Truth in politics? Deputy Leaders address #GPconf
Addressing the Green Party of England and Wales autumn conference in Bournemouth today, a main theme for Deputy Leaders Shahrar Ali and Amelia Womack, who have visited refugee camps in Calais, is speaking up for those fleeing conflict as ‘dignified and resourceful’ and deserving of ‘our support beyond humanitarian help’. In this context, as in many others, said Shahrar, ‘Greens look to identify causes and tackle them. Refugees are welcome here’.
The Green Party, Amelia says, stands for kindness and solidarity with our fellow humans, we say what needs to be said in the face of a political establishment that has lost its humanity. ‘We have never and will never resort to politics of scapegoating’.
In his speech, Shahrar focuses on truth in politics as ‘our fantastic inner value’ – the truth of non-violent direct action, but also about the truth of words that are turned into political action.
He speaks in support of Natalie Bennett for holding on to ‘our convictions in the Middle East’ and responds to the Green Party’s detractors who believe that principles without power are not worth anything, by declaring that ‘power without principles is not worth having’.
The Green Party stands for speaking truth to power, he continues, and for defending the public spaces where we can continue to speak our minds. It is shocking that our nurseries and schools are curtailing the right of children to express their thoughts for fear of political reprisals.
Shahrar concludes by saying:
‘We need to discover the power of a united group of people – the unity of purpose that is to be found in our party, our policies are in our heart, in our head and in our bones’.
Amelia Womack (the youngest person in a lead role in any UK political party) talks about the passion behind our ‘radical but rational policies’, and about the fact that Greens are ‘more than a party, we are a movement’. We take politics beyond the ballot box, we take politics to the streets, to the picket lines, to our homes where we resist oppressive policies.
Amelia speaks up for the Green Party’s stance of remaining in the EU and working with our allies to make Europe more democratic. ‘We need an international organization that tames casino capitalism’ and since our position as European Green parties has never been stronger in the EU, we are perfectly placed to ‘re-imagine our economy, strengthen our communities, protect public spaces’.
Returning to the UK, Amelia demands a truly green economy, one that will deliver a decent society, public services in public hands, power held locally.
‘The tide is turning, our values are shaking the foundations of the political establishment, and in its ruins we are building a new kind of politics.’