The Eco-Renovation Open Homes weekend meant I missed not just Randwick Horticultural Show but also the Green Party conference in Birmingham this last weekend. Below are some links to give a flavour of the weekend....this morning I also talked to a couple of Greens at a Green councillors meeting - it was good to hear about the buzz at conference but also some comments critical of Greens who are concerned that now we have a leader there is a worry about the 'cult of personality.'
Of course there is a risk but there are mechanisms in place to ensure the chances of that are reduced. I voted against a leader - see here - but hey it's time to move on - social and environmental justice are what we are working for and Caroline is one of the most effective voices we've ever had - a voice that is increasingly heard.
You can start getting a flavour of conference by seeing Caroline's keynote (spread over 2 videos) - after 30 years we finally have a voice in Westminister - see what she has to say to Greens:
You can also read it here - and see here Adrian Ramsay's speech as Deputy Leader and watch it here.
See The Independent leading article on the conference here: "One thing that is notable by its omission from Ms Spelman's thinking, however, is a credible mechanism for mobilising resources. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party leader and sole MP, last week compared the Government's response to a call for volunteers for the Home Guard. "Dad's Army will not be enough to prevent climate change or deal with the consequences," she said. She is right. Adapting to climate change will require more than the mere tweaking of planning guidelines and polite requests to local councils. In the long term it will need green taxes on property in vulnerable areas to pay for upgrading flood defences, for example"
Stroud's Molly Scott Cato did a quick piece on Radio Glos on Friday morning about the Green Party - you can listen again up until the end of Thursday here. Molly's piece starts around 1.15.12 minutes into the programme. See also Molly's blog on her motion she put to conference.
Some of the issues covered include:
How we need to tackle the prison population - restorative justice is long overdue. See here.
An emergency motion, passed unanimously at Green Party autumn conference, strongly criticised the privatisation of the NHS. The motion called for a campaign to have those health providers which have already been privatised brought back into the NHS, and for the NHS to be promoted as a public service free of commercial interests - see here. As Caroline Lucas said: "The White Paper spells out just how far the Tories and Liberals will go with their destruction of our essential services. They are planning on full privatisation of NHS service across England, a move utterly opposed by us."
On the heels of French deportations of Roma that have hit international headlines in recent weeks, conference passed an emergency motion urging "all Green Party elected representatives in local, national and international governments to apply maximum pressure toward improving equality and access to services for Roma people and asserting their human rights"- see here. Provision of services for travellers is an issue I have already raised locally.
Greens pledged to campaign for a publicly-owned Royal Mail - see here.
Public and delegates view of conference on a video wall - see here.
Caroline's vote on Afghanistan here.