4th May 2010 00:30 by MC
Many people wonder why we are called the Pirate Party UK. It is certainly an unusual name for a serious political party. However there is a good reason for this, and an interesting explanation. Put simply, our name was gifted to us by the very organisations which we oppose.
Many people in today's society believe in the right of the individual to have freedom of speech and expression, free access to information, free access to our cultural commons, to be free from undue government and corporate interference in our lives and affairs, and for each individual to exercise these rights as they see fit.
Unfortunately, there are also groups of people in society who, motivated by profit or control, would rather this not be the case. These groups believe that the collective arts which we all share should be guarded by a small group of cultural gatekeepers only to be released as they see fit, and entirely on their own terms. They believe that information of great mutual benefit to all of society such as pharmaceutical innovations and paradigm-shifting inventions, should be encumbered by preferential laws and patents, and they are are often vigorous and vicious in invoking the legal process to maintain this status quo. They believe that people should be unduly punished and barred from inclusion in modern society, especially regarding the right of Internet access, simply for doing what comes naturally to all of us and what makes us human: sharing. They believe that the right of the individual to proclaim the truth about a situation or share information that everyone should have a right to know should be subject to their approval, and if they don't like what they hear, then that individual's message should just vanish.
They are aware of the groups of people who think that information and culture should be free and unrestricted for the mutual benefit of all, and they have sought to denigrate them in the public sphere and even downright criminalise them. Thus, they have over the past few years and decades labelled this group of people as 'pirates' in the hopes of conjuring up images of criminals and outlaws, pillaging what they can from the 'decent folk'.
However, this attempt to discredit the cultural pro-freedom groups has backfired on them to the point where they have recently tried to drop the 'pirate' label out of fear ...