Hello, everyone, I am back from Green Party conference in Birmingham, which I really enjoyed-thank you to everyone who came along :)
As I have much to say and much to do over the next few days, I will summarise what, in my personal opinion, were the best and worst points of the Birmingham Green Party conference.
1. I finally got reunited with two fellow Greens I first saw at a Young Greens Summer Gathering in Gloucestershie last year-they were Julia Lagoutte and Kate Billington, who I also helped out in the conference quiz. I am particularly pleased that Julia's mother, Diana, is Green PPC for Hereford & South Herefordshire, a marginal seat which should give us some traction :)
2. I was re-elected to the Equalities and Diversity Committee by my fellow Greens for another year. This means I can continue my hard work on issues surrounding disability and mental illness.
3. The Green Party Disability Group re-launch was a great success-thank you,Paul Weaver.
4. I managed to hand out a sizable number of copies of 'The Watermelon' at conference, particularly to Young Greens.
5. It was a very vibrant and exciting atmosphere, especially with so many people attending. I had a great time with Greens young and old, new and experienced, especially with my knowledge of election facts past and present.
6. I finally got to meet with the Electoral Reform Society-I went to their reception and I hope soon electoral reform will come to the UK.
7. I sung well on the Open Mic night at the Gosta Green pub, and my song, 'People of Britain, arise' was much appreciated :)
8. I heard that the 'yes' side of the Scottish independence referendum is now in the lead-they now just need to maintain it until that fateful day.
9. I have heard that we Greens will stand a record number of parliamentary candidates next year across England and Wales (at least 400)-let us scatter the right-wing establishment and make them fall!
10. My Arctic Ocean motion was passed overwhelmingly this time, when I was worried that it would not get heard due to little time being left on the last day. I am glad for Bill Rigby of Harrogate & Knaresborough Green Party for his help with my speech on that motion.
Not so good points:
1. Sadly, one of my London colleagues, Alex Rendall, failed to be re-elected to the Equalities and Diversity committee this year-it was a close result,in all likelihood.
2. The confusion over one of the main plenaries stalled a lot of conference business significantly-I was no exception to being a bit dazed and confused on that note, unfortunately.
3. I felt depressed on the first day of conference,although fortunately my mood improved during the next few days.
4. The breaks between sessions were a bit too short, and I felt rushed in having to quickly go from one place to another (how I felt at my very first conference in Nottingham!)
5. I felt slightly jealous (only being honest) about the fact my colleague from Norwich, Ash, had a baby of her own (Meredith)-at times, I got distracted by thoughts of wanting a child of my own (and soon).
6. When trying to reach where I was staying in Birmingham initially, I ended up getting lost in the maze of Birmingham's suburban streets. I also learned that the suburban rail network in Birmingham is poor on Sundays-I expected an early morning Sunday train as I am used to in Ware, and there was not one from Yardley Wood.
7. Some of my good friends who I had seen at previous conferences sadly did not come this time (or I might have just missed their appearance).
Overall, however, I felt very lucky and I feel that this has been the best Green Party conference I have been to so far, even when it was so busy. For now, onwards and upwards with local and national campaigns, and especially parliamentary candidate selections far and wide.
Kind regards, Alan.