Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Cardiff conference so far

My Green Party conferences have been very different over the years. This weekend I've moved a whole number of procedural motions for example, something I have never done before in life. I've had no time for blogging either because in Cardiff I've got hefty policy responsibilities, especially for the start of conference.

So far we've voted down some radical policy on monetary reform but did pass a great motion denouncing international capitalism and calling for real democracy. We've passed policy against the way the Prime Minister can take us into war without recourse to any other democratic institution. We've also passed unambiguous policy against HSR2 - the proposed high speed rail link.

All good stuff. However, the big stuff really happens tomorrow when we take a final assault on our science and technology policies. We've had two of three workshops so far and it's looking really good on scientific funding, the independence of research as well as freedom of information. But it's all to play for as it's conference floor that will decide tomorrow morning.

I have a slight knot in my stomach about the whole thing as you never know what might happen and some of the hard work people have put in over the last year could still fall off the agenda because the overhaul is so extensive.

If you can get to Cardiff for ten tomorrow please do, as it would be really good to finish off stage one of the scientific policy reforms we started way back just after the European elections in 2009.


weggis said...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Why on earth is the Green Party against HS2? I thought we were in favour of public transport alternatives to flying and cars?

Tom Chance said...

Good luck!

Jim Jepps said...

Hi anon.

We are indeed in favour of public transport. Our new policy makes it clear we are not opposed on principle to high speed rail but we are opposed to the high speed rail 2 (HSR2) initiative which will not prevent flights, is not integrated into the transport system and we could spend that money much better.

The main barrier to people taking the train is cost not the small amount of time hsr2 would shave off a journey's time.

Simon W said...

I'd be interested in hearing more about HS2 opposition.

The main point of HS2 isn't to make travel faster between London and the north, but to increase capacity, both for passengers and freight. The current north-south lines are nearly full, and the disastrous West Coast modernisation points to new lines as the best way of increasing capacity. Once it's established that a new line should be built then the 'may as well make it high speed' argument comes into effect.

ModernityBlog said...

It will do your political career no harm, 10 years from now you'll probably be a full time councillor or MP!

Jim Jepps said...

Mod: I'm definately in the wrong party if I want to be an MP.

Simon: I'm not an expert on this (in fact I think I abstained on the vite in the end) but as I understand it the official investigation found no evidence that this would reduce the number of cars journeys or flights.

The key thing that is preventing more train journeys is the cost.

However, we'd certainly not be opposed to increased capacity. As I understand it, it is these specific proposals - that do not appear to be part of properly considered integrated transport policy - that we have a problem with.

I'll try to ask someone who knows more to answer your question though.