#gpconf Spring 2016: A good conference for Wales
Despite not being held in Wales, the Green Party of England and Wales Conference in Harrogate last weekend certainly was a good weekend for Wales. It saw two impressive speeches from the party’s lead Welsh Assembly candidates, strong Welsh interventions on the EU referendum and a spot of Bara Brith with a side of Caerphilly cheese.
As previously reported by Josiah Mortimer, new Wales Green Party leader Alice Hooker-Stroud gave a barnstorming speech to conference picking up on Labour’s questionable record in the Welsh Government and challenging their entitlement to running the Senedd. She also made calls to finally address the illogical public transport system in Wales which sees those form the south having to go through England to reach Mid and West Wales, the region for which she is the lead Green Party candidate for. She certainly made a strong case to be elected something we hope to see continue throughout the election campaign.
The other main Green contender for an Assembly seat Amelia Womack as made a rousing speech to conference calling for unity around the EU and making the case for a Greener In. She took straight aim at Farage in her speech with this attack: ‘speaking of purple pimples, I see Nigel Farage is still on the scene. Wasn’t he supposed to be standing down last year? Well conference, think about this, in just 16 weeks we can vote to keep Britain in the EU and to kick Farage out of politics once and for all’. This alone is pretty great reason to vote to stay in alone! She also passionately talked about the possibilities to not only work in a community to fight against climate change and solve the refugee crisis but to see the referendum as a chance to find socially progressive reform.
Outside the speeches the fringes also included a strong Welsh presence. Hooker-Stroud appeared on a panel session entitled ‘Youth & The EU’ in which she discussed the Welsh perspective on the institution before facilitating a spectrum exercise encouraging the Young Greens to explore the messages they wanted to see at the core of the referendum debate. Another fringe saw the Wales Green Party host other members in tasting culinary delights of Cymru before encouraging them to donate towards the campaign.
The success of the Wales Green Party at conference was wonderfully summarised by one of the co-founders of Bright Green, Adam Ramsay, on Twitter:
— Adam Ramsay (@AdamRamsay) February 28, 2016