Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion and the Green party's only representative in the House of Commons, was challenged on Twitter a few hours ago on why she had voted against Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland on Monday night. Perhaps surprisingly, she didn't attempt to make the case that FFA would somehow be bad for her own constituents, but instead indicated that she was consciously voting in line with the views of her colleagues in the Scottish Green Party. I've since seen two people who previously intended to campaign for SNP supporters to vote Green on the list say that they will no longer do so.
That's just a straw in the wind, but my guess is that they won't be alone. If so, the Greens may have just undermined a key part of their own strategy for next year's election. We've seen fairly clear indications in recent weeks that they intend to woo SNP supporters by making some fantastical claims about how the AMS voting system can supposedly be "hacked" by voting Green on the list. A number of us have been trying to explain why listening to those claims would be horrendously dangerous for the cause of independence, and how "tactical voting on the list" is a contradiction in terms that could directly bring about an anti-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament. But that's a very complicated argument to make, and thankfully the Greens have just supplied us with a much simpler one - there's not an awful lot of point in trying to "hack" the system if the aim of the exercise is to elect Green MSPs who are not on the same page as you on the constitutional question.
Now, to be fair, it's perfectly possible to oppose Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland within the UK while remaining in favour of full sovereign independence when the opportunity next arises, and that appears to be the Greens' position. But this episode does clearly demonstrate the limits to the idea that we are all part of a cohesive "movement", and that switching votes back and forth between different component parts of that movement can never dilute the impact of your voice on the constitutional issue.