The NEC and Board of Governors have been discussing the current state and the potential future of PPUK. You have probably noticed that the Party has been significantly less active since the 2017 General Election campaign. Although that was probably the most successful campaign the Party has fought (new manifesto, press launch, TV interviews, more candidates and votes than ever before), it seemed to sap everyone’s energy, and left the Party almost inert.
We think that this situation should not be left to continue. Either we should find a way to dig out and resurrect the Party, or we should formally shut down and deregister from the Electoral Commission. That is, we should either breathe new life into the day-to-day work of Pirate Party UK, or we should face facts and stop taking people’s membership fees for a party that has lost the will to live.
In order to understand the strength of feeling, we have been debating this situation amongst the remaining NEC and Board members, and with Party volunteers on Discord. Now we want to hold a short consultation with all Party members. This will be held on the #general channel of our Discord server.
Depending on the results of the discussion, our options might be:
- Hold a ballot in accordance with section 7 of the Constitution to dissolve the Party.
- Continue in our current format through an injection of new blood with enthusiastic members stepping up to fill the vacant roles (Deputy Leader / Spokesperson, Nominating Officer, and positions on the Board) and help drive the Party forward.
- Reinvent the Party as a collection of local/regional branches that self-organise with local meetings (virtual or physical when that is allowed again) and local activities, and that come together to form a national party as a coordinating body.
The option of “mothballing” the Party isn’t available to us for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Electoral Commission rules set certain requirements on us for having officers, maintaining accounts, and submitting returns. Secondly, it doesn’t seem fair to continue membership fees if the party is on ice, but it would continue to cost to maintain basic services (web site, etc.). But, if the party was closed, there would be the option to maintain the Discord channels for discussion of Pirate politics, and to retain the domain name in trust in case the Party is reformed.
It is really important to note that a vote for keeping the Pirate Party open must be a personal commitment to do more to engage with the Party and to help it recover. That commitment could take any number of forms from participating in or organising a local branch, to standing for an NEC or Board position; from writing blogs, to helping with the social media team; or from volunteering to help rewrite the website and membership backend, to giving a little more in financial terms. But however you might decide to help, everyone has to understand that the Party cannot just continue because we wish it would – it needs real and constructive help.
We look forward to hearing from you all.
Harley Faggetter – Leader
Adran Farrel – Chair of the Board of Governors
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]