THE Programme for Government announced this week reflected the priorities of a new kind of government, the first with Scottish Greens policies in it. It is the first time Greens have been involved in government in any UK nation. Make no mistake, it is historic.

The complete meltdown which it led to among politicians and commentators on the right is a pretty strong indication of just how significant this programme is for genuinely progressive politics.

Andrew Neil, still in hiding from his flagging attempt to recreate Fox News here in the UK, used the Daily Mail to label my party “anti-monarchy, anti-Britain, anti-wealth, eco-zealot Marxists”. Green members were so pleased by this description that its already gracing T-shirts and mugs across the country.

The Tories have been equally exercised. Douglas Ross was quick to label the deal “anti-family”. That was less of a dog whistle and more of a bullhorn given the major progress secured for LGBT rights, including a real ban on conversion therapy and reform of trans healthcare services.

Green ministers will lead efforts to enhance tenants’ rights, tackle fuel poverty, expand active travel and much more. The increased investment and initiatives announced this week by the First Minister will begin that work.

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This Programme for Government paves the way for a just transition for oil and gas workers too. This includes a £500 million Just Transition Fund for the north-east and Moray, where alternative jobs in low-carbon industries are most needed.

I’m particularly proud of our new deal for tenants, a key Green priority during negotiations. A private rental sector strategy will be published this year. It will include proposals for a system of rent controls to tackle the spiralling costs for those in private rental accommodation.

For too long a housing system has existed in Scotland which enriches the landlord class while thousands of their tenants cannot afford to eat or heat their homes.

While the right appears lost in the face of the most radical governing programme seen on these islands for decades, Greens will get down to business with our new role in government.

As well as leading on our new deal for tenants, Scottish Greens co-leader and newly appointed Scottish Government minister Patrick Harvie will also deliver a £1.8 billion energy efficiency programme for homes and buildings. This will tackle fuel poverty, reduce Scotland’s climate emissions from heating systems and create thousands of quality jobs.

In the Scottish Greens’ election campaign we put job creation front and centre. Our economic recovery from Covid can and will be a green recovery.

With the energy efficiency measures I’ve mentioned and our plans to double onshore wind energy production we will do exactly that. The recent closure of the wind turbine factory at Campbeltown shows the importance of the commitments we have secured to develop a sustainable Scottish supply chain.

There is absolutely no need to manufacture turbine jackets and the like on the other side of the world, only to ship them to Scotland, when they could have been made here in the first place.

And the progress we will make for workers goes beyond job creation. We will introduce new requirements that any business seeking government support must pay at least the real Living Wage, provide appropriate channels for an effective workers’ voice, such as trade union recognition, and not engage in tax avoidance.

We will develop a green industrial strategy to help direct investments to meet local needs, and most crucially we will introduce metrics to the economy.

THESE new measurements will focus on human wellbeing and environmental considerations, rather than the disastrous obsession with GDP growth which has resulted in the worst excesses of capitalist exploitation be labelled as economic success stories.

The question is where are Labour in all of this? We know from yesterday’s polling for Sky News that a healthy chunk of their voters think this agreement will be good for Scotland.

Labour’s capitulation to austerity economics, welfare cuts, racist immigration policies and Brexit has done nothing other than move the UK further to right, an ultimate betrayal of those they are supposed to represent. This governing programme, on the other hand, will deliver on the priorities of Labour voters.

​READ MORE: Scottish Greens overjoyed as SNP deal gets Unionists 'frothing at the mouth'

During the last five years of minority government, the Scottish Greens worked constructively to reverse cuts to services, won pandemic payments for Scotland’s struggling families and secured a public-sector pay rise and free bus travel for young people (a scheme that will get under way from January 31). That was from opposition.

Now we are forming a government with a radical policy platform which will move Scotland in a new direction, one which charts a different course from Boris Johnson’s corrupt autocratic Britain.

That’s why independence is part of a green recovery. As the First Minister said, a referendum must come at the right time, but the work starts now.