Saturday, 16 February 2008

Green Party Conference

Photo of Caroline Lucas MEP and Target Ward Candidate Rob White

For the last few days I've been busy working at front of house at the Green Party Conference. Over the last 4 years I've been to 7 conferences abound the country, and its a wonderful experience to welcome the many people I've met to Reading. Its feels such so strange seeing so many of the most important Greens in the country come to my home town.

And I'm so proud of my local party. We have stepped up campaigning in the last few months in preparation for the local elections in May when we think Rob White, our target candidate, will get elected. Rob opened the conference with a speech, raising our profile within the Green Party even more. We have letters and articles in the paper every couple of weeks from a growing group of people, and Robs regular column; Whites Trash.

I'm also proud at how well Reading Green Party are coping with its front of house duties. Its not unlike election day, we have a rota and people take turns being at the desk and attending the conference upstairs. The last conferences I've been to the local parties have seemed to need help to do this. On election day we have a similar rota for being outside the polling stations. When I joined the party in the spring of 2004 we had only a handful of active members, we couldn't find enough people to stand as candidates. Now we have built up a team of people that enjoy standing, giving people a chance to vote green. Events like elections and the conference help us also by encouraging lots of people to get more involved, I've met local members today I've not seen before.

Being at conference is to be amongst a hothouse of green ideas, many of them quite radical. It really brings it home to members, many of whom come from small local parties like Reading, how different it is to be in the company of hundreds of dedicated Greens. It also brings into contrast the other parties, they are just grey shadows by comparison, deciding policy by focus group and all chasing the same voters. The Greens are the only ones to discuss and decide policy in such a public way, we aren't afraid of what the voters might think.


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Adrian Windisch said...

For much more of the conference see