First days as a new Green MSP

If we are truthful there is an air of unreality about election campaigns. Alison JohnstoneWe work really hard as part of a big team for months.  In the last few days we get very little sleep as we check and re-check every detail.  Then, to cap it all, once the polls have closed, we spend all night at a cavernous counting hall, with emotions ebbing and flowing as ballot papers pile up.

And that is just the start! As soon as I knew was elected Green MSP I recognised that the pace would not let up.  Over the weekend I have been overwhelmed by messages of support and congratulations.  And I have tried to thank everyone who helped with the campaign personally – there are many of you so let me say it once again: thanks!

There are practical things too.  My “new MSPs pack” arrived with impressive efficiency on Saturday and I was in Parliament by Monday.  Even though I know the place well, working with Robin for so long, it does feel different going in as an MSP.

On Tuesday I was in at my Council office as I remain elected as Green councillor for Meadows and Morningside Ward.  People in the area elected me for a five year term and I aim to see that commitment through while working hard with Greens in the Edinburgh Branch, one of whom I hope will succeed me in the council elections of 2012.  In the meantime, I shall not be taking my councillors’ salary.

And today (Wednesday 11 May) is formally when I became an MSP, with the affirmation process and then straight onto the election of a Presiding Officer.  Tricia Marwick of the SNP was elected and that is the first time that the Presiding Officer and First Minister have been from the same party.  The dynamics of parliament may be interesting.

There’s some practical details to sort out: staffing, accommodation and the rest.  But as the dust settles on a volcanic election I aim to be blogging regularly here on what I and fellow MSP Patrick Harvie will be doing to make Scotland both greener and fairer.