Yesterday a group from Tower Hamlets visited Brighton to help the Re elect Caroline Lucas campaign.
We had a great day, and we received a warm welcome from the Brighton Green Party (and a very nice lunch too).
Just a few thoughts about what the experience meant for me.
First and foremost it was remarkable to be in a city where multi party politics is a fact of life. It felt like a glimpse into the near future. It was proper politics too. Not everyone in Brighton regards Caroline as a hero, nor the minority Green Council as an unmitigated success. There are lots of debates, ranging from war, the NHS, dustbins and recycling (HUGE local issue), UKIP, Ed Miliband etc etc.
But what is plain is that for many people fed up with the old parties, they see the Greens as a dynamic honest party. Love them or loath them, they are really working to carry out their promises.
Caroline Lucas, of course, is the main personality and again it was plain that amongst everyone, whether they are Greens or not, or if they voted for her not, she had huge respect for the energy and commitment she has shown in representing her constituency, while being a lone voice for the Greens in the House of Commons.
It was inspiring to see so many people genuinely thrilled to see her, keen to engage with her in discussions about their concerns, and with a clear view that if she could help, she would.
Its the kind of politics this country is crying out for. Its the antidote to cynicism and the arrogance of politicians who take their positions in power for granted. Greens could never do that. We fight for what we believe. Agree or disagree, we could never stop doing that. There is too much at stake to do anything else.