I had a good conference, but goodness I am quite tired after a train journey from Liverpool to here in Headcorn Kent that started at 2pm and finished at 9.45pm.
Good crowd of conference goers, stimulating debates and I was really proud to not only thank Green Party councillors who deserve some thanks for all their hard work getting elected (no mean task without PR)and action in post but push the climate camp.
The high spots included getting radical policies on government essentially we would abolish the PM, putting in a first minister with less power and going for a more consensual approach. The motions against the wrong kind of biofuels ....ie. agricultural especially palm oil which cuts into rainforests were also very important.
The leadership debates were friendly (in contrast to some earlier media events!), but I want to keep the debate on power going.
You know my view on power here is a slightly different approach from Caroline Lucas, see what you think, this is from one of her conference speeches as principal speaker:
8. The Green Party and Power
But while we castigate this Labour government for not using the power it has, it's a timely moment to consider the complex attitude of many Green Parties towards power.
Politics is, of course, all about power. And those of us in the Green Party are in politics precisely because we want to get green ideas into power .
But in spite of that, we have an almost crippling suspicion about its use, and about the leadership which goes with its exercise .
But power doesn't go away if you ignore it. Someone, somewhere has always got it – what changes is the amount of transparency and accountability that goes with it.
I think the Green Party should treat the issue of leadership and power with greater confidence – we should trust each other, more.
Hove 23 September 2006
the rest of the speech is here