ONLY two weeks into the campaign and already it is safe to say this is the most ridiculous election of my lifetime. My favourite example to date of idiotic pledges: Boris Johnson promises 30 million trees for £640m of public spending, so Jo Swinson promises 60m trees with no price-tag but insists this is “realistic”.

A National reader, John Jamieson of South Queensferry, wrote in yesterday to say the targets were already being met in Scotland, but I wondered a little when I tried to work things out for myself. Going by an average sylvan density, 60m trees would cover 750 square miles over a five-year parliament, an area somewhere between that of the council districts of South Lanarkshire and Angus. Planting at such a rate, the whole of Scotland would become covered in forest during the next couple of centuries. I suppose this is the Green dream, too, but I’m curious where all the Scots would go.

Not that it really matters because, in the cold light of the dawn after polling day, nobody will care a damn about promises, least of all the politicians who made them.

For the UK, 2020 will be a year of falling economic growth and rising prices, or of stagflation as we used to call it. Whoever wins the election, the crisis will demand their entire attention and energy, in return offering them little by way of success or esteem. That, and not trees, is what they’ll have to think about from the first day of the new parliament at Westminster.

The National: Electric cars have a limited rangeElectric cars have a limited range

At least in Scotland we can look forward to victory for the SNP, to whom, in the opinion polls, no

other party comes within loudspeaker distance. It makes me wonder why there are such worries about a supposed threat from the Greens. The situation reminds me of the Tories and Nigel Farage in England. Despite the media’s fawning on him, neither of the parties he has led, not Ukip and not Brexit, have ever had any MPs except for a couple of Conservative defectors. The electoral terror of him is bizarre. He should just be faced down. The same with the SNP and the Greens in Scotland. The SNP should tell them, with their 7% of the vote and their seven MSPs, just to get lost.

Otherwise there’s an open invitation to tantrums by these spoilt brats, in imitation of the Swedish adolescent, Greta Thunberg. In political tactics, that has translated into utter intransigence and obstruction of measures in the Scottish Parliament that do not meet the Greens’ purest and highest environmental standards. Nicola Sturgeon’s government actually shares many of the same values but, under the practical necessities of running the country, has no choice except to recognise that the real world cannot be brought fully into line with uncompromising doctrine, and that the attempt to make it do so might end in more harm than good. That’s what eastern Europe found out in 50 years of socialism. That’s what Venezuela is finding out today.

But let’s stick with Scottish examples. In a country that kind of combines the physical features of Belgium and Norway,

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one-size-fits-all is seldom a good idea for any kind of policy. Nothing illustrates the point better than transport. In the cities the systems creak through congestion, which is steadily spreading along the inter-city links, whether road or rail. The Green theory, best seen at work in Edinburgh, is that congestion may in the short term be a good thing, because it will discourage people from going to work or to shop in their cars. Growing inconvenience and discomfort, should in the end, force them on to public transport. So far, however, the contrary is the case, because car use is rising and public transport is losing customers. It seems people, after all, prefer sitting in a cosy vehicle of their own to standing at a bus stop or waiting for a train which may not even stop when it comes. If they have bought one of the first cars to be powered by batteries, they can even flatter themselves they are helping to keep the environment clean. And in Scotland we do have a winter, after all: as I write this, the temperature outside is below zero.

The problems are completely different in the parts of the country that rather resemble Norway. It can be hard enough to find even a petrol station, and drivers who head out from Inverness or Fort William will have to fill the tank right up before they go, because otherwise getting recovered from a Highland glen will be no joke. A lot of the roads in remote areas are a long way from a source of power of any sort.

Perhaps the day will come when every croft or clachan has its own source from nearby wind turbines or solar panels, but that day is less than imminent. Till it arrives, battery-driven cars will not get anybody far. Most cannot travel over about

100 miles without needing a recharge. For anybody on the way from central Scotland to Inverness, say, that means a halt and a wait somewhere around the Pass of Drumochter – good luck with the wind and the rain for the hour or so it takes.

It is true that the Americans are just about to launch over here their Tesla Model S, which can travel about 250 miles on a single charge.

It will set you back between £40,000 and £65,000 – hurry, hurry, before the plummeting pound makes it dearer.

The National: Elon Musk's new car has a rather high price tagElon Musk's new car has a rather high price tag

To add insult to injury, the chief executive, Elon Musk, last week announced his company would build its first European plant in Germany rather than in the UK: “Some of the best cars in the world are made in Germany. Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure, and that’s part of the reason why we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany” Welcome to the world of Brexit.

Altogether, for the foreseeable future most Scottish cars will need to carry their own supply of fossil fuel with them, especially beyond the central belt. There, Green policies will simply squeeze more life out of local communities. I wrote last week how the end of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy will tend to depopulate the Highlands and Borders, because without the existing subsidies most farms will make a loss. The pressures would be reinforced by environmentalist holy writ rigidly enforced on these fragile regions. And this time the damage would be done not by isolation from Europe or by English indifference but by the immature dogmatism of Green zealots.

I see that, after much huffing and puffing, for the General Election the Greens finally decided to fight 22 of the 59 seats in Scotland. They have, of course, not the slightest chance of winning any of them. Their defeats will only cost them their deposits and perhaps give one or two of the SNP victors an uncomfortable run for their money.

It is also interesting that, apart from a couple of outliers, all the seats to be contested lie in the central belt. Evidently, it has proved impossible to organise candidates in the most scenic parts of the country, and this could be because the Highlanders and Borderers, even amid the natural beauty they are lucky enough to live in, find no common interest with the Greens.

The party should wonder why it has reduced itself to being a bunch of urban chauvinists.