Party Blog

Open Data, Open Opportunity.

Cristian Chesha's picture

Last night I attended a set of talks organised by Open Data Manchester, as part of Manchester's excellent Future Everything festival that is running this week. The talks were about how open data sets can be beneficial to the "Third Sector" - voluntary, charity and community work, to benefit the disadvantaged.

Since our inception, the openness of government has been a key stone of Pirate politics. A democratically run country absolutely requires openness and transparency to exist, in order to make the elected representatives accountable to the electorate. It's through obfuscation of data, back door deals, and deliberate misuse of facts and statistics that a government manipulates their position of power to their own ends, strengthening their own position, and eroding the ability for the electorate to hold them accountable, creating a vicious circle. The end result of this is a direct route towards absolute power, and, as we all know,  absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Latest Amendments to the Party Constitution Pass

Editor's picture

After being put to member vote the results for the latest amendments to the Party constitution are now available. Members voted in favour of accepting all of the proposed amendments and the new Constitution is now available.

As an immediate consequence of these amendments the following must occur:

  • The NEC must have a Code of Practive which should refer to all voting NEC positions other than Leader & Deputy
  • The Board must empanel a Financial Oversight Committee - it does already informally have one but this must become an official one
  • Nominations for Deputy Leader must open as soon as practicable
  • The NEC must designate a voting NEC member who is responsible to the party for the management of the party's finances - it may do this via its Code of Practice

PPUK leaves PPI

Editor's picture

After a good three years of working with PPI to try to resolve some of the issues both we and other members have had with that body, we've run into a bit of a wall. In short, reform of PPI has been slow to the point of non-existent. The problems we identified over the years remain far from solved and in some cases have become worse. This led to the board making it clear that they see PPI as an organisation that is at odds with our own party's principles. The NEC in turn discussed the current situation and the board's statement, and acted in the only appropriate way possible. They have withdrawn PPUK from PPI.


Privacy, digital rights and social equality.

Cristian Chesha's picture

I attended the Manchester ORG meetup tonight; the first meetup of 2015 chaired by the head of ORG, Jim Killock. The subject was a topic dear to my heart: Dragnet Internet Surveillance, and how it affects all of us.  An easy thing to focus on when discussing mass surveillance is the "needle in a haystack" approach that is so favoured by the current Home Office, and all those that have come before: The idea that "they" are not reading your email, "they" are only looking for bad actors in amongst that sea of information. This response tackles the issue at far, far too high a level: The question isn't whether an individual's email is or is not being read; the underlying issue is that people are forced to change their behaviour on the basis that they may be being watched. That is a direct attack on everyone's liberty.

Hello Pirates

Cristian Chesha's picture

Hi Folks,

My name is Cristian; some of you may know me as Chesha, or possibly even just as CSA if we go far enough back. I have spent the last 9 years doing Linux things at The University of Manchester, and have been a dedicated and proud hacker* for over 3 decades.

Opinion: EU VAT Mess

As noted by Mark Chapman on 15th December 2014, the VATMOSS VATMESS had the potential to cause untold problems for small digital sellers. The following is the personal experience of Sharon, Pirate Party member and small business owner, which bears out the concerns and issues.

This is a personal account of my experience and knowledge of the new rules.

Having run my own web design business for six years, and in the process of expanding into online courses to generate income, imagine my total surprise and shock when I started seeing news circulating in November last year about new rules coming into force on 1st January 2015 regarding B2C digital sales to the EU.