It’s been a busy week, and we have lots of news for you.
In the wake of the General Election, Loz Kaye has decided to step down as leader of the party. You can read his farewell announcement here.
Loz has worked tremendously hard to make the Pirates a real force in UK politics, and has brought a human touch to issues which often seem frighteningly impersonal. He’s been the lively and charismatic face of the party for some time now, and the remaining NEC and Board members thank him wholeheartedly for all the work that he’s put in, as well as for the progress the party has made as a consequence of his leadership.
Another two members of the NEC who are stepping down in the aftermath of the election are Ed Geraghty, our Secretary, and William Bell, our Campaigns Officer. Ed is a pirate stalwart: the secretarial role involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and so it may not be clear to everyone just how much Ed has done to hold the party together, particularly in 2014 when the NEC was drastically understaffed. Meanwhile, Will is responsible for the mailout design for the general election, including the party's stylish new black-and-orange look. Warm thanks to Ed and Will, and we wish them and Loz all the best for the future.
This leaves four NEC positions vacant: Leader, Deputy Leader, Secretary, and Campaigns Officer. We’ll very shortly be seeking nominations for all four positions. At the same time, the Board of Governors’ five-year term of office is drawing to a close, and so all Governor positions will be open to nominations. The election timetable for both elections is as follows:
30th May, 00:10am: Nominations open
13th June, 00:10am: Nominations close; campaigning period starts
20th June, 00:10am: Voting period begins
4th July, 00:10am: Voting period closes
The nominations and voting periods will each run for two weeks, with a week of campaigning inbetween.
Please do think about whether you’d like to step forward! The party is in dire need of committed volunteers to carry on its core work. Many of us may well be tired and dispirited after the general election, but all that the result means is that our work is more important than ever: our most fundamental human rights are under threat, and the Snoopers’ Charter is likely to be back with a vengeance in the near future. We can also be a progressive voice spearheading the movement for electoral reform, since the election results have made it abundantly clear to many that it is needed, yet the big parties remain disinclined to listen.
You can find out more about the work of the Leader’s Office here, about the Secretariat here, about the Campaigns team here, and about the Board of Governors here. All roles are important, and all of them will allow you to help shape the future of the Pirate movement in this country, though the Board roles are lighter in terms of time commitment. Since there is no major UK election in the next few years, it’s a great opportunity to rethink what we want the Pirate Party to achieve, and how we want to achieve it.
In the interim, I will be serving as temporary party leader as well as nominating officer, following a Board decision to this effect. I look forward to representing the party during this time, but I want to make it clear that I have no intention of putting myself forward as leader in the upcoming election; the field is wide open!
Dr George Walkden
Nominating Officer and Interim Leader
Pirate Party UK