Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Meet your new SOC

This one's for the Green geeks among you I'm afraid - I'm back from conference so normal blogging will resume tomorrow. However, a few bits of news from what was a really enjoyable conference (for those of you who don't know - this is by no means a guaranteed experience!)

Firstly I had two people tell me they joined the Party through reading this blog - which is something I'd never really thought about before. I've always thought about the Daily (Maybe) as a personal space where I'm building a case for progressive, green, left politics. In my own idiosyncratic way. At best I'd always assumed it would help create a more ideologically rich environment - and therefore a more interesting and attractive one. So to hear it had such a direct effect was really pleasing!

Secondly I had the strangest experience in that I ending up autographing not one but two copies of the Total Politics Guide to blogging in which I've written the chapter on Green Blogging (page 31). Surreal, but really fun at the same time, I'm not sure this will start a trend.

Talking of blogging, the fringe with Sunny Hundal and launching Green Home went really well I think. There was a bit of a buzz around about it and it was very good natured and fun - and I think every conference needs a session where there's a bit of laughter to even out some of the more serious stuff.

The other fringe I ran, with Peter Tatchel and Yasmin Mather from Hands off the People of Iran was really well attended and interesting. The discussion was wide ranging and Peter in particular was on fiery form.

He raised the interesting point about what the Green Party reps on the Stop the War Coalition national committee do so I thought I'd follow that up and went to chat to our Campaigns Co-ordinator. He told me that they had difficulty getting people to go and although we had three spaces we rarely filled them... so if you want to volunteer for the role (and are actually involved in anti-war work obviously) I advise having a chat to our Campaigns coordinator, who is more than likely to welcome your assistance with open arms.

Simultaneously to chairing the Iran meeting I was also giving a hustings speech for the prestigious Standing Order Committee (SOC) election. Not many people are that good at multi-tasking are they? Actually my friend Ute read out a statement and I'm glad to hear people laughed in the right places and clapped at the end. It must have done some good as I got elected.

In fact four of us were elected for a five person committee with the fifth place taken by the odious RON (there were nine candidates in all). So we'll probably end up co-opting someone for that fifth place, no rush though.

For the first time ever we have a SOC group photo at the beginning of our term. From left to right we have Pippa Lane, Jim "peas" Jepps, Mark Hill and Payam Torabi (RON's hiding in the bushes somewhere). The slightly awkward smiles are due to the photographer taking about two or three minutes to actually take the damn photo.

Meet your new SOC - abuse them wisely


Aaron said...

Yasmin Mather was also incredibly interesting in what she had to say too!

Congratz on the election as well to SOC - as far as I could make out from this Conference (my first), the less suits.. the better!

weggis said...

What's wrong with suits? I like suits. Are we having a centrist approach to uniforms now?

Jim Jay said...

Breaking news: I'm now convenor of SOC.

Matt Sellwood said...




Jim Jay said...

Joseph Healy asked me to repost this as it seems to be getting rejected or something:

It was decided last year that the international committee and the London Fed between them would elect a STWC rep. That rep was elected at the London Fed AGM – this is because it was felt easier for a London member to attend STWC meetings. Sean Thompson has been our rep and reported regularly to both London Fed and International Committee. However, as Sean was ill for several months, Tim Summers from Lambeth stood in for him at STWC Steering Group meetings. I ensured as International Coordinator that all reports were fed back to both London and the international committee and also to GPEx. However, there have not been many Steering Group meetings this year.

The outgoing Campaigns Coordinator was happy with this and as the STWC was dealing with foreign wars, it was felt logical to have the rep report back to international. The London Fed AGM is on Sept 28th and if you have any ideas on this let me know. I imagine that Sean, who is now recovered, would want to stand again. However, my understanding is that we are only entitled to one rep on STWC. I share Peter’s concerns about STWC but we have felt that it is better to be involved than to be outside shouting.

I am quite happy for you to post this to your blog as I cannot seem to get registered as a blog respondent, have tried several times.

Btw, congrats on your election to SOC and hope this means a more moderate stance on constitutional issues.

Note from Jim: I have clarification. We can send three people - but only have one voting rep.

Raphael said...

STWC has, among other disgraceful things, organized a speaking tour for a Hezbollah speaker. During this tour, in at least one instance, a GP speaker shared a platform with the Hezbollah speaker.

You will correct me if I'm wrong (since I was not there), but I understand that Peter raised the point that GP spokespersons should not be sharing platforms with Hamas, Hezbollah or Muqtada al-Sadr's etc reps, or at least not without clearly and strongly disassociating us from these antisemites.

Is that what you mean by "the interesting point about what the Green Party reps on the Stop the War Coalition national committee do" ?

I, and others, have raised this concern in the past; the concern relative to the presence of an antisemitic speaker (Hezbollah) sharing a platform with a GP rep was dismissed in a report by our STWC rep in the following terms "His attendance had ruffled the feathers of one or two Green party members in advance of the conference".

Anonymous said...

STWC is a pretty broad coalition, but I'd agree that if we are on a platform with speakers for organisations with a record of anti-semitism, we should clearly condem these attitudes.
Its not just anti-semitism, they are reactionary in many other ways anti gay, anti women etc.
I do however think that we should stay on board with STWC, but take a principled crititical aproach to all forms of bigotry!


DocRichard said...

Whoever the rep turns out to be, can we ask them to put the AfghanOpium argument forward please?

Jim Jay said...

DR: that's a really good point! I think that's also something we could get sme sort of broader concensus on.

Tim said...

I'm another one who's joined the Party as a result of this blog. I posted my cheque off this morning, and then saw that if I'd done it by direct debit at http://join.greenparty.org.uk/, I could have got a free book out of it....