Readers, the Green Party Spring Conference 2017, held alongside the European Greens and Global Greens Congress of 2017 at the ACC in Liverpool, will be one of the most memorable Green Party conferences in the history of the Green Party of England and Wales. I am so glad to have attended it, and met Greens from all around the world as well as my colleagues in Britain.
The things I enjoyed most about this conference were:
1. Meeting Greens from 90 different countries around the world, showing that we are truly an international movement, and need to work together to prevent humanity from being killed by the effects of artificial climate change and global warming, which will hit poorer and small island countries first (e.g. Tuvalu, the Maldives). I met many wonderful people from countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Austria, Nepal, Sweden, and South Korea.
2. I successfully advocated that the European Single Market needs green-minded reform.
3. I had a good time interviewing people on both sides of the Brexit case within the Green Party. You may find their videos here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgFbk4GIyrg (Interview with Vix Lowthion)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb-WrCUlEZI (Interview with Adrian Cruden)
4. I particularly enjoyed the global festivities and cultural celebrations that Greens from around the world displayed for us.
5. I was finally reunited with my Irish friend and autistic rights activist Damon Wise, who I first met by a chance encounter in Ennis nearly five years ago when I was trying to return to Cork from Galway (I was holidaying in Cork).
6. When I was particularly hurt during a conference session by the actions of an individual woman (who cannot be identified for legal reasons), I received quick and timely support from friends of mine; I am always thankful that the Green Party is supportive towards autistic people like myself.
Things I did not like so much about this conference were:
1. I failed to convince the Green Party to accept the 'Helvetic solution' as regards Brexit, which advocates staying in the single market but accepting the referendum result and not calling for a re-run, thus calling for Britain to maintain a similar relationship with the EU that Switzerland does (this is also known as a Norway-style solution). The Green Party also did not vote against Progressive Alliances even though my prior analyses demonstrate that they will (likely) not work.
2. Despite there being fewer motions, not all of them got heard in the end even though more support was required for each.
3. Many international delegates were unable to attend due to being denied visas to Britain, often on spurious grounds. In one notorious case, a Pakistani delegate was denied a visa on the grounds of being a single woman.