Thanks to Morag (Rolfe) for pointing me in the direction of a fan letter from someone calling themselves Green Pedant -
"James Kelly is totally deluded. He is the most tribal SNP supporter I have met. He is totally opposed to the Greens/RISE even existing. What he says about voting for the Greens being dangerous is just bollocks. He says that tactical voting doesn’t work, but then screams at any Green voter that they have to vote tactically for the SNP. He is just a hypocrite.
Wings has taken the sensible position, that the D’Hondt system doesn’t work tactically but that doesn’t mean that voting for the Greens is wrong, it just means it isn’t a magic, vote rigging silver bullet. Wings first article showed that increased Green vote never reduced the total number of Pro-Yes MSPs.
James Kelly thinks that all Greens/RISE members are evil vote splitters and shouldn’t exist. Which isn’t impartial it is just tribal. What happened to Yes movement solidarity?"
Do I hate the Greens? Do I think they shouldn't exist? If so, I behaved somewhat out of character in the run-up to the 2012 local elections when I tried to persuade people to use their lower preferences for the Greens and other pro-independence parties, and was in a state of despair at the realisation that many people simply didn't understand how the voting system worked and had convinced themselves that a lower preference for the Greens would somehow "dilute" their first preference vote for the SNP. But that's the thing - the STV system used for local elections lends itself to "solidarity". The AMS system used for the Scottish Parliament doesn't. A vote for the Greens on the Holyrood regional list isn't a second preference vote, it's a first preference vote. It's a vote against the SNP as much as it is a vote against the unionist parties.
I've no idea whether Green Pedant actually has "met" me in a literal sense - it seems unlikely, because I don't really move in political circles (unless it was at the Common Space launch party, or the Political Innovation conference about a billion years ago). But if I am the most tribal SNP supporter he's ever met, he needs to get out more. I've only been a party member for eleven months.
If I have any minor problem with the Greens at all, it's that one of their candidates for next year's Scottish Parliament election once subjected to me to mindless online abuse. It ranged from the pathetic ("Wings-loving tube", "Cybernat") to the deeply offensive ("misogynist", "you obviously don't care for women very much"). If a parliamentary candidate is trying to appeal to "Yes solidarity" and to win hearts and minds for his party, it might be best to refrain from throwing around nasty personal insults of that sort, especially without a shred of justification. And I'm scarcely the only victim of that particular individual. But my working assumption has always been that James Mackenzie is just a single bad apple (although admittedly he did work at a very senior level in the party). If I really thought it was rational to vote "tactically" for the Greens on the list, that incident wouldn't be enough to put me off - unless I was voting in the region where Mackenzie is standing, but from memory that's the Lothians, and I'm in Central Scotland.
And of course it's simply untrue to say that I've ever called the Greens "vote-splitters", or said (let alone "screamed") that Greens should vote tactically for the SNP. On the contrary, I've positively encouraged people to vote Green, as long as the Greens are their favourite party. It's simply tactical voting on the list (for the Greens or for any other party) that I've pointed out doesn't work.
The other inaccuracy is the suggestion that an increased Green vote can never lead to a net decrease in the number of pro-independence MSPs. The north-east result in 2011 gives the lie to that notion - SNP supporters voting "tactically" for the Greens or the SSP were perilously close to handing the SNP list seat to the Tories.
As for RISE, I haven't said anything at all about them yet. I was planning to ask whether they're related to the defunct Channel 4 breakfast show of the same name, and if so, whether they'll be reviving the tradition of viewer exit polls on Big Brother evictions. (If I'd known Cameron Stout was destined to become the figurehead for Better Together Orkney, I'd definitely have voted to keep Nush in. Ah well, live and learn.)