Monday, 12 October 2009

Meetings of all Colours

The last seven days have been busy, with meetings that could be said to have come in a range of colours.

On the Blue front, I attended a couple of the Conservative Party fringes at the Climate Clinic; as expected, contributions from the ‘natural party of government’ were thin on the ground, with most of the contributions from the floor at the first meeting I attended - on financing the Green New Deal - coming from the local climate change cognoscenti. The Tories fielded Greg Clark, who made some of the right noises before departing earlier; however I lack confidence in him having much influence over his shadow cabinet companions. Confusingly the Tories other climate change spokesman is called Greg Barker, and for a while I suspected that they were the same person on the meetings programme; maybe climate Tories just have to be called Greg (or Zac).
The other fringe was on ‘Can Climate Change invigorate Democracy?’ - There were about 20 people there tops – it may be good for democracy elsewhere, but not here.

Anyway the ‘Blue Meanies’ have departed, so we’re on Red and Green now (with a dash of Lib Dem orange). I observed a meeting of our City Council on Wednesday, given the Council make-up this counts as (very pale) red, plus orange dash. I would recommend every Manchester citizen to see their Councillors in action from time to time. There were the inevitable yah-boo exchanges between the 2 main groups, but of most interest to me were the motions on climate change and the impending EDL soccer hooligan / racist demo.

Proposing that the Council adopt the ’10:10’ reduction, the Executive member for the Environment Richard Cowell promised that the Council’s Climate Action Plan will be ‘Radical and Progressive’. The Lib Dems gave their support to the proposal (and reminded the ruling group of the existence of the Airport, although without going into much detail). It was passed without demur; now let’s see if anything comes of it in practice…

Thursday was our monthly Manchester Green Party meeting, and this week included guest speakers on the shenanigans at Manchester College – and Brimar arms campaign.

After attending a display of the consultation for Chorlton Precinct on Friday, I was present at the start of the battle of Piccadilly (red in tooth and claw), between the EDL and Anti-racists. As the anti-racists seemed in the overwhelming majority, I rounded off the week in a familiar green hue at a meeting to develop a response to the Council’s Climate Change action plan (mentioned above), as a follow up to the ‘Call to Real Action’.

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