A speech I was going to use at a cancelled hustings

Morgan Hill's picture

Sorry to disappoint you. As you can see, I’m an ordinary young man in ordinary clothes. You see the Pirate Party. It isn’t a joke party and I’m not a joke candidate, it is part of a substantial political movement. The pirate movement, supported by many around the world, aims for: open democracy, patent/copyright reform and the protection of privacy. Our sister party in Iceland has 10 seats in their parliament.

I take the pirate movements principals to mean simply the following: “Providing people with clear rights.”

Governments are made of people, they’re not magic, so they should operate in a manner that’s accessible to people. If a government is not accessible to people, then people cannot give informed consent to the government, a government that does not have informed consent is worse than no government at all.

Today we are subjected to the politics of fear. Fear deceives you of rationality and provokes instantaneous consent to reactionary policies that you’ll soon regret.

The NHS is struggling to cope with more patients and less health care professionals; we expect our intelligence agencies to utilise more data, in an addition to the existing volume that they struggle to process. Simply increasing the amount of data our intelligence agencies can access, is like increasing the number of patients a doctor must see, the overall quality goes down. Mass surveillance is ineffective security. You don’t even have to take my word for it ask William Bonney or Edward Snowden.

Moving on to local issues. what we must remember is that there isn’t one election happening on Thursday there are five hundred and fifty-three individual constituency elections, so you must vote based on who will represent you no party leader personalities. If elected I will stand up for Eddisbury in a way that the candidates from other parties simply can’t. You see the Pirate Party has no whip system, meaning I can always cote in the interests of the constituency, there is no pressure for me to compromise constituency values for national agendas or personal benifit.

Our local authorities need more funding, to improve our waste management infrastructure and create green transport options like safe cycle routes for commuting and leisure. Our disposable society needs to be targeted with multiple angles, first improving the way we recycle waste, secondly by putting pressure on manufactures to rethink packaging and built in obsolescence. Increasing cycling will have enumerable benefits making our society healthier, improving our air quality and reducing the strain on our roads.

As technology increases its grip on our lives it’s worth considering the social, moral and security impacts. The current election campaign is a prime example of the use of your personal information, by major parties aided by the emergent sector of surveillance capitalism, to target advertisement and messaging. Information you have handed other in exchange for services that are perceived to be a necessity is being used to alter not only your purchasing habits but the views you hold. While the specifying of targets is still a human task, it is a set of computer algorithms that decide whether you fit the target market, do you deserve an explanation of why you are seeing an advertisement.

While Brexit is now something I’m resigned to, it would be irresponsible to write off all the rights we have accumulated while in the European Union, we should be wearying of slipping further into Americas back pocket. We must negotiate trade deals that do not allow the free flow of personal information to other territories with weak privacy protections that leave it subject to foreign government and corporate surveillance. The Safe harbour agreement which summed up many of the data protection issues I fear from future Anglo-American trade deals, was invalidated by the European Court of Justice [in Luxembourg], on the basis that it conflicts with the essence of your rights.

One of the most pressing issues the UK has is gross income inequality; the UK has the fourth largest income inequality in Europe and the seventh largest in so called “developed countries” according to data from the Luxembourg Income Study. Inequality is extremely visible in the housing market, as developers oversupply three and four bed family homes at the expense of starter homes, making starter home are expensive but once established it is relatively easy to upscale. Developers must be incentivised to build starter homes, this may mean regulating that developers must build 1 or more starter homes for each family home they produce, this regulation would best take place in local government.