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Board Nomination Announcement - Liam Soutar

Hello Pirates,

I’m Liam, and I’d like to nominate myself for a position as a PPUK Governor. Cris Chesha has agreed to second me, for which I am very grateful.

I’ve been a member of the party for around 20 months now. I became a Pirate by chance, but I feel the Party would inevitably have caught my attention anyway. I was 20 years old and aching to become more politically active, but as with most people my age, I’d become disillusioned with the big parties.

Labour seemed misguided at best and hypocritical for the most part, and by this point the Lib Dems were neither Liberal nor Democratic.

I spent a night searching through Wikipedia for UK political parties, and of course the name ‘Pirate Party’ stood out, and after reading the party’s policies and manifesto, I was sold. I’d never seen, and still haven’t, a party whose majority of policies were proactive instead of reacting to the problems that already exist. Fixing things that people don’t know are broken is a very selfless cause, and one fraught with difficulty, given that the Pirates are the only party who talk more passionately (and more often) about what they will do instead of what others won’t do.

From then on I watched from the sidelines, shared policies and updates on social media and even managed to convince about half a dozen people at work to vote Pirate in the 2014 European elections. Not a massive number, but I was still proud that I’d talked so passionately about the cause that I’d been able to convince otherwise indifferent voters to choose the Pirate Party.

Unfortunately, I was working full time in retail and I was unable to get more involved in Pirate events. But earlier this year I took some time off work to pursue other career goals, and had more time to commit. I still wasn’t able to contribute as much as I would’ve liked, but I was very proud to be a counting agent for Loz Kaye on election night at the Manchester velodrome. To witness the election unfolding firsthand was, despite a lack of sleep, an exhilarating experience.

I’m standing because as Loz said in ‘Moving On’, it’s time for others to shape the future of the Pirate movement. There’s more awareness of our causes now than ever before, and for young people to see others in the same age group within the party is what ultimately will add more people to the party’s ranks in the long run. I can help lay the groundwork that the party will build upon and reap the rewards of in years to come.

I won’t pretend to have an inside-out knowledge on every single issue that’s ever involved the Pirate Party, but I can hold my own in debates about what makes us tick. Despite this, I don’t feel daunted at the prospect of being in a position of responsibility within the party. This isn’t naivety, it’s simply down to the fact that I’ve never felt afraid to admit that I’m not in-the-loop about subject X Y or Z. The Pirates are some of the most welcoming and inclusive people I’ve ever met. And of course, being a Governor would put me in a prime position to become an expert on the things that matter to us, and what should matter to the rest of the public.

What I do have is passion for the cause. I'm naturally concerned about things like mass surveillance, and internet censorship. The fact that the government can pass these practices off as for the greater good is frightening. It's 2015 and yet we're regressing into a medieval political state of affairs.

I also have the ability to make people aware of these issues. I’m trying to establish myself as a journalist, so blog posts, press releases and media engagements could be my strong point.

I’m currently working two jobs, six days a week. However I will be leaving one of these jobs in early September and will then be working three days a week, giving me more time than I’ve ever had before to commit to the party.

I look forward to answering any questions or concerns you might have.

Comments

  • Competition's healthy.

    Nah, it's good to see someone else put their hat into the ring, means the other candidates will have to sharpen up, including me. I'll wish you as much luck as a competitor can! ;)
  • Haha thanks man, we're all on the same side at the end of the day!
  • Given there are 12 vacancies on the Boardthe competition only kicks in with the 13th nomination :D
  • Hi Liam,

    It sounds like you have the right skills to be a valuable resource in the Press Team. Have you considered joining it (irrespective of the result of the Board vote)?

    You mention laying the groundwork for the Party to build on - what areas do you see us needing to improve upon, and do you have ideas for how we can do that?
  • Hi Azrael,

    Joining the press team isn't something I've considered yet, but something I would also be very interested in.

    I think a big thing I can bring to the board is geography. I live in Tameside, Greater Manchester. It's an area struggling to keep up with the rest of Manchester. Tameside Hospital is one of the worst performing in the country, and unemployment rates are abysmal. I work in Tesco on the electrical department, and everyday I see kids spending hours at a time on the display laptops, surfing the internet. And they're not just playing games either - I've actually walked past and seen people reading the news on a laptop sometimes.

    Our issues like internet access, turning around the healthcare system and ending exploitative schemes that make people jump through rings of fire for their benefits, will really hit home in my area. I think we need to keep up the hard work already done by pushing out from central Manchester and also hammering home the message that we're not just a single issue party. I feel I'm in a prime position to do that.
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