This is Derek Wall's speech to the conference. Derek Blogs at Another Green World.
A Green economy would be more democratic and more reliable, as well as more sustainable, said Green Party co-principal speaker Derek Wall in his speech to the third day of the party’s spring conference.
In a passionate critique of international financial policy, Wall outlined the causes and consequences of phenomena such as sub-prime mortgages and the securitisation of debt. He went on to call for an economic system which recognises more sophisticated metrics of success than GDP growth alone, and which prioritises human welfare over corporate interest.
This, he said, could be achieved by supporting the development of democratised economic models such as co-operatives and mutuals.
He told the audience of Green activists at Reading Town Hall: “The present economy drives ecological destruction and unless we find an alternative to it, it will sub-prime mortgage the near future.
“To keep the increasingly risky and unreal economy afloat we have to keep on consuming. If we spend less then unemployment rises, homeowners who lose their jobs can no longer keep up with mortgage payments, houses are reposessed, credit card debt cannot be paid, and the vicious spiral of negative economic growth leads to poverty and mass unemployment. The system eventually rebounds but with a huge cost in insecurity and human misery.
“We have an economy which is irrational and unecological, which increasingly no one understands and is, increasingly, no fun.
“We have to create an economy that gives access to things we all need, from warm homes to healthy food to secure pensions, and creative good work in secure posts without the ever increasing overuse of resources.
“We can have an economy that meets human need and not the greed of a few. It's about being on the side of ordinary people, and not about making the economy more market-based that ultimately only benefits the super rich.”