Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mountains to climb

Last blog on Green Party conference I promise! Things have been hectic since I got back and had to worry about my Dad who was admitted to hospital with a mystery problem so I'm a touch behind. Apologies.

There are several lasting images of the Swansea conference that will be lodged in my mind for some time to come.

Firstly my wonderful hosts that I stayed with, Jan and Andy, who were welcoming above and beyond the call of duty. Of course, I will look back on shame on the fact that (sleeping in a bunk bed) I somehow managed to tip the whole thing down on top of me when getting up in the morning. Ouch.

Also the fact that they live on top of a *mountain* when the conference was down by the beach gave me one of the most murderous walks home I've ever encountered. Half way back I came to the bottom of a *thing* called Constitution Hill which stretched upwards before me at what, I swear, was something like a 45% angle. By the time I was at the top I was praying for a swift dose of pneumonia to finish me off.

Of course the view of Swansea bay was beautiful, although difficult to appreciate whilst clutching your chest and gasping for dear life.

Another memory that will scar me is the review. This is the cruel and unusual punishment where Green Party delegates get up and perform their party pieces, or little skits based on the goings on of the conference. There were some highlights. The choir was very accomplished (on the whole, cough, cough) and the conference mix where the sound guy had recorded the speeches and then sampled and spliced it together was very, very funny.

Alas it was not all of this quality and I was left clutching my stomach as it spasmed with a mixture of horror and laughter at some of the turns people thought was appropriate to do in a public place. I mean, yes, they are very brave for doing it and we're all friends but man... it was painful.

Green bloggers fringe was very enjoyable and I found it really useful. Myself, Natalie and Sue were supposedly keeping it together but the general discussions, questions and anecdotes made for a very enjoyable hour and a half. It also reminds me that the more you do the more people get you to do... a lesson I'm always forgetting, so I came out of the whole experience having found myself volunteered for a number of tasks - I better get on with them I guess.

On the politics I'm more than ever convinced that the Green Party is unequivocally progressive, democratically organised and punching well below its weight. That lack of traction between the leadership and the members, and the different views on what the Party is actually for really need addressing.

For me that means more involvement if I want to try to improve its direction and its ability to make things happen. That's a tall order, I'm quite comfortable as an independent activist and am enjoying my largely unlabelled socialist status. However, I guess there's no point in seeing a problem if you aren't going to contribute to fixing it.


Renegade Eye said...

Atleast there was no karaoke.

Locally the Greens hold city offices in Minneapolis. They have had a presence at antiwar activities.

I vote Green if no Trot is running.

Louisefeminista said...

Jim, where did you stay out of curiosity?

There are some nice places to wander around if you have the time such as Mumbles and the Gower. Both utterly beautiful and picturesque. Very peaceful...

Sorry to hear about your dad. Hope it is ok.

Jim Jay said...

We'll see about my dad - he's stable at the moment and has come home, although they still don't know what's wrong with him.

I stayed with a couple who i'd never met before on top of a big mountain, I didn't think the ask the name. I qwas very near the top end of a cliff - does that help?

swansea does seem lovely - apart from the hills

Sean said...

The last two paragraphs of your piece were spot on Jim, and got right to the heart of the matter.