Welcome everyone, newcomers and old. As you may be aware we recently had a full NEC election that saw the filling of all roles for the first time since 2015.
I speak to you today as the new leader of the party going into 2018 and I’d like to both introduce myself and discuss the ideas I have with going into the new year, as well as a brief retrospective into the past year. I’ve been a regular member of the party since 2010 but with Dave, our Acting Leader, not contesting the Leader position, I felt it was time to make the move from the Board of Governors to taking the helm of this vessel. Since 2010 I’ve had a hand in assisting our candidates in campaigning, running the London branch, and refreshing the policy platform for the 2017 general election.
To commence the new leadership I want to mark this new era with the first act of engagement on Medium, as part of the wider roll-out to change the way that we engage with users, a bit of a step up from the days of IRC We’ll be posting most of our updates and other articles here going forward. Some of our member-only content will still be sent out over email or via other means when appropriate.
Looking back at 2017
2017 was a… surprising year in politics. I’m immensely proud that we were in a position to stand candidates, get out campaigning, and still get votes when the snap election was called in April, where many smaller parties decided not to field any candidates at all.
Aside from the snap election, this past year has seen an increase in party activity in general, with our move to Discord improving our ability to interact with our members. There has also been work to reduce our spend on internal resources to give ourselves more flexibility to spend on campaigns in the future.
2018 and beyond
2018 should be a relatively quiet year for elections, but we expect to stand candidates in the local elections in May. We’ll use this opportunity to start planning new campaigning strategies we’ll take into the next General Election. We’ll also continue working on member and public engagement, posting more content relating to our policies and principles.
We’ll also be working on our focus towards localised politics, rebuilding our regional branches to get members living in the same area working together and improving awareness and engagement with the party within their constituencies and councils.
In the longer term, we’ll be retiring and replacing some of the services we currently self-host, either with alternatives that are easier to maintain, or hosted services that are inexpensive but require minimal maintenance on our part. This should both free up limited volunteer time from unnecessary maintenance activities and offer higher quality tools to our members and activists to interact with the party or to act on our behalf.
About the Pirate Party
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party has started to poll alongside major parties and is looking to build support from the grassroots. The party stood 10 candidates in the June 2017 General Election and briefly held 2 community councillors. Find out more about the UK Pirate Party on our website or contact [email protected]