The Green Party Conference

This blogpost was written by Newham Green Party member Rachel Collinson who recently ventured up to Liverpool to participate in her first Green Party conference. Here is her take on Green politics in action.

Forget what you read in the snide newspaper reports about smells or rights for rodents or colouring in or magic: the gathering. Preposterous lies! I can tell you this, because I was there. As you might expect from the Greens; here is the real news – the facts the establishment don’t want you to know.
Beautiful visual minutes at the Green Party conference
Beautiful visual minutes at the Green Party conference

Real democracy

This is the only main UK party conference where YOU, the member, get to set and vote on policy. It is true democracy. And it was thrilling to be able to raise my voting card, along with the 1,300 other people there. One of the things I voted on, heart pounding, was what the Green Party’s response would be to potential coalition negotiations in the event of a hung parliament.

Making history

The result? A resounding NO to any agreement containing austerity policies. The Greens would only join a confidence and supply agreement if part of it including a commitment to increasing spending on the poor and taxing the super-rich to pay for it. I am proud to say that voting on this felt like part of making history.

Here, everybody is truly in it together

Other highlights for me included:

  • Forming a Christian Greens group and helping others to start similar faith groups within the Green Party
  • Attending the UK’s first ever political party conference event on intersex and trans issues
  • Giving a standing ovation to Amelia Womack’s barnstorming speech (see below)
  • Watching Natalie Bennett vote alongside everybody else
  • Seeing the vast room full of young Greens doing a stirling job of fundraising
  • Joining in solidarity with the climate march on Saturday
  • Seeing the care and attention paid to including everybody.

And I mean everybody, from parents with young children, to non-members, to those angrily opposed, to non-binary gender folks, to the working class, to people with limited mobility; even waiting for a person with a stutter to make their contribution during a tense debate. And even those described by the Telegraph as the frizzy-haired do-gooders, like me.

Thanks, Telegraph. Remind me: which hair care brands are paying the wages of your journalists?
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