It's that time of year where people traditionally reflect on the past 12 months. Having recently stood down from the NEC, I've been reflecting on my time so far with PPUK. It's been an interesting journey, from initially volunteering to spend the odd hour working on the IT systems to the last couple of years as an elected officer on the NEC. Along the way, there have been a mix of good and bad times (I've made a number of new friends, been threatened with legal action and frequently had to learn new skills for the tasks I've picked up).
Recent events, highlighted especially on Christmas day by Edward Snowden's alternative speech, show that my reasons for joining & becoming an active member of the party remain. We need to keep (and step up!) campaigning on our core issues, lest we completely lose our rights to Privacy, Free Speech and everything associated with them.
However, the above will not happen overnight, or without commitment from members to step up and take on the tasks & roles required for this. Over Xmas I put on one of my favourite films, where the key character has a saying; "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". The few people we have active on the NEC and associated departments like IT & Press have been working to this mantra for too long. We continue daily to run the risk of officers burning out, which does not help the party’s aims. We still have too much finger pointing when things aren't done on time - forgetting that we have no full-time paid officers, just volunteers who also need to earn a living.
Therefore, while I have decided to refocus my limited energies elsewhere in the party (I'm no good to the party if I end up in hospital or worse, which was the direction I was heading), I will continue to help where I can - even if it's only the odd hour updating an email list or supporting my local branch with a pub meet.
The new NEC has a good mix of experienced hands & fresh ideas. I look forward to working with them and offering support as we head into 2014. I hope you can join me in doing the same.
Former Nominating Officer
Pirate Party UK