Divided loyalties

Political differences get put aside this weekend as an older kind of rivalry comes to the fore. The first Hearts v Hibs Scottish cup final for over a century has captured the capital.

People often assume that, as Greens, we are inherently Hibs supporters. And with councillors in Leith (Chas Booth) and Leith Walk (Maggie Chapman) there are certainly strong affinities to the Easter Road side. But, then, our councillor for Inverleith, Nigel Bagshaw is a Hearts season ticket holder; while I myself live within chanting distance of Tynecastle and my children have gravitated towards Hearts strips as they get immersed in football. And the press officer for Green MSP, Alison Johnstone, Jason Rose has already featured in the Evening News as his great grandfather scored for Hearts in the 1896 final.

So the Greens are split too! One thing on which we are all united is the hope that the cup final is a peaceful, celebratory occasion. There is every reason to expect so. I’ve put up plenty of “Vote Green” posters on Gorgie Road in my time, always to good-natured jibes from Hearts fans. I have even handed out special maroon-coloured leaflets saying “Even Jambos can vote Green”, again with a good-humoured response. I am not sure I would relish the same task in parts of Glasgow, where rivalry too often spills into something much nastier.

As for this Saturday I predict a roller-coaster 4-4 draw after extra time; an 11-11 stalemate after penalties; and a recognition that a replay is needed back at Murrayfield.