Tag Archives: conservative party conference

Conference diary: a bird’s eye view from Birmingham

birminghamI used to work for a conservation charity famous for protecting birds and once, on a call, a woman used the phrase “let’s kill two birds with one stone, here”. I barely noticed what she’d said (it was water off a duck’s back to me) but the caller got so embarrassed that she garbled an apology and then hung up, mid-call. Phrases, and their use, can be quite important to some people, which was a running theme at the Conservative party conference this week. Read more

Conference diary: where now for green conservatism?

6217321664_fdb5fc1678_bIn his latest post from the party conferences,  Green Alliance’s  Alastair Harper reports from Manchester. This piece first appeared on BusinessGreen.

There’s something surreal about the way the parties shuffle the same cities for their annual conferences. Last night, I sat in on a reception for a right-of-centre think tank, filled with young people chatting earnestly about the perils of welfare reliance and how innovation was being shackled by government regulation. In exactly the same room last year, I watched another large group of young people chatting earnestly about the perils of cuts to essential services and how growth was being limited due to lack of government stimulus investment. Surreal, but also a useful lab setting in which to compare the parties. Read more

Security tips, ministers ‘gagging for it’ and the end of a barren consensus

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and  roving party conference diarist.

This is his final diary posting from the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, first published on Business Green.

Well, thank God that’s over with. Three lanyards now dangle from the side of my monitor like campaign medals. It’s lucky we’re largely a three party system. One more of these things and I’d have developed trench foot.

I’m home for good. Home for the last few days has been a hotel in an industrial part of Birmingham two miles from the secure zone. In the lift, there was an advert for an upcoming Roy Chubby Brown tribute night. This, it is fair to say, was not the prime minister’s hotel.

Anyway, with it all done, I thought I’d use this final diary to list some of the things I’ve learned from this party conference season – Read more

Conference diary: making the papers

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and  roving party conference diarist.

Here his is first posting from the Conservative’s party conference in Birmingham, first published on Business Green.

Minutes after they read it on the cover of The Times yesterday morning, a private round table brought together MPs, ministers, businesses and NGOs to discuss the role of green in the recovery.

Two different letters, one leaked, one written openly, may just have changed everything. The letters said that those that want to invest into this country, cannot without greater certainty from government on the green agenda. Read more

The Green Deal will insulate homes, but can it save energy?

Adam Corner for Guardian Sustainable Business. Adam is a research associate at Cardiff University whose interests include the psychology of communicating climate change.

At a fringe meeting of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Greg Barker (the minister for climate change) described what will be one of the most ambitious energy-efficiency programmes ever attempted: the Green Deal. The flagship UK policy offers loans – linked to properties not householders, and repaid through energy bills – to cover the upfront costs of a range of energy efficiency measures, including loft insulation and boiler upgrades. Read more