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The partnership agreement between the Nationalists and the nationalists who call themselves Greens was inked last week but there was no vellum, no pomp — and no wonder. Sold as a great innovation in the operation of government in Scotland, it is in fact a tawdry treaty planned, drafted, agreed and signed for one purpose only: meeting the present political needs of the First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon has never excelled as a minister but as a backroom plotter she is second to none. There is a delicious villainy to what she has done and as she detailed the scheme on Friday afternoon, her oblivious prey on either side of her, I am certain I detected a Machiavellian twinkle in her eye. Her snare could not have been more obvious if it had the word ‘trap’ beside it in flashing neon lights, and still they leapt right into it.
The Scottish Greens believe they have joined a government. They have actually just undergone a hostile takeover. Not a permanent one, for they will be dropped when they are no longer needed and all the baggage from their time in government will crash down on their heads swiftly thereafter. They might protest that they got red lines written into the agreement but there is not one of them that will have pained Sturgeon to concede. Who cares what Ross Greer thinks about private schools? Given how many on the SNP benches attended one, the party will be only too happy to let the Greens have that issue.