I've just left a Green Party Conference like no other. It coincided with the gathering of 2000ish Greens from all over the world who came together in Liverpool to meet, share ideas, successes, failures, fighting against the odds, celebrating our victories, recognising our common cause. We realised that we are not alone that we are a connected family that can draw strength from each other.
I chaired a session on Green action against Fracking from around the world. Green MPs from Victoria in Australia and Bulgaria explained how they had successfully achieved Fracking bans in their own countries. Our own Tina Louise Rothery inspired us with her stories of the ongoing struggle against Cuadrilla at Preston New Road near Blackpool, the UK fracking frontline. The overall feeling from the panel and in the room was one of hope, optimism, positivity with the knowledge that right is on our side. The Government are backing the Corporations and the Greens are backing the community. Tina mused why we in the UK were going the wrong way on Fracking while countries all round the world are banning it. I suggested we need to frame the struggle for a UK audience and that if we were going to 'take back control' from Third Energy, Ineos, Cuadrilla et al we should probably call the campaign 'Fraxit'.
That was just one session there were lots more and stories of our great gains in the Netherlands while the extreme right wingers withered away, the first Green President of Austria and our new role in the Government of Sweden. The real story was that the best way to combat the negativity of right wing populism was to provide a positive, optimistic, radical and compelling vision of the future.
I am both tired, happy and re-energised. In Liverpool I feel like we have come together from around the world with different parts of a map to a better future. We now know the way. We just have to put one foot in front of another. It's an approach I'm familiar with.