Birmingham spent £188.8 million to promote open access to knowledge with the Library of Birmingham so the city was a fitting setting for those trying to retain and regain these rights that we are quickly losing. Sadly our libraries are now closing and copyright is gaining a tighter strangle-hold on our culture but Pirates know it doesn’t have to be like that.
Eleven of the core party members and volunteers met in Birmingham yesterday for our first national meet up in a long time, hailing from all corners of the UK. With many new faces and a few older faces looking slightly older (it’s not related to my leadership!) we hoisted up the Pirate Party UK flag and discussed campaigns, infrastructure, how to make volunteering accessible to new members, we revisited elections past, such as efforts the Dutch Pirates recently made, along with the upcoming local and future elections and eventually, where to get lunch.
As over 165 years ago Westminster legalised libraries where the public could read for free, often for the first time, publishers warned no book would ever be written again. We today see this same, proven to be false argument applied to all other industries since, from music, games and movies, to drug and technology patents. We know these radical reforms can happen again, with a strong membership and a dedicated volunteer base that will continue to grow and break through into local government but for it to happen we need more people to #BeThePirate and to #VotePirate.
It was great to see so many of you and I hope we can connect with many of our other supporters and volunteers again soon. With some of us working together for around two years now but never having met in person, it was like meeting old friends for the first time. It was very humbling to see such a wide range of high calibre abilities, skill sets and characters. I am sure the party's influence on the political landscape will be all the better for it.
Branch officers have now returned home, stocked with campaign materials ready to spread the Pirate message far and wide. If you see this leaflet in your letterbox soon, then there are Pirates in your local area!