Three days, numerous workshops and, of course, all important plenary sessions. Green Party conference came to a close yesterday after an exciting weekend. During a turbulent year in politics the Green Party stands as one of the few voices of reason, and our latest conference has helped to solidify our message.
As you may have already heard, Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas are the Green Party’s new co-leaders and Amelia Womack retains her place as deputy leader. The three made powerful and inspiring acceptance speeches which commit us to tackling inequality and exploring every avenue we can to form part of a progressive government in 2020 and beyond. They tackled some tough questions and gave us a few laughs in the leaders’ QA session right at the end of conference. I’m confident the team can lead the party to further increases in membership and elected representation across the country in the next 2 years!
New policies and practices
This was a hugely productive conference which reinforced our position as the most progressive movement in British politics. Conference voted to officially oppose the Conservatives’ Trades Union Act 2016 as well as amending our own trade union policy to allow unions access to the work place. An emergency motion also called on the party and its elected representatives to do more to tackle exploitative new industries with business models like Uber and Deliveroo which often see workers being paid less than the minimum wage.
We also strengthened our commitment to gender equality and ending discrimination against marginalised groups. Conference passed a new policy to officially recognise the gender identities of transgender and non-binary individuals. We also voted to end discrimination against people in same-sex partnerships who wish to donate blood, and instead support a system of case-by-case risk assessments.
Conference has also voted to change the way in which Green Party policy is created to make the process more democratic wherever possible. All in all this conference puts us in an even stronger position as a party of social and economic equality.
What does this mean for South Gloucestershire?
While motions passed at conference affect the party at a national level, it’s clear that their effects have a lasting local impact. Local party spokespeople are now in a position to combat the destructive business practices of “gig-economy” companies arising in the South West. We’re also better placed to provide support to marginalised groups, and let them know that the Green Party’s elected representatives will always stand up for their rights.