The Green Party Spring Conference 2008 is to be held at Reading Town Hall from 14th to 17th February. I will be heading down from Norwich tomorrow night. A good number of Eastern Region Green Councillors, campaigners and members will be attending ahead of what is expected to be another good set of local election results for us here in the East on May 1st.
In my city, Norwich, the Greens are aiming to make history by becoming the first Green Group to be the largest opposition party on a principal authority. Greens are also working hard for gains in Waveney, Watford, Welwyn, St. Alban's, Cambridge and Colchester. In 1999 there were just 2 principal authority Green Councillors in Eastern Region. Now there are over 20 with more seats being won every year. It's an exciting time to be lead Euro-candidate for the Region for the Greens!
The Reading conference will be considering an update
of Green Party Energy policy - a vital area as a consequence of dangerous climate change becoming ever more evident. The UK is failing to cut its carbon dioxide emissions under Labour, as this blog has documented over the past few months. Whilst the Labour Government plans for ever more unsustainable development that will make things worse, the Greens are saying that we have to face the reality that business as usual economics is off the agenda. Expanding airports, building more motorways and concreting over floodplains is incompatible with tackling climate change.
It is also going to be a big conference for international issues, with speakers expected from Venezuela, Palestine and Nigeria. Scottish and Irish representatives will be available to speak about their parliamentary experiences. There will also be a prominent speaker from the European Green Party, and a fringe on the Lisbon treaty.
At noon on Friday, I will oversee a fringe event with Martin Bell. Mr Bell is very well known for his work as a television foreign correspondent, former MP and campaigner for high standards in public life.
I am, naturally, delighted that Martin Bell will be joining us for our conference fringe debate about integrity in public life. 'The man in the white suit' has a well-deserved reputation for such integrity. The Green Party cares deeply about honesty and integrity in public life, which is why we stand up strongly for what we believe in, whether or not it is popular to do so. It will be very interesting to hear what Mr. Bell -- a native of East Anglia, whose first job was in Norwich with Radio Norfolk -- has to say about the way forward on these issues.
...For more, and for updates over the next several days, go to our Conference group blog: