What kind of investment will the public back?
With Keynesian economists urging Governments to increase their spending during a downturn, Ministers north and south have rubbed their hands and brandished their favourite existing projects.
In many cases, schemes we'd been told were vital to support booming economic growth were rebranded as vital to get us out of recession. The Fourth Forth Crossing is one such.
Massive spending, which must always be badged as "investment" however vain and irrelevant the project, is the third leg of intervention this time round, alongside massive bailouts and massive money-printing, known delightfully as "quantitative easing".
Like every other party, we also have a list of projects we believed were sensible five years ago, and which we're promoting now with extra vigour. However, US polling shows the particular popularity of measures to reduce dependence on fossil fuels - 66% believe they would be a very or fairly effective response to the downturn, second only to better enforcement of regulations on the finance sector.
As Nate at 538 writes:
"The long-run benefits of the alternative energy programs, on the other hand, are far more intuitively appealing. If the central critique of the stimulus is that the debt we're creating will be burdensome to future generations, that concern could be mitigated if the spending in question is portrayed as a down payment made on behalf of those future generations toward cleaning up the environment and mitigating dependence on fossil fuels. It also provides for some sense of purpose to the stimulus: we'll come out of this, Obama can say, with the greenest, most energy-independent major industrial economy in the world, etc. etc."
The same logic applies here. As support spreads for our free insulation proposals, I think people are seeing how it fits together. Reduce our long term need for new power stations. Cut people's bills for the long term. Keep our carbon emissions low for the long term. Create the kind of jobs in construction we need for the long term.
As the Times today says, if we succeed with this campaign it would be "a watershed moment in terms of policy achievement by the Greens in Scotland - or anywhere else in the UK". It could also be a turning point in terms of the investment Government pursues, the first phase of a truly Green New Deal.