…and a missed opportunity to live-stream the speeches by the young green party leaders
TL/DR: Watch the joint speech by the Greens’ co-leaders here, and with future events ensure
- you advertise the link to the livestream (and any event hashtags) repeatedly, and
- ensure you get good audio for your livestream. (People will forgive bad visuals so long as the sound is good. But not the other way around).
Ever since I left the civil service in 2011 I started going to lots of local and London-based public policy events like the proverbial celebrity who turns up to the opening of an envelope or a front door. When I was in the civil service I only went to events that my bosses approved of, such was (and still is) my risk-averse nature that stems from childhood. For a host of reasons I developed a really bad habit not just of obeying those in authority but doing what I thought would please those in authority. Which was one of the factors in my breakdown. (I still haven’t forgiven Church. Or the Tories that were in power in the 1980s & 1990s).
What happens when you suddenly cannot go to events in person?
In one sense we found this out with the continuing Covid pandemic – only in that case very large events were simply cancelled. The prospect of going to large conferences and events outside Cambridge is something that is now beyond me. I found that out the hard way in hospital just under a year ago following a heart attack.
Above. “How TF did I end up here again?!?!
So to stay vaguely in touch I rely on other people to go to stuff – such as Paul Frainer here at LocalGovCamp that I last went to almost a decade ago in Birmingham.
Above – me and Puffles and early mornings – never a good combination! This was about three months after a mental health crisis the result of which meant I’ve been unable to work full time again.
Read Paul’s account here. Then (especially Cambridge & Cambridgeshire institutions, make sure you sent a member of staff to the next one in 2023! Ditto for UKGovCamp too!)
The reason for pointing out my own case (again) is to show how easily people can be excluded from participating even though they might have something to contribute, or something to learn.
Furthermore, our experience with the lockdowns and the massive shift towards online and hybrid events means that we’ve reached the point where a critical mass of people and organisations now have both the tech and the people with the skills to use them to make hybrid events the norm. Furthermore, this is not about me wanting to take part – chronic fatigue means I can’t take part in much anymore. But other people can – people who might not have participated before. And it’s getting new people involved and active that I’m interested in helping make the case for.
It would have been great to have heard what the next generation had to say from the conference platform.
So we are left to those covering the event to summarise things for us.
“Under 30s are a ‘generation of insecurity’, Green Party conference told”Chris Jarvis for Left Foot Forward, 30 Sept 2022
That was the message from the leaders of the Young Greens. I hope someone filmed it and shared their speeches far and wide. The point being is that most people won’t know that the party conferences are happening. A sign of the times. In decades gone by there was far greater and more in-depth coverage in the era of 3-4 TV channels than there is in our attention-deprived soundbite age. Therefore having the video footage also ensures you can come back to previous pieces of footage and remind people that “this is what we said X years ago.” For example, here’s Zoe Williams of The Guardian with Dr Rupert Read, then Cambridge’s MP candidate for the Green Party in the 2015 General Election – starting with the impact of £50,000 of student debt that graduates now leave university with.
I hope there were people there filming footage at the various debates that can be uploaded for wider audiences. One Green councillor with a strong interest in the field of accessibility is Cllr Naomi Bennett (Greens – Abbey) of Cambridge City Council, and leader of the Greens and Independent Group on the council. (3xGreens, 1xIndependent).
There’s also the historical records too
Being a local historian with a background in the civil service, I’m fascinated by what plans the different political parties had for the future in times gone by. Nearly 100 years ago the Labour Party published a candidates’ speakers handbook – I digitised it here. Compare what they said with how history turned out. There are also books from the 1970s & 1980s that reflected the growing awareness of the climate crisis, as well as the various economic, political, and international crises and what to do about them.
- The Good Citizen – 1932 (from local to international, including support for the League of Nations)
- Press Power and Co-operation – 1936 (on the print press barons)
- Citizen Centres for Adult Education – 1944 (can we have these please?)
- Holidays with Pay – 1937 (the campaign for paid holiday at a time only 25% of workers got it)
- Health and Conditions – Working Class Wives – 1939 (Explains why so many campaigned for the NHS)
- The case for a [global] federal union – 1940 (understandable when the Battle of Britain is breaking out)
- Towards ideal transport – 1944 (It didn’t have to be cars, it could have been trams – published by the Light Rail Transit Assoc (still going at https://www.lrta.org/))
- New sources of local revenue – how would you pay for local government? – 1956
- The Middle East Crisis – 1957 (explains the historical background to why the world is dependent on oil – and the long term foreign policy impact of this)
- The future of social services – 1970
- The motorcar and politics – 1896-1970. published – 1971 – on how cars came to dominate (and how cyclists tried to stop them in the late 19thC!)
- Women’s Rights – a practical guide – 1974
- Lie of the Land – the Community Land Act Betrayed – 1975 – could have led to a land value tax amongst other things. Essential reading for community activists. Wonderfully ‘zine-style illustrations too
- Radical Technology – 1976
- Cause for Concern re media coverage of strikes – 1979
- Who owns North Sea Gas? – 1980
- A guide to the Centre for Alternative Technology – 1981
- Jobs for Keeps (The Ecology Party – later The Greens) 1981
- Safe Energy for a sustainable future (The Ecology Party) 1981)
- The programme of the German Green Party 1983
- Britain without oil – 1985
- Privatisation – paying the price – 1987 (they were warned).
- Down the Drain – 1989 (on water privatisation)
- The Blue Peter Green Book – 1990 (what previous generations knew about climate change – we can’t say we were not warned)
…and those are just a few I’ve found!
Give the gift of a book/magazine to newly-arrived students for those of you in university cities?
Random ones past and present – I pondered the idea of town members and activists for whichever political movement they are part of, buying one book to give to students who have recently arrived, and to hand out at the first big local event they have. (With any unwanted/left over being donated to charity shops. I picked some random screengrabs of ones I’ve mentioned in previous blogposts in this blog.
…noting that the concept is you have to choose one that you think someone would be interested in reading, rather than thinking ***Oooh – there’s that big box of contemporary adult fiction / ghost-written TV celebrity/footballer biographies that need getting rid of!***
Whether it makes a difference I don’t know, but getting read up in something with a general election looming if not soon then certainly by December 2024, means there’s no time like the present to get people involved.
Food for thought?