Wales Branch

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone

David Elston's picture

I was running through my head the number of people who helped make the Bridgend 106 a reality and thought to myself “I must thank them”. By the time I tallied them all up, a blog post seemed inevitable. So many people worked tirelessly to give Piracy a voice in our democracy.

Let's get started!

I think it would be pretty bold of me  to start a series of Thank-Yous without starting with Loz. As I have said before, you're the first leader of any party who I actually believed and who I could tell actually believed in what he was saying. You never once resigned to the tired old Westminster soundbites and despite everything, delivered you next sentence with a grace and cheer that gives our politics a sense of hope, something the other party leaders should really take note of. I've never seen a leader so approachable, even on the night of the count, you checked in with me down in Bridgend to make sure I, personally, was doing all right.

The Rise of the Welsh Pirates

David Elston's picture

I'm about to show you just how huge 106 votes are. The first Pirate Pioneers in the UK did not always poll in triple figures, this time every candidate did... but before we get into that, let's reflect on what happened at The Count on election night for the first Welsh Pirate election, in Bridgend.

There is no denying there was always a strong undertone in Bridgend that “If we don't vote Labour then the Tories will get in” and many Pirate voters originally expressed the same concern to me. While Labour winning in Bridgend is certainly not a victory for us Pirates, it is undeniably better than having a parachuted in Conservative candidate, which is more than many other constituencies in the UK woke up to on the 8th. The incumbent MP also took the time to speak with me as did her son and I have been invited to talk about the Pirate Party at Bath University.

The Plaid Cymru Candidate had a really good 2,784 (7.1%) Vote, which is a 1.1% increase. James was also a very likeable person and we shared a laugh over how we both had long hair and unavoidably met the odd person that would always say “I can't vote for him, he needs a haircut”.

GE2015 - The Betrayal of the TUSC

David Elston's picture

There were some truly inspiring moments at the count in Bridgend and some very discouraging signs from some of the other parties.

Perhaps this is where you would expect the presence of the National Front playing to their stereotype and causing fights or that a UKIP candidate made some ill-thought out remark. Instead the single most disheartening thing at the count for me was the TUSC.

GE2015 Election Analysis

We won 106 votes (0.3% vote share) in Bridgend despite there being very little chance of picking up protest votes with such a diverse array of candidates, of which we had a total of 10. Bridgend is also very much a town or rather a collection of towns and communities, not a city, so we are not used to this volume of choice so any candidate is already at a disadvantage. We were did not field any paper leaflets or use a mailshot in Bridgend so it was entirely a digital and media driven campaign, saving thousands of pounds.

Here is our election analysis

#WhyPirate

David Elston's picture

The answer to #WhyPirate is so obvious to me.

We understand politics are local: To the Daily Wales I explained that in Wales we want to see reform of the Welsh Language act to move to allowing Welsh to flourish instead of being protected and greater devolution to allow Wales to stand on it's own two feet. Powers to protect itself against against fracking and make decisions that are in Wales' best interest.

We understand looking outward can fix the inward problems: With Carter TV Interviews I explained our digital economy needs to come to Wales. By improving our broadband to European levels, it solves our over-population and congestion issues in cities and brings much needs jobs and revenue into Wales by allowing remote working or greater entrepreneurship.

Be the change you want to see

David Elston's picture

Back in 2008 I worked for Swansea University in a department called DACE – Department of Adults Continuing Education. I lost this job. Government cuts saw to it that this department was closed. It was my first job, I was a website design assistant. It seemed such a huge injustice to work so long and hard in academia, from the age of 5 until 21 and graduate only to lose my first job in a matter of weeks. To add pressure, my son had just been born, so I had to find alternative employment quickly.


I remember feeling shocked but not just because my job was cut. The University lost many highly qualified and experienced staff, some holding PhDs, experienced lecturers and other valued support staff. There was the knock-on effect of the community centres in places like the Rhondda who leaned on Swansea's DACE for support, were now also going to suffer.


Why I'm not a Green

David Elston's picture

...and why you're not a Green too.

On the campaign trail it's not uncommon for Green Party supporters and sympathies to ask:

“If digital rights are so important to you why don't you join the Green Party?”

While it is true that perhaps there are forward looking people in the Green Party with their heart in the right place, the digital world will never be a priority for the Greens. They're inexperienced, they've come late to the digital fight, they're a little too, well, green. I say this as someone who joined the Greens hoping they were a truly progressive party but left when there was a completely void of support for our digital freedoms.

As it was put by a co-host on The White Rose Club radio yesterday “Greens are like 3G and the Pirate Party are 4G” which I think captures it perfectly. Essentially while there is a faction within the Greens that know there is something in the digital world that needs their attention, they're most certainly not up to date while Pirates are at the frontier.

The second question I get asked is:

Pirate Party Wins 2015 General Election!

BREAKING NEWS: The Pirate Party has won the 2015 General Election!

Here are six things you can expect from your new Pirate Democracy.

Your Internet connection would be faster than the Black Pearl herself

Internet speeds would increase, prices would drop! Our digital economy would boom – creating jobs for everyone! Internet censorship wouldn't exist any more and you won't have to wait through anti-piracy ads before watching a movie.

Oh... and public WiFi will be free.

 

Get the frack out of here~

David Elston's picture

                                                       

 

In my Bridgend constituency we have the lovely sights of Ogmore and Myther Mawr. Much to my regret they have already been highlighted as possible frack areas under the radar. Bore hole tests for shale gas were approved and performed silently. Since my announcement to stand for Bridgend, I have had several very concerned e-mails from our local residents asking me to oppose fracking.
 

 

                                           

 

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