My Green Conference Highlights (Saturday and Sunday)
I have never been to a political conference, so the Greens will be my first! The conference is very much like Compass’: to borrow a phrase from Yes Minister’s Bernard when Jim orders an economy drive, but meant in a nice way – CBA (can’t be everywhere). In other words, the conference has a wide selection of progressive lefty debates, and an illustration of why the Greens are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with in political circles.
The next time someone says “well all you Greens are hippies who only care about the environment”, (even though there is nothing wrong with hippies and of course we care about the environment, but it is a narrow stereotype) I will kindly point them to the conference agenda.
Below are some of the events that have caught my eye:
Both the deputy leader contenders offer particular highlights, with current deputy Adrian Ramsay speaking at 11.30, whereas Derek Wall launches his “No Nonsense Guide to Green Politics” book at 4pm. Unlike Labour, we can actually host a book signing without hiring out the police to stop eggs and shoes being pelted at us (sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Pleasingly, there are some very good feminist orientated debates taking place too. Specifically, the event “Prostitution – Decriminalising those exploited not the exploiters: Next steps for the Green Party in tackling sexual exploitation” at 7pm looks very appealing. The Greens are streets ahead when it comes to understanding the real reasons for why people become involved in drugs and sex work, for example – and how it all relates.
Oh, and you cannot miss the quiz at 8.30pm!
My highlights for Sunday would include the much needed discussion of how to construct a counter narrative to the current economic illogical policies of the ConDems with the fringe event “How can the Green Party lead the fight back against the cuts?” taking place at 12pm.
There is again a very strong presence of women activism, with the fringes: “Women by Name (women only, sorry chaps) at 7pm; and, Sex workers speak on the need for complete decriminalisation of all aspects of prostitution at 12pm (I know, it clashes with the cuts event above!) – both hosted by Natalie Bennett.
I’m not going Monday, so I don’t want to know – I will get jealous you see…
There is so much going on, it is impossible to cover all of it. But, yes this a corny way of putting it, but it is true, there is something for everyone. The conference illustrates the impressive way that the Green party are embracing intersectionality – where many sectors of people’s identity are seen as interlocking. We are rightly not approaching politics from a pure class, gender, sexuality or environmental position – we are competently demonstrating how related these are.