Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Green Party Conference 1

Hundreds of delegates will descend on the city this weekend as the Green Party's conference returns to Hove Town Hall for the first time since 2006.

This will be good news for the the green end of the local tourist economy - expect a roaring trade at Hove's 'The Greenhouse Effect' pub - and hopefully give many Brighton and Hove residents a chance to sample a vision of what a Green Brighton and Hove would look like.

As a local MEP and MP candiate for Brighton Pavilion, Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas is a familiar sight around town. But she is expected to be the biggest draw-card of the conference, with a speech in which the Euro-MP will blame Gordon Brown for the recession and call for tough new banking regulations.

Other speakers will include Liberty Director Shami Chakrabati and campaigning comedian Mark Thomas.

I'll be speaking too, alongside broadcaster Beatrix Campbell OBE, Green Member of the London Assembly and of the Metropolitan Police Authority Jenny Jones and former Leicester Green councillor Matt Follett, on Green approaches to crime and policing (more details later...)

I'll be 'blogging from the conference - and already have plenty to tell y'all about.

But of course the media will report what they like, as usual - and I'm sure it'll be the same old story about the culture clash between the bearded and staff-waving and the suit-wearing delegates.

As usual, it'll have little to do with reality (most people have a healthy dose of both within them, really), but hey.

If we were the Labour Party (and I'll be sharing reflections on their conference too, later this month) I'm sure we'd be running about in media panic mode trying to work out how to avoid any negative publicity (and consequently attract lots) - but we're not.

So, do expect the same old story about the annual hippies vs yippies wrangle, do come back here for some more accurate reports, and don't fret if you can't come along yourself: you'll have to miss Mark Thomas and Atilla the Stockbroker, but you can share the fun (in the form of Caroline Lucas's leader's speech, anyway), courtesy of the BBC, at 9.30pm on Friday. Just follow this link - and bookmark the page.

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