The Greens in Bristol: the forgotten party conference?

I won’t apologise for a second Green party-related post in three days. Understandably, their party conference in Bristol last weekend didn’t enjoy the same level of media coverage as that of the big political players. Think of this as a tiny cyber step towards redressing the imbalance.

Watch this fantastic video below from the Guardian’s John Harris as takes a tour around the Green Party of England and Wales’ Party Conference 2012. He points out the distinct lack of media hubbub around this gathering – where’s Nick Robinson when you need him? – the stark differences between this conference and those of the big three – within minutes he’s chatting informally to Natalie Bennett – and describes the growing belief that this Green movement is becoming a political force.

Click to link out to the Guardian and watch the video

The film’s description, that “The Greens are turning into a force on the radical left”, doesn’t seem to be quite accurate yet. Until this party, which didn’t even garner 1% of the vote at the last general election, becomes a bigger stakeholder at Westminster, it can’t claim to be more than a loose grouping of new lefties and environmentalists.

Furthermore, if you watch the video, you’ll notice that the membership of the party doesn’t contain a wide demographic. There’s a lot of older campaigners – perhaps continuing that political protest tradition that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s – and a few younger ones. But there’s a distinct lack of mass appeal.

If the party is expanding its policy base, then it needs to be connecting with an expanded set of voters. Sandals still seem to be the dominant footwear of choice. Although, that might be some idiosyncratic editing…


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