Welcome to the Community

Please choose one of the options below to log in and get stuck in!

Login with PPUK

Leader Nomination - Cris Chesha

edited May 2015 in Candidate
Unfortunately I don't have a lengthy speech as to my reasons prepared due to a general lack of time, but I don't think one is needed as such for this nomination. After the charisma and creativity expressed in his recent political campaign, striking a great balance between fun and serious, engaging with local people and media marvellously and showing novel resourceful ideas, I am very happy to nominate Cris Chesha for the position of leader. As this is the first time I have nominated anyone, I have no idea if there is anything else I am supposed to do in support of or in order to place this nomination other than posting here, so I would appreciate if the Nominations Officer would respond to let me know what else I should do.

Loz has been a great leader for us so far and I think Cris will take us on the best from here. Please let me know if you can second this.


  • It is convention that candidates nominate themselves and then be seconded by someone else. In theory there's nothing stopping someone nominating someone else - though they'd still need to be seconded.

    Assuming Cris wants to stand it might make more sense for him to self-nominate and to take your endorsement as a seconding :D
  • Oh. Shows how much I know.
  • I very much like Cris's style, exemplified by how he took my mistake and swung it round into a positive. :-)
    We need a quick thinking and open-minded leader like Cris.
  • >** No pun in[10]ded.

    Sold. =D>
  • I've read the manifesto and find that I like Cris's ideas. However, I'm trying to encourage people to get away from the traditional left/right dichotomy that keeps political discourse going in circles, the reason being that both sides tend towards authoritarianism which is incompatible with the communitarian/utilitarian Pirate philosophy.


    You can't promote freedom on one side while trying to ban stuff or curtail activities on the other in the name of Social Justice (TM).

    As a left-libertarian broadly progressive (i.e. in favour of a robust welfare state that actually helps people) movement, we will certainly find allies among the other progressive parties out there but let's be careful not to let ourselves get pulled into a trendy-left-liberal echo chamber in which we go with the flow instead of leading the pack, as it were. We also don't want to become so similar to other parties that the only thing that differentiates ourselves from them is our tech focus.

    Finally, if we're going to get ourselves elected to office we need to get ourselves taken seriously. Sorry, that means getting suited and booted, looking the part. When we campaign, we've got to present ourselves as competent professionals because it's effectively a long job interview for the role of MP, or whatever. Look at the people who actually get elected. What do they look like? How do they present themselves? If we want the results they get we're going to have to do the same things as they do.

    I realise this might make me unpopular but the way I see it if we only aim at malcontents, we'll become the party of malcontents. We should ideally be aiming for the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the makers and the shakers: people whose livelihoods are affected by the laws we have now and the changes we Pirates want to make. Yes, I know, my conservatism is showing but that's how I roll. And like it or not, so does a sizeable chunk of the country. I believe it's possible to reach the disillusioned young people who tend to join anarchist groups AND the disillusioned older people in my age bracket and upwards who are fed up with the way the parties we used to believe in are going. It's already happening, we just need to build on it.

    We need a leader who is willing to listen. This doesn't necessarily mean "Agree with everyone all the time" but the issues I have brought up here do merit discussion. That said, whoever ends up getting the job can expect my unqualified support.
  • edited June 2015
    I agree
  • @Chesha....... could you say a little about yourself so that new members can know more about you and your work with the Pirates?
  • @chesha "my bad" I found your post!!!
  • Wendy, how about you be you and Cris is Cris? If you want to suit and boot, do. I think if we are to connect with everyone we need to be prepared to go there, do that AND wear the t-shirt. The rizla packs were the kind of campaigning you never see from other parties. The image we need to present is less like being yes men, and more like the Yes Men Fix The World (it's been made into a film, look it up, it's awesome). If we just appear in suits all the time we run the risk of being discounted for being more of the same boring politicians. People are tired of suits. That doesn't mean we can't look professional, there are more ways than how we dress to do that.
  • channelling the thread about being more inclusive of other genders... let's swap 'yes men' to 'yes people' ;)
  • @ Dandfox Davies, that works for me! :)
  • Well, yes. Goodness me, did you all think I thought we should be formal all the time? Sorry, I should have made it clear that I think it'd be nice to have at least one pic of candidates in formal wear for the website, etc., with pics in t-shirts for campaigns, etc., where they are more appropriate. Suits are for formal occasions, like appearing on TV, etc. T-shirts are better for campaigns, etc.
  • Hi Cris. I was wondering what sort of activities you think Pirates might easily directly involve themselves, in order to stimulate debate around our Seven Principles and wider policies. Could you please share some thoughts on this? Also, could you please share some views on the pros/cons of online/IRL political action by party membership and wider citizens? Regarding political action and engagement, what differences might there be between the situations of those living in cities and the more rural geographical areas? Thanks.
  • Thanks, Cris. You've clearly given this plenty of consideration and what you've explained makes a lot of sense.
  • edited June 2015
    I'm with you on all of that, Cris. I'd only add that the technology has to be accessible for people to participate. A lot of us are new to wiki, Mumble, etc. Maybe there's scope for some internal training/coaching on using Pirate platforms. Otherwise Pirate activism might become/remain (?) 'passively' exclusive.
  • Mumble was new to me when I first tried it out last year. I was using on a tablet (with keyboard dock) but got it to work OK. While I can't remember exactly how to use it, I guess it'll come back next time.
  • We have some info at http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/wiki/Mumble on using mumble
  • Staying a bit off-topic...
    Good point! I don't remember seeing that before. I'm pretty sure I just used it like IRC so I guess I'll try the voice another time.
  • As you have no practical chance of getting elected anywhere what do you see as the practical difference between PPUK and campaign groups like the Open Rights Group. Why should someone be a PPUK member and not just support the ORG etc? Money donated to ORG won't be wasted on losing deposits etc.
  • You can go into the origins of the Pirate Party is you fancy but torrenting copyrighted material is pretty much the whole reason the party was founded, you can trace your roots directly back to The Pirate Bay. I don't think you're a secret club or anything, but there's no sense denying your origins. You've gained a much broader scope since then but that doesn't alter where you came from. In the end your scope is very much based on your crowdsourced policy in the end so it's not really up to you to say what your scope is, it is what it is from your policies. But that's all an aside.

    I didn't say you were identical to ORG but if I was interested in digital rights and copyright reform then we're in the same ballpark here. Why should I join the PPUK as opposed to ORG in this case. What do you offer that they do not. They seem to actually campaign for things, you seem to have a lot of elections. The things on your homepage aren't that current, one of the things on your carousel is a link to fund your Manchester election fun which expired 3 months ago, so it doesn't even look like you keep up with current events.

    You say there's a need for a political group in this debate, but what do you actually do other than exist, and what do you plan to do in your term as leader to make the party more relevant? As you say in your statement you lost vote in Gorton this year compared to last, do you think this reflects on your ability to run a campaign? All the ephemeral 'new found respect' you gained doesn't matter if it doesn't translate into votes surely.

    In your statement you say the PPUK is like the Greens little brother or sister party, do you think as party leader you have the mandate of your party to nurture this relationship with the Green party. Do you think characterising the party as the kid brother of another party is a good idea? The notion that you want to be a serious player and the feisty kid brother of the Greens seems jarringly at odds with each other.

    I say money wasted on deposits because the party never seems to build on things, you've only ever stood in the same seat once so the 181 people you've enfranchised this time are likely to be disenfranchised next time when you don't stand in that seat again (although Gorton is the only seat you have run in twice the odds are against you). Do you not think the £3000 you spent on deposits in this election could have been better spent on more campaigning and more name recognition. Running elections campaigns is a cost you can ill afford currently just now. How, as party leader, are you going to address this issue. What initiatives do you have in mind, if any?

    Also I love the fact you think the PPUK doesn't have enough formal processes for doing things. That's exactly what you need more of, formal processes.
  • I have to apologise I've was mixing 'you' as in yourself and you as in 'the party' in that last one, I'll try to avoid that as it's confusing now.
    Given that we've got a formidable pirate steering copyright reform at an international level, do you still expect us to focus on this in the UK?
    Well yes actually, it's the founding principal of your party, you don't go 'oh they've got this' and ignore the topic do you? That seems an utterly bizarre stance to take, someone else is doing something at a totally different level so we're not going to focus on building grassroots support for it. I can't help but think you've lost sight of who your core vote is in the UK if that's how you feel.
    You misunderstand and undersell the point here. The point isn't individual policies, the point we are driving is the methodology. Creating and promoting more direct forms of democracy is an end in and of itself.
    Do you not feel this makes you the Direct Democracy party, an empty vessel for people to pour their policies into? If you fully support Direct Democracy then you can't really have any core policies outside direct democracy. You say you're a left-libertarian party, which I agree you are now, but you weren't 3 years ago. I guess what I'm asking is what are the limits of your acceptance of direct democracy? More people than have ever supported a PPUK policy in crowd sourcing signed petitions to bring back the death penalty. If that policy was the single most popular policy in your crowd source would you make an executive decision to discount it? Now that's a deliberately outlandish suggestion don't get too hung up on that an consider the principal.
    Is it Groundhog Day? Again, we're not in competition with ORG. Join them if you want. I did.
    I'm referring directly to your statement that you need groups in the political and non-political sphere. We can see what ORG do in the non-political sphere, I was asking what you do in the political sphere. What do you, as party leader, think PPUK should be doing that organisations like ORG cannot or will not is the question here.
    Since you are referring directly to my election manifesto statement, if I am elected then: yes, I do believe this would be a fair thing to say.
    As you're running unopposed no one really gets to vote on this case, do you not think you should ask your membership before aligning the party with the Green party? From the blog posts it seems @Drowz0r does not feel that PPUK is that aligned to the Welsh Green party on core beliefs. Or do you believe the PPUK constitution allows you to unilaterally align the party in this way?
    Well, unless there is a bye-election then we have 5 years to build our coffers; the decision to commit both notional and financial cost to standing would be made then, based on the state of the party, not now. In the meantime, my current and widely stated aim is a commitment to internal growth, with a view to targeting local representation, which does not require any deposits.
    5 Years is generous, you've got Scottish Parliamentary Elections next year with English local government (which still cost money to run campaigns for even if they are cheaper), 2017 you've got English and Scottish local government, 2018 you've got more English local government with a smattering of Mayoral Elections thrown in there across the years. Then the big ones 2019 Euro elections. Your last crowdfunder for Manchester raised a total of £80 which isn't really enough to even stand in a council election realistically.

    What I'm really looking for here are your concrete ideas, saying you have a 'commitment to internal growth' is a fairly meaningless statement without anything to back it up. If you have outlined your plans for party growth and funding elsewhere then feel free to link me up.
  • I flirted with the Greens for a while up here in Scotland, since they make all the right noises regarding localism and making decision-making processes more participative. But they don't exactly walk-the-walk with respect to these: for example, they obliged a local activist to drop out of the party list for the South of Scotland in next year's parliamentary elections so that they could parachute in a more 'national' figure from Edinburgh; and they supported the aggrandisement of the Scottish parliament (aka 'Independence') at the expense of our local authorities. So it was a Pirate life for me.

    Regarding direct democracy: it is a central plank in the platforms of most Pirate parties, and one which provides the justification for several other Pirate policies. Why should the internet remain free and why does copyright need reformed? So that people can have freer access to information and thereby make more informed decisions. But what's the use of being better able to make informed decisions if you don't have access to decision-making processes? That copyright, internet censorship, etc. are issues at all seems to be predicated on the desired end of increased citizen participation in decision-making. Or am I under a misapprehension? Are we working to make information free for some other purpose?
  • @andrew mccallum & @Drowz0r I know this is questions for Cris but I'm curious. Do you see yourselves as feisty little brothers of the senior Green party candidates in your areas then? Larking around whilst they struggle to get use to wearing suits?
  • [...] running unopposed no one really gets to vote on this case [...]
    Isn't this why we give the option to vote to reopen nominations? However, from everything I've read, I see no reason to oppose Cris's nomination. Even if/when I might find myself (hypothetically) in personal disagreement on specific aspects, that wouldn't necessarily mean I thought Cris shouldn't be leading things. From what I can gather, the NEC works largely as a team in any case... so it's probably of more practical importance that the leader have broad support of other NEC members than that of every individual party member.
  • No (see above). I argue the toss with members of the local branch of the Greens all the time (a lot of them drink in the same pub as I do), usually over local planning issues. They seem quite happy to see local opposition to the building of yet another windfarm on the Southern Uplands ridden roughshod over, but come over all morally indignant and superior when evil mining developers ride roughshod over local opposition to fracking or quarrying. Local communities that don't want to have wind turbines on their doorsteps shouldn't be made to have wind turbines on their doorsteps, any more than they should be made to have the earth move beneath them or big holes gouged out of their hillsides.

    More generally, I'm deeply suspicious of any group of people which has strong convictions and which wants to gain power so that it can impose those convictions on everyone else. What attracted me to the Pirate movement is not its policies on this, that and the other, but its vision of politics being done in radically different ways made possible by 21st century technology. I suspect that what's happening to the Greens in Scotland is that, in their determination to acquire greater power by doing politics in the traditional way, they're selling out in terms of localism, community empowerment and participative democracy. They argue that, in order to be able to change the way we do politics, they need to first capture power. I don't agree with this strategy at all.
  • Let me just offer some practical experience on the "what to wear" front.
    For TV interviews you either need to have a mic pack or a connection running down your back to a remote studio, which is jammed in to your ear and taped at the nape of your neck . Either way it is good to have a jacket to hand.
    Other than that, my fondness for combat trousers has finally found its place with a young son dropping food liberally...
  • @chesha excuse me, what are you saying about All Saints!?
Sign In or Register to comment.