Andy Halsall's blog

Fight for your rights, and party!

2015 is going to be a year of change for the Pirate Party. Loz isn't standing for re-election and a number of long-term members are taking a step away from the party, if not the issues. These are people I've worked with for a long time, and I know just how hard they have worked and how much they have put in.

They deserve my thanks and the thanks of our members generally. Together they have done much to take the party from being one that was dismissed outright, to one that is criticised on its ideas and approach.

#VotePirate

With all the hard work that has been put in (even if it isn’t quite finished) it is important that we make the most of these last few hours. So, go and vote and encourage others to vote (whether they are voting Pirate or not!).  If you are voting Pirate, let people know why! Even if you can't, today is the last day where you can make the case that a vote for Pirate Party is the right thing to do and that our issues are vital. Talk to your friends and family, talk to your co-workers and anyone else you know and make sure they vote today.  Do share images on twitter and other social media, our materials page has a host of images available for you to publicise our issue!

Why Pirate?

 

In 2010 I helped Tim Dobson campaign in Gorton. It was the first political campaign I had been involved in and it showed me how important the democratic process was in the UK. More importantly, it left me very aware at how under-represented I was in it.

I'd introduced Tim to open source software and had been a little involved in open source and open data projects, but never really as an activist. That changed rapidly..

As part of that campaign we asked whether people were pirates, whether they believed the same sort of things Tim did, whether they saw open government, transparency, civil liberties and digital rights as important.

The answer then, as it is now for many people was yes!

Since then I've worked within the party on organisation, policy, directed our crowd sourced policy initiative in 2012, designed and executed election campaigns and worked with our IT and campaigns team to deliver the tools we need to manage the party and campaign. It was hard work, but every time we hit a bump something would happen that would remind me why I was a pirate.

Standing on the Right Ideas.

On the 7th of May you will decide the future of our country, you will be asked to make a choice about who represents you in Parliament.

That choice is an important one and it is all yours.

It's easy to feel powerless in the UK today.  We will change that.  It's important for candidates to be clear about where they stand, especially where they have differences with their party. After all, it is important that your MP represents you, not their party and not their campaign donors when they vote in Parliament. That is why I have published my manifesto for Sheffield, it makes it clear what I would support as a member of Parliament and is full of the ideas that I am passionate about and that I want to see on the agenda for 2015 and beyond. I have the right ideas on the health, the economy, education, personal freedoms, tax and more.

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FAQ's - Where do You stand on Media Ownership?

We are very fortunate in Sheffield to have an excellent array of local independent online journalists, as well as community radio and TV now. We need to encourage and support these and others to ensure that we have a locally focused free press in the future.

Media barons like Rupert Murdoch have far too much power in our democracy and we need regulation. However, I would like to emphasize that while regulation of media companies when they get to a certain size is important, it is not right for us to enter into a censorship campaign that would choke the press and stifle the free flowing exchange of information.

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