As the Scottish elections draw near, local Green activists in Edinburgh are taking their message to the lion’s den.
At Hearts’ next home game, against St Mirren, this Saturday (19 March) the Greens have prepared special “Even Jambos are Voting Green” leaflets to hand out to fans. But, in a concession to supporters’ tastes, the Greens have ditched their normal colour scheme to issue their leaflets in maroon.
Local Green campaigner, Gavin Corbett, said: “I live within earshot of Tynecastle and over the years I’ve put up many Vote Green posters along Gorgie Road, with good-natured jibes from Hearts supporters thrown in. And I’ve always responded with “Even Jambos can vote Green!” So, I thought, why not test the water a bit further?”
Hearts season-ticket holder, Nigel Bagshaw, backed the move, saying: “I’ve been voting Green for a few years now. It’s not an instinctive vote for me. But I like what the Greens say about public services, supporting community action and securing a future for my kids. So I’m happy to remove my maroon-tinted spectacles at election time.”
Top Green candidate, Alison Johnstone, is bidding to replace retiring MSP, Robin Harper, at Holyrood. She added: “Football supporters are renowned for their banter. There’s been a lot of negative publicity about football tribalism following the last Old Firm game. Here in Edinburgh I know we can combine intense local rivalry with good humour.
“Today’s event is light-hearted, of course. But there’s a serious point behind it too. As I have been campaigning over the last year I’ve found more and more people who are turned off by politics and disillusioned with the narrow choices presented by the so-called main parties. I’ve spoken to voters who never, in a month of Sundays, would describe themselves as Green, yet who find what we stand for chimes with what they too believe.
“After all, if Jambos like Nigel can vote Green, anyone can – with their second vote, this May.”