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Showing posts with label conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conference. Show all posts

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Greens Challenge Labour in Brighton


The Greens and Labour are engaging in war this week as both parties choose the city of Brighton as the host for their party conferences. 

Presenting a formidable challenge to Labour, the Greens' sole MP, Caroline Lucas, will be welcoming the party to her seat and attempting to garner support away from the party. 

Criticism of the Labour party is only fair. Having helped the UK into economic crisis, the party lost a lot of support, allowing the Conservatives into power. With their horrible policies, the Tories have now forced people up and down the country into increasingly detrimental positions, where families struggle to make ends meet and the most vulnerable are treated like a burden on the state. Of course, the Labour party can't be blamed directly for the introduction of these abhorrent policies but their recklessness in government played into their opposition's hands, causing the coalition we have today. To add salt to the wound, however, it appears that the Labour party have few plans to end this reign of terror enforced by the 'nasty party' and seemingly want to continue with the timetable of austerity, reversing few of the Tories' cuts and policies if they were to gain control of Government in 2015.

Additionally, the Labour party seem to be on the path to destruction in the General Election. Despite their high polling levels, a parliamentary majority still remains dependent on their ability to connect with voters, but it's hard to do that when you have no, at least public, policies. Whether it's a tactically slow release, or a case of developing policies at the last minute, Miliband's party are sending their support packing as people struggle to understand what the party stands for. Far from the certainty of receiving the support from their original voter base, Labour seem to be only pushing away votes rather than drawing new ones in. 

In the three-way marginal that is the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, Labour are hoping to win the seat from the Greens, as part of their bid to reassert themselves as the people's party. Yet, it will not be a surprise if they lose the seat again, as they continue down the path they are taking. Despite the public spats the Greens have had in the council and some of their lesser appreciated policies by local residents, Caroline Lucas continues to hold strong support, if only by a margin. With their conference having ended this week, the Greens have voted for policies that the public want, but the Labour party doesn't (yet) offer: no to fracking, nationalised railways and the reversion of austerity policies, for example. It is on this basis that the Greens will remind Labour party members of an alternative as they challenge the official opposition to the status of de facto opposition. Labour party members will be greeted with this billboard, which criticises their lack of policy and position on the right of the political spectrum, on their way to conference this week:

Although the Greens would be extremely pleased to gain support on the basis of their policies and establish themselves as a true party in Westminster, what is more important is the introduction of their policies. Hence, this argument attempts to work in two ways. The first is that it will persuade Labour members to realign with the Greens. The second that will prompt Labour members to ask their party to introduce these policies to their manifesto.

In order to ensure success and stop the demise of Labour majority governments (which may not necessarily be a bad thing), Miliband and his party members need to reconsider their strategy and begun introducing policy promises that will get people back on their side. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Natalie Bennett Kicks Off Conference Season with Promising Speech

Natalie Bennett

Kicking off the UK Party Conference Season, Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett set off continuous rounds of applause as she delivered a promising speech to her party in Brighton.

Bennett showed how in touch and relevant the Green Party is yesterday when she reiterated the Green Party’s long-standing policies on fracking, austerity and privatisation. The policies outlined by the leader are ones that stand well with the public and, once the party receives some national coverage of the event, will likely hit home in a large section of the population.

As the population continues to demonstrate dissatisfaction with the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, Natalie Bennett is right to point out how the Green Party (and Ukip) will stand in good stead at the next General Election, in 2015, as people look towards viable alternatives and realise that these parties have policies they can eagerly rally behind.

Perhaps the most attractive of the positions taken in her speech are her commitments to renationalising the railways (and Royal Mail), anti-fracking and anti-cuts. With people around the country suffering from the Government’s brutal cuts, a party that promises an honest and viable reprieve should receive a considerable amount of backing. However, the Green Party's stance on immigration and asylum seekers will not be welcomed by the general public, as people continue to perceive these issues as problems for the UK. Many YouGov polls have shown that people see immigration as a threat to the country as a whole but not to themselves - this completely highlights the effect of the British media, whereby people are led to believe that immigration is a problem when few are actually affected by it.

Natalie represents a party with few, and not irreconcilable, splits and, thus, has the good fortune of rare inner-party scuffles. This conference is already showing a party ready for the election, prepared with relevant policies and eager to support each other across the country. Much more will come out of this conference that all should be interested in.

For a detailed report of her speech, see below:

Natalie Bennett has opened the Green Party conference, the first of the UK party conference season, in Brighton today, immediately outlining the party’s continued opposition to fracking, austerity and military intervention in Syria.

At her second conference as leader of the party, after Caroline Lucas, the sole Green MP, stepped down from the position of leader last year, Bennett proclaimed the party’s continued resistance to the coalition Government’s austere programme.

Praising the actions of elected Green Party members, Bennett declared it a difficult situation for Brighton and Hove Council, the only Green council in the country, under the continued strains of ‘brutal’ Government cuts. Bennett congratulated the councillors for their work on introducing a living wage, pay ratios, ethical investment and great GCSE results under their authority. She also commended Jenny Jones on her appointment to the House of Lords before announcing that Jenny will take a platform of abolishing the House.

Criticism of Ukip and Nigel Farage…

This article was originally published by H4TV - for the full article, click here

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tories Not Welcome in Birmingham

With no aim but to express anger, frustration and dissatisfaction, the protest outside the Tory conference on Sunday had a resounding message; the Tories were not welcome in Birmingham. If the public had their way (which they rarely do), the Tories would have hosted their conference as far away from the ICC as possible.

Crying out with the crowds, it was more than obvious to me that the atmosphere was one of genuine rage. Across both the public and private sectors, the cuts are hitting hard; their consequences deep and far-reaching. From railway workers, to fire-fighters, to lecturers at our University, there was cross-spectrum resistance to the Tory presence. And, despite police officers being unable to protest along with us by law, the liaison officers were sympathetic to our cause. “Birmingham Grannies against the Cuts” were a particular favourite group of mine; not least because it shows that Government policies are spanning generations and the most vulnerable are, despicably, getting the rough end of the stick whilst the most fortunate are cut more and more slack.

Students, including NUS officers Vicki Baars and Aaron Kiely, also lined the ranks, demonstrating against raised tuition fees and continuing further and higher education cuts. Asked why they were demonstrating, Mathematics student, Ollie Jones said they were “angry” with the cuts that the Tory party were making in Government, particularly in opposition to changes to the NHS.

Vicki Baars, NUS Vice President for Union Development hit the spot when she tweeted, “at the rally against #cpc12, the Conservative led government has tripled Tuition Fees, introduced FE fee’s for over 24’s… Let’s defend edu!”
Inspiring speeches were given by general secretaries from public sector unions including the UCU, RMT and Unite. Christine Blower, general secretary for NUT, addressed the crowds “there is a will to privatise our education” and cited that one in five young people can’t find a job, while Bob Crow, RMT, called for re-nationalisation of the railways.

Yet, the protest was disappointing; in spite of a supposed five thousand attendees, it felt quiet and too jovial, and both the march and the rally were over in two and a half hours. Once it had finished, it had finished. It was by far lacking the passion of previous protests. Whilst timid voices shouted for a tax on the rich, the one percent, Cameron stood, unscathed and with security for protection, that his Government would not be introducing a mansion tax. Once again, our demands were ignored.

Fortunately, I can confidently say that the upcoming protests by the TUC and the NUS in London will be much more impactful. If #demo2012 is anything like the student protests of 2010, we will see fifty thousand take on Westminster and show this shambles of a Government that we will not just sit back and take what they throw at us. For ourselves, and future generations, we will say “no more”.