blackett

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