SGP: November 2009 Archives

We've arrived. Last night on Rush's radio show he had a go at us over golf balls (even if Patrick was described as "a US lawmaker"). I kid you not. You can listen to the craziness below - the golf item is from 11 minutes 45 seconds, with Patrick quoted from about 14 minutes 10 seconds.

theadygil.jpgLike many, I find the jar-rattlers and direct-debit-form-wranglers intensely irksome. It's not just that I'm tight: I've given some serious thought about which charities to support, and I already make regular payments to each.

It occurred to me today to talk about the organisations I support in my own tiny way, and to put up some donation links. 

I feel strongly about all four of them. Typically they're not the big names in the voluntary sector: to pick a topical example, although both Poppy Scotland and the Peace Pledge Union do good work, my view is that my donations will make more of a difference elsewhere. 

In reverse alphabetical order..

Survival International. The leading charity defending the land and rights of indigenous communities. As an anthropology graduate, this was the first organisation I started giving regularly to. Most impressive recent action? Helping the Bushmen to take the Botswanan Government's eviction plans to court, and winning. Donate.

Shelter Scotland. The largest organisation I give to, slightly going against my rule of thumb. For me, homelessness is Scotland's most glaring social problem, and Shelter are practical and effective. If you want to see how pragmatic campaigning works, check out this pageDonate.

Sea Shepherd. A more militant offshoot of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd specialise in anti-whaling campaigns, and some of my money just went to buy the insanely impressive new boat shown above. Story here. The relationship between them and Greenpeace ain't great, but I think they both do great work. I give to Sea Shepherd both because they're smaller, and because you know exactly what your money goes on - directly saving actual whales. Donate.

Scottish Green Party. You won't be surprised to know that I donate to the party, and as a member of the party's Operations Committee I can assure you a little goes a long way. If you find yourself agreeing with any of my ramblings, please donate here.

Scottish Green conference 2009.

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Patrickbeingfilmedsmall.jpgThe party gathered in Dumfries at the weekend for Annual Conference, and despite the comedy mumping and moaning from elsewhere, turnout by the membership was about the same as last year when we met in Glasgow. 

The venue was the very impressive Easterbrook Hall, part of the Crichton campus, fittingly, and the organisational skills of Chris Ballance and the team meant the whole weekend went very smoothly *. 

We didn't get as much media as I'd have liked, though, or indeed as much as I'd expected. BBC came out (left), and we got a bit on STV too. Patrick also did the Politics Show, and our voting intention figures got a great show in the Sunday Herald and News of the World. 

This was our first conference since Debra Storr and Martin Ford said they were moving our way, and Debra renamed her blog accordingly. They were both very warmly received, and I was pleased to hear positive feedback from them too - apparently attendance at Green Conference is roughly the same as Lib Dem Conference, despite them having four times the membership.

It was also the first conference since Louise Batchelor joined - every serious political party needs a former BBC journalist nowadays, so we're clearly in the big league. I'm looking forward to finding out from her everything we're doing wrong with our media strategy. I bet she's got a list.

Socially it was magic too - I forget how many good friends I see only at conference, and having somewhere to stay with proper mod cons on Saturday night made a big difference. My strangest moment by some margin came earlier that evening. 

We went out for dinner to a country pub in a wee village called Haugh of Urr. First, we looked thoroughly out of place in their Halloween fancy dress party, then we were serenaded by a red-jumpsuited Elvis. Finally Jack Charlton turned out to be at one of the other tables. Not a Jack Charlton impersonator: the real thing (left).

Policy discussions, though? Dunno, I missed them all. Fringes? Nope, them too. If you want a flavour, some of them both were discussed in the appropriate Twitter hashtag. Maybe next year. Stressful as the runup always is, I'm looking forward to it already.

* One exception, though, which was not his fault, was being told at 2pm on Sunday that "all the logins for the wifi have been used up". My first question every time a conference venue is proposed is normally "will we have wifi?". Next time it'll be "will they guarantee wifi all weekend without bogus logins or interruptions of longer than an hour, or failing that give us half our money back?"

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the SGP category from November 2009.

SGP: October 2009 is the previous archive.

SGP: January 2010 is the next archive.