Readers, over the weekend I attended Green Party conference at the ACC building in Liverpool, the most attended Green Party conference in British history, with 1,300 people attending (although not all attended all four days of the conference, which I always do)
I met many new activists at that conference, particularly in my local party and also those who had not been to a conference in some years for one reason or another. Natalie, Shahrar and Amelia were also right on the ball in terms of speeches, and the diversity of fringes proved useful as well.
The five things I liked most about this conference were:
1. The Green Party passed a motion allowing joint candidacies, which will be brilliant in future elections and will make a revival of Green-Plaid and Green-Mebyon Kernow pacts possible.
2. Helping the Green Party raise awareness about autism and autism-related issues, as I do in my everyday life.
3. The venue's easy to navigate layout-although I personally found it easier because I had visited it last year.
4. My poetry went down well in the Open Mic Night even though I had made some of the lines up as I read it ;)
5. The strong debates over contentious motions, particularly on health.
The five things I did not like so much about my conference experience:
1. The substantial delays in motion progress, partly due to new members not always understanding the process;pre-conference guidance is particularly important after a recent membership surge.
2. I could not find decent and affordable accommodation near the venue, and the hostel I stayed at was not suitable due to its distance from the venue. It would have been nice if I could have stayed with a local member, as I did the last two conferences.
3. Due to financial issues, I had to catch an early train home, and therefore missed crucial parts of the final session yesterday.
4. My colleagues from East Hertfordshire did not stay at conference for the full duration.
5. Quite a few nice people I wanted to see (who I saw at the Birmingham conference in September 2014), like my friends Lucy, Julia, and the two Duckworths (Will and Vicky) did not show up when I hoped they would.
With Parliament officially dissolving in just three weeks' time from now, and with nearly 500 Green Party candidates across England and Wales in place (or about to be in place) for the upcoming election, I thank everyone who took part in this conference, and I strongly believe that we Greens can win more than one parliamentary seat in this election.