As some of you will already be aware, on the 7th of March the NEC appointed me Deputy Campaigns Officer. I'm going to be responsible for running the Pirate Party's campaign for the upcoming General Election, working closely with the Campaigns Officer, Philip Hunt, and the rest of the NEC.
I can't tell you exactly what our Grand Strategy is going to be -- I've had less than a day to work on it so far! -- but I will give you an overview of what we're doing at the moment and how you can help.
The party needs YOU!
There's only eight weeks to the election, and there's a tremendous amount to be done in that time. I won't be able to do it all by myself, and I need as many party members as possible to get stuck in and help me out.
Here's a random sampling of the things that you might be able to help with:
- Do you have access to a digital video camera, and can you bring it to the protest against the Digital Economy Bill in London on the 24th March?
- Are you any good at graphic design? Can you help design templates for presentation slides, constituency mailings, or posters promoting candidates?
- Have you spotted any interesting videos that we should put on our Youtube channel, or any relevant blog posts that you feel the party should respond to?
- Are you interested in drafting press releases in response to notable Pirate-related news stories, or announcing exciting developments made by the party? It's a simple, fun and collaborative process, and very rewarding when a national newspaper or the BBC quotes your work!
- Are you willing to travel to constituencies where we're fielding candidates to help with publicity events during the week running up to the election? If you live in a target constituency, are you able to host a couple of volunteers during the last few days of the campaign?
- Can you help with running a candidate's website/blog/Twitter/Facebook page/etc?
- Do you know of any events during the next few weeks at which a PPUK representative might be invited to speak?
That only barely scratches the surface of the campaigning tasks that need our attention. Obviously, some people have more time than others, but no matter how little (or how much!) time you have to offer, there's definitely something that you can do to assist the party in making this campaign a success. Please always feel free to contact me directly if you're having difficulty finding something appropriate to do or if you want feedback on an idea you've had!
In addition to the general election, there are local elections on the 6th May. We believe that the Pirate Party has a genuine, worthwhile contribution to offer on the local level as well as the national level, and we'd love to see as many Pirate candidates as possible running for county and city councils.
If you're interested in running in the local elections, please let John Barron, the Nominating Officer, know as soon as possible. He'll be able to help you find more information on what the role of a councillor entails to help you decide if you'd make a suitable candidate.
We're taking the local elections very seriously, and we'll be giving all the support we can to the candidates we put forward.
Project Postcard and the South East England region
In order to be able to concentrate on the election campaign, I'm handing over the responsibility for South East England regional administration to Andrew Tindall, who currently helps to run the party's Twitter account. I'll continue to keep an eye on the Facebook group and the forum, but Andrew will be taking over the role of organising events and regional campaigning. I'm sure he'll do an excellent job.
Project Postcard has been a resounding success. I've now sent out the last of the 15,000 flyers I received just under three weeks ago, and I hope that those of you who've ordered them have been putting them to good use! Have you had any success in using the flyers to get people interested in the Party? What aspects of the campaign worked well, and where could improvements be made? Get in touch!
Where next for Project Postcard? We're going to start Project Postcard Mk.II next weekend, once the manifesto voting is closed and we have a better idea about our detailed policies, and we're going to refine the wording so that it reflects the manifesto as precisely as possible. I'm currently looking for someone to take over the running of Project Postcard from me -- please contact me if you can help. Note that the job is much easier if you have access to a laser printer.
I'll be posting an update each week as our campaign proceeds. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please post on the forums or e-mail me.