Readers, I had a good time attending my seventh Green Party conference (also my seventh in a row) up in the spa town of Harrogate, in the north riding of Yorkshire. This time it was only 3 days long, rather than 4 days long as our conferences normally are, although this helped me afford the cost of attending. Despite its relatively short length, I found it rather enjoyable and lively.
The good points about this conference:
1. We passed a motion affirming the rights of nature, which if implemented would not only outlaw drilling for shale gas but would also prevent destruction of forests and other wildlife habitats. We should live in harmony with nature, not exploit it simply for our own purposes.
2. We also passed an emergency motion calling for the outlawing microbeads, which are small plastic particles found in cosmetics and personal care products. They are now banned in the USA but not in the UK, so please be careful when you buy such products.
3. I managed to get my photograph taken with Larry Sanders, brother of US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
4. There was an excellent and well-attended anti-Trident rally outside the towering cenotaph in Harrogate Town Centre, which I was pleased to be at.
5. During the conference, I also heard that the Irish Green Party had regained representation in the Dail (the counting has not quite finished in some places as of today, so I will be reporting on the 2016 Irish general election in a later post), although I needed to point out to the announcer that Catherine Martin had also been elected in addition to Eamon Ryan.
6. After the conference finished, me and my good friend Clare from Birmingham went on a nice tour around Harrogate before I had to catch the train back.
The not-so-good points about this conference:
1. I failed to convince people that my 'neutral stance on the EU' motion should be heard.
2. The lively debate on Green Party leadership elections eligibility never occurred since we ran out of time before getting to the motion that planned to change it; even though I opposed the proposed changes I would have been glad to hear that debate.
3. My memory slightly malfunctioned during the Green Party Conference quiz, to the extent that I could not remember precisely what the word TARDIS stood for and to the point where I mistakenly thought that the Yorkshire Dales National Park had been around since 1858 (it was actually formed in 1967).
4. Vegetarian cafes and restaurants in Harrogate were somewhat hard to find.
5. I learned that a long-standing Welsh Green Party activist who I had somewhat known, Owen Clarke, had sadly passed away two months ago.
Let us keep going onwards and upwards, especially in the London Assembly and Welsh Assembly.