13228570634_206c808f3f_k

Scottish Greens are holding their largest ever conference this weekend, in the SECC, Glasgow. Image: Stevie Brown, Flickr.

Greens are gathering at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the Clyde today.

With around 700 people attending the conference will be by some margin the party’s largest ever and since last year’s conference sold out days after the Independence Referendum, it’ll be many new members first chance to meet folk from across the country to take part in policy making.

There are buckets of talks, including from Caroline Lucas, Jack Monroe, Harry Burns, and Lesley Riddoch plus all the fun of the fringes, including Bright Green’s very own session at 1pm on Sunday on ‘Cooperating Across Party Divides Post-2016’.

We’ll talk about all this in due course but here follows a quick tour of some of the motions we thought looked interesting.

Anti-capitalist energy

There ‘s a grab bag of tasty motions making clear support at the highest level for common ownership and control of the economy this weekend.

Two motions seek to enshrine a commitment to universal provision of public services. Policy Motion 34 adds principled support for universalism into the Philosophical Basis section of the policy document, and Constitution Motion 8 does the same to the party’s objectives in the constitution.

Constitutional Motion 5 would add explicit opposition to neoliberal capitalism in the opening spiel of the constitution, which sounds like a good idea.

Policy Motions 11 and 12 add this flavour to the economics and energy section of the policy document, giving preference to worker cooperatives, mutuals, social enterprises, community and publicly owned models. In the energy section this stresses, not currently extant, clear support for community ownership of renewable energy.

There are no less than 11 other policy motions updating and amending the energy section of party policy. Several of these address the overlapping issues and so Conference Motion 3, which asks Policy Committee to review the whole energy section to be discussed again in 2016, would seem like a sensible proposal.

Referendums galore

As we’re just one year since the Independence Referendum it’s not suprising that there’s plenty of issues of constitutional change up for debate.

Policy Motion 25 would enable referenda to be brought forward by citizens initiatives, allowing people to force the second referendum by petitioning for one. Although not currently party policy this already received the public support of Green MSPs last month.

In contrast to the current practice of the Green Party of England & Wales, Policy Motion 15 would see Scottish Greens following the SNP by formally adopting a policy of not sitting in the unelected House of Lords. Likely to ruffle some feathers.

It wouldn’t be right to talk constitutions without giving a mention to the forthcoming vote on European Union membership. Conference Motion 1 proposes that Scottish Greens run their own “distinctive” Green campaign to stay in the EU, presumably in the vein of Green Yes.

Unzipping representation

Rainbow Greens launched at the 2014 SGP conference and it’s good to see that a refresh of a number of the Party’s LGBTI+ policies, including inclusion in health policy, bullying in schools, the right to safety, and terms used are high on the agenda in Policy Motions 5 and 6.

Other liberation and representation motions of note include Policy Motion 28, which would give prisoners the right to vote, and, Policy Motion 37, which makes explicit opposition to discrimination against gypsies / travellers, and ups local authorities duties to provide them with education and healthcare, as well as sites to live on.

The Scottish Green’s current ‘gender zipping’ system for Holyrood Lists wasn’t seeming all that canny this year, resulting as it did in a number of women being pushed down candidate lists. Conference Motion 5 would initiate a task force to sort this out. Its purpose would be to create a new selection policy which is designed by, and fully represents, all liberation groups including Rainbow Greens, the party’s Disabled Network, BME representatives, Women’s Network, and, interestingly, Young Greens.

Careful policy

Needless to say there are stacks of other motions to be discussed (there are 65 in all). Here’s just a few that caught our eye.

The party’s stance on Palestine and Israel is amended in some detail as Policy Motion 2, so will be debated early.

Social Care, currently overlooked by SGP Policy, would get a careful review with Conference Motion 4. Infant childcare leave, a motion that was referred back from 2014, is the highly sensible Policy Motion 8.

I’m personally excited to see that the incredibly successful Living Rent campaign, which has achieved the pretty impressive task of bringing the Scottish Government round to the idea of rent controls, would be formally supported by the Party with Policy Motion 10.

And finally the wide-ranging review of Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy is as far down as Policy Motion 29. Given the huge amount of work that’s gone into it this seems a pretty good incentive to get through nos. 1-28 – so debate with heart, but also with brevity folks.

Debate begins at 4.45pm: follow Bright Green on Twitter to hear how it all turns out. A handy list of motions is below, ones we’ve talked about are marked *:

Policy Motions

Policy Motion 1 – Sustainable Development Goals

Policy Motion 2* – Palestine and Israel

Amendments to Policy Motion 2

Policy Motion 3 – Warm Homes for All

Amendment to Policy Motion 3

Policy Motion 4 – Rights of Nature

Policy Motion 5* – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI+) People

Policy Motion 6* – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI+) Health Issues

Policy Motion 7 – Soil Protection

Policy Motion 8* – Parental Leave

Amendment to Policy Motion 8

Policy Motion 9 – Space Flight

Amendment to Policy Motion 9

Policy Motion 10* – Rent Controls

Policy Motion 11* – Public Services in Public Hands

Policy Motion 12* – Energy in Community and Public Hands

Policy Motion 13 – Ending Fuel Poverty

Amendment to Policy Motion 13

Policy Motion 14 – Broadening out the nature of community involvement in renewable energy projects

Policy Motion 15* – House of Lords

Amendments to Policy Motion 15

Policy Motion 16 – House of Lords (location of)

Amendment to Policy Motion 16

Policy Motion 17 – Policy on a Written Constitution

Policy Motion 18 – Energy (1/5)

Policy Motion 19 – Extending the Right to Vote

Policy Motion 20 – The Future of Coal-fired Electricity Generation in Scotland

Amendment to Policy Motion 20

Policy Motion 21 – Energy (5/5)

Policy Motion 22 – Media, Information, National Security, Censorship and Privacy

Amendments to Policy Motion 22

Policy Motion 23 – Energy (3/5)

Policy Motion 24 – Energy (2/5)

Policy Motion 25* – Citizens’ Initiatives

Amendment to Policy Motion 25

Policy Motion 26 – Energy (4/5)

Policy Motion 27 – Changing the SGP energy supply aspirations from localisation to decentralisation

Policy Motion 28* – Justice – Prisoners’ rights

Amendment to Policy Motion 28

Policy Motion 29* – Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy

Amendment to Policy Motion 29

Policy Motion 30 – Scotland’s Electricity Exports

Policy Motion 31 – Participatory Democracy – company shareholders

Policy Motion 32 – Planning – Urban access

Policy Motion 33 – Single Payer Childcare System

Policy Motion 34* – Universalism

Policy Motion 35 – Income and Economic Security – Night shift

Amendment to Policy Motion 35

Policy Motion 36 – CCTV in Slaughterhouses

Policy Motion 37* – Gypsies / Travellers

Policy Motion 38 – High Velocity Trading on Secondary Stock Markets

Policy Motion 39 – Government Legal Advice

Policy Motion 40 – Access to UK Payments Network

Policy Motion 41 – Citizenship Test

Constitutional Motions

Constitutional Motion 1 – Use of Online Ballots

Constitutional Motion 2 – Deselection of a Candidate by Ballot of the Membership

Amendments to Constitutional Motion 2

Constitutional Motion 3 – Line Management of Paid Party Officers

Constitutional Motion 4 – Representative Selection Process for Disability

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 4

Constitutional Motion 5* – Opposition to Neoliberal Capitalism

Constitutional Motion 6 – Candidate Statements

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 6

Constitutional Motion 7 – Communication with Members by Candidates Contesting Selection

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 7

Constitutional Motion 8* – Universalism

Constitutional Motion 9 – Geographical Balance Within Committees

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 9

Constitutional Motion 10 – Local Authority Selection Procedures

Constitutional Motion 11 – Randomisation of Ballot

Amendments to Constitutional Motion 11

Constitutional Motion 12 – Selection Clarification: postal ballots preferred

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 12

Constitutional Motion 13 – Appeals to ACAT: removing the role of SOC to reflect the fact that SOC may itself be subject to appeal

Amendment to Constitutional Motion 13

Conference Motions

Conference Motion 1* – Planned Referendum on Membership of the European Union

Conference Motion 2 – Guidance on Candidates’ Statements in Internal Elections and Selections

Amendments to Conference Motion 2

Conference Motion 3* – Review of Energy Policies in Policy Reference Document

Conference Motion 4* – Social Care

Conference Motion 5 – Diversity and Minority Engagement

Amendment to Conference Motion 5

Conference Motion 6 – Party Structural Review

Amendments to Conference Motion 6

Conference Motion 7 – Campaign on Shooting Estates and Muirburn

Amendment to Conference Motion 7

Conference Motion 8 – Tax Exemption for Opencast Coal Site Restoration

Conference Motion 9 – Citizens and Citizenship Policy

Conference Motion 10 – Reducing Sugar Consumption

Conference Motion 11 – Amendment to Scottish Green Party Standing Orders to Remove Requirement for Attunement

Amendment to Conference Motion 11