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Today at the march


Today was "Scotland's Climate March" and I was there for a change. In fact, that line would have been one of the witty aspects of the day. It was a tough gig. Especially for someone who worries about apostrophes. And spelling. 'Parisites', 'pollucion' ? Really?

But pedantry to one side, it was a truly rainbow affair for the estimated 5000 souls who braved the grey wet Edinburgh  afternoon. There were socialists of many hue, religious groups from Quaker to Humanist, people who loved trees, polar bears and wildlife in general. Everyone dressed sensibly for the weather and the only drug use was mild painkiller usage to counter dodgy hips from all that walking.  The stewards said 'please' and 'thank you' and were largely the grandparents of the accompanying police.

And then there were the Greens. Probably the most recognised campaigning political party around the whole 'it's global warming and we've got to do something' cadre. And here's the dilemma from the outside. Just when the eye would welcome the sight of a large rank of Green Party activists marching along in well oiled practiced procession; you get the Green Party version. There may well be a single brand ; 'Scottish Greens"; but each branch reserves the right to produce its own unique banner and logoed priority. Perth wanted to bring home the message of economic inequality implicit in climate change and their banner almost said just that. Dundee just wanted to be cool and multi coloured and say 'look at us'.  Stirling, I think , just opted for no banner and matching socks for their men but free choice for every other gender group represented. If, as Alex Salmond is wont to remark; "divided parties don't win elections", there may be difficult times ahead. 

The good book also reminds us, if salt loses its flavour; what use is it? With so many other groups proceeding down the track of salinity; what are the Greens for? One activist remarked to me, "it's great when people copy your ideas". True, but it's not just copy but they are slapping their barcode over yours. 

The Greens also have this deeply pleasant view of opposition as being 'constructive opposing'; "not opposing for the sake of it". I am tending towards the view there aren't too many lawyers in the party. In the Scotland of the SNP, an opposition party which did just want to play bump and run with the government's record could be an attractive electoral prospect for voters.  

But who knows, I walked in the rain from the Meadows to Princess St Gardens, had a number of jolly chats and got wet. Political activism at its toughest for me right now.