Green's Spring conference targets the banks and Labour


The Green Party is holding its Spring Conference in Nottingham this weekend. But its choice of location is no coincidence.

The campus venue at Nottingham University is home to some of the latest research in creating eco-friendly homes.

This political party's come a long way since it was formed at the Bridge pub at Napton, in Warwickshire, 40 years ago. Inspired by the growth of the green movement in Germany, the party went through early birth name change: People, then Ecology before settling on the Green Party.

Its leader is former Guardian journalist Natalie Bennett. Elected last autumn, her priority now is to spread the message that the Greens aren't a single issue political party.

Start Quote

Labour is staying so close to the Tories on policy terms, we have a huge opportunity to talk about our policies”

End Quote Natalie Bennett Leader, Green Party

The banks are in her sights for causing the global recession. The multinationals for not paying "a fair" tax. So is the Labour Party for taking Britain into the Iraq war.

"Because Labour is staying so close to the Tories on policy terms, we have a huge opportunity to talk about our policies, " she told me.

"Making the minimum wage a living wage, for example. We are wanting to renationalise the railways. That's popular with every audience I ever come across."

The Greens have two MEPs and in Caroline Lucus, a Westminster MP.

"Caroline has before Parliament a land value tax bill, " added Natalie Bennett.

"This would replace council tax and business rates with a far more equitable system.

"It would stop land banking and would ensure that local councils have the funding they need."

One of the party's councillors is Richard Mallender from Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire.

Before the conference started, he was shown some of the world-leading research at Nottingham University on creating energy efficient homes.

In a quiet cul-de-sac on the university campus, there are six experimental carbon-zero houses . They will shape future home design and help meet the 2016 deadline for Britain's carbon reduction targets.

"We developed these carbon zero homes from the design and development stage through to people living in them," said Professor Mark Gillott, of the University's School of Architecture and Built Environment.

"We feed that back to industry so when we get to 2016 and we build these homes on mass, we'll have learnt the lessons to smooth the way."

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It's also about getting building regulations up to standard and the building industry working smarter with local councils”

End Quote Cllr Richard Mallender Rushcliffe Green Party

Mr Mallender is one of the Greens' 134 councillors in England and Wales. He believes local councils have a key role in delivering those targets.

"This is the standard of housing we need to see for the whole of the UK," he told me.

"It's also about getting building regulations up to standard and the building industry working smarter with local councils."

The Greens believe they are no longer a fringe party. Their message and policies from the Nottingham conference could set the tone for the party's next 40 years.

John Hess, Political editor, East Midlands Article written by John Hess John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

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  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    What sets the greens apart is that they are radical. The other parties just shove the same garbage up their bottoms and vomit it back out with a new, more fabulous, sparkly marketing campaign. Capitalism works, but Tory, Labour and Lib Dem politicians don't. The tax-payer currently funds a very lavish, old school, boy's club - and gets a crap ROI. :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Will Duckworth, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, was in a debate at Nott. uni; ridiculed by Lab., Lib-dems & Tories until the economists in the audience agreed with him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    The Green`s scariest policy is their desire for population control.
    We`ve seen how the most duplicitous people creep into the ranks of any political party that gets into power, and the Green`s think there are already too many people on the planet.
    So which people will be culled to reduce the population?
    Not the elite of the party, that`s for sure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    They are well intentioned people - but a bit too like the moonies in their thinking for me

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    The day that anyone in our country believes anything any Political Party the day we should stop thinking for ourselves.
    We let our Newspapers,our Media and our Politicians tell us who to vote for and what to think.....
    Wish they would let all of us make up our own minds...
    But ...for some reason...that idea is not a good idea.
    Do we really need to be told what to do?


Comments 5 of 38



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