Congratulations to Michael Shanks, new Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

I was impressed by Michael’s lockdown project of running every single street within the Glasgow city boundary.

If he shows a similar level of dedication to his new constituents then they will be well-served indeed (though a repeat of his every-street-feat will surely be harder with all the U-turns he’ll need to make!).

Congratulations must also go to Cameron Eadie, the Scottish Greens candidate who threw himself with gusto into the task of being the party’s first-ever candidate in the constituency.

Cameron knocked thousands of doors on his way to a creditable result, pushing far more moneyed parties like the Lib Dems and Conservatives, whose experienced candidate Thomas Kerr was rewarded for skipping the doorsteps for a jolly to his party’s conference with a double-digit collapse in the Tory vote and an embarrassing lost deposit.

The truth is that Green voices have never been so vital to our politics.

The shameless display of conspiracy-addled, hate-fuelled, climate-wrecking, bile on stage in Manchester this week, from the Prime Minister down, showed why it is so important to have Green voices like Cameron’s offering a credible, bold and positive vision for a fairer, greener future.

Indeed, Greens are offering more than just a vision, we are taking action. At every level where Scottish Greens have influence, from Holyrood to council chambers, we are making a difference.

This week began with peak-time rail fares being scrapped for six months.

Not only will this help people struggling with the cost of   living, it will also encourage car commuters to ditch their wheels in favour of cleaner, greener travel. Reports so far are of services being much busier, getting people back on to the railways again, which will also build the case for more services being restored on lines like the Cathcart Circle which is still below pe-pandemic levels.

As the week drew to a close, Gillian Mackay MSP’s members’ bill for safe access zones was published.

The Bill will make it an offence to harass anyone who is accessing or providing abortion healthcare services in Scotland.

It has been a long time coming, but is a robust piece of legislation which will stand up to inevitable challenges and protects important protest rights, including those of trade unions.

In between, at Council level, we’ve seen the impact of Green influence on issues from winter maintenance, with new routes through parks being added to gritting routes for the first time, to the restoration of Street Play weekends, which allow residents to close their streets to traffic so kids can come together and play out, as well as a new approach to graffiti, with Glasgow’s first two designated ‘legal walls’, as championed by my colleague, Cllr Lana Reid-McConnell.

By building voters’ trust in our ideas and our record of action, the Green influence in our politics and our society will only keep on growing.