Brussels Green

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Alex Massie appears confused. (“Why Ukip should not be lightly dismissed”, Perspective 1 November.) On the one hand he warns the Ukip “cranks” against becoming more grown-up, responsible and professional, like the Greens. On the other he is puzzled that those professional – and elected – Greens are treated as part of the mainstream.

Over the past year polling in which the regional voting intention for Holyrood is routinely asked has seen support for the Scottish Greens at 6 or 8 per cent, above that of the Liberal Democrats.

While Greens have had a continuous presence at Holyrood, successfully influencing the mainstream agenda since 1999, we have also steadily gained councillors and now have 14 local members in Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Midlothian and Stirling. We have consistently outpolled Ukip in European elections (their principal electoral targets) and have held onto Westminster deposits in Scotland, something Ukip has never done.

Greens will continue to advance a positive vision for local communities and for Scotland’s place in Europe and the world. By contrast the party of “angry old men” Mr Massie refers to ­offers nothing but negativity.

In deciding who would be a better replacement for the ­tarnished and untrustworthy Lib Dems in Scotland’s 6th Euro seat, voters would do well to return Green candidate Maggie Chapman to Brussels to join the constructive, passionate and principled Green Group.

Patrick Harvie MSP Co-convener, Scottish Green Party