I’m currently speeding up to Bristol on a train from London, feeling incredibly unprepared for this year’s Green Party conference. I’m furiously looking over the agenda and motions to conference, which whilst championing the usual Green Party pet topics (ecocide and animal racing), are discernably more concerned with the economic crisis and job creation, to their credit.
It’s a pretty important conference for the party, in which we get our first visceral sense of how the new ‘regime’ at the top of the party will feel in concrete terms. The reception to the speeches by Natalie Bennett and Will Duckworth will inevitably set the tone for how there are perceived by the grassroots. The new Deputy Leader in particular has a tough job ahead of him in convincing those members who feel he attained the job on an incredibly small proportion of the first preference votes and a badly constructed gender equality rule.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve always been keenly interested in ways in which we can modernise and make our party organisation more effective. One of the debates to watch will be the motion to provide modest funding to our Leader, so that the position can be practical for those of us without independent wealth to draw upon. For a party with scant financial resources, it will be fascinating to see how this turns out. I will be voting in favour of the motion, but I suspect it there will be passionate debate, especially for local parties unused to receiving support from the central party.
I’ll endeavour to send regular dispatches from conference for those unable to make it and try and share a flavour of the behind the scenes discussions taking place amongst activists too. Feel free to use the comments section to contribute to the discussions taking place on the conference floor and bars – and ask me to investigate particular issues too! I’ll also be contributing to the debate on Twitter under