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Board of Governors Nomination - Alix Martin

edited June 2015 in Candidate

My name is Alix Martin and I live up in the north of England, right in the hills!!

I would like to put myself forward for nomination to the Board of Governors. And I am very new! Obviously as you all don't know me I had best tell you a bit about myself and maybe someone might be inclined to propose and second me.

Ok, I have been a political activist since I was in my early 20s. And as Im approaching 60 that really was sometime ago!! Cut my teeth at Greenham Common, where some of you might remember was a peace camp to try and stop the U.S. having their nuclear deterrent there. On from Greenham it was the Miners strike. I was one of the people who collected money in London for the Welsh valley miners and I was on the main marches including the unfortunately most violent one (the police were the ones being violent!) right at the end of the strike.

I have been self employed all my working life which has enabled me to choose the type of business I wanted to be involved in. For several years I ran an organic dog food company - called Green Ark, years before organic or natural food became popular. Unfortunately I was more interested in getting people to feed their dogs healthily than making a profit, so the company did not last, but I pride myself that "we moved the conversation on" about the way that animals were feed including farm animals. As we were "well before our time" with this one we got a lot of media attention and publicity, enabling us to use it as a platform to make political points about the way animals were treated and feed and the use of sustainable farming practices.

After this I qualified as a personal development trainer and coach and secured a 5 years contract with, dare I say it the DWP. This was when the Labour party had just got back into power and had launched the New Deal. We had about 3000 people though our doors, helping them with confidence, motivation and trying to inspire them to "go change the world" It was supposed to be Job Club, but to my mind you can't get people to get jobs until you have inspired them about who they are and what they can achieve.

On from this, I ran a residential childrens service, where we had 3 homes with 2-3 challenging children in each home. To cut a v long story short, my business partner turned out to be someone who was only interested in making huge profits, no matter what the consequences to staff or the children. 2 years into this project, I was so disturbed by her values and ethics that I whistle blew on my own company. I reported to Social Services, the Police, Companies House and the Care Commission. Naively, I thought that the government agencies would act to stop the corruption. They didn't. All they did was protect their own backs. My ex business partner, having the resources of the business got lawyers to act against me and consequently I was left homeless and penniless. The only thing I was left with was a good conscience!!

2 years later, my Mum was one of the older people whose death was hastened by our local large hospital. And Im putting that politely!! It was an absolutely dreadful experience watching your own Mum being affectively killed by hospital staff. And yes of course, I took up the case. My Mums case became part of the Keoghs Enquiry and I believe has formed part of the reforms in elderly care that are now taking place.

Having to personally start again, I moved back to the small town I had lived in for years - Alston, Cumbria. It is a small very remote part of northern England. I got involved with civic stuff and volunteering and am now the Chair of our local Parish Council. Having now joined the Pirate Party, I have set in place that I will be "crossing the house" to be a Pirate Party councillor instead of an independent.

Pirate Party wise, I have been a Facebook friend of Birgitta Jonsdittor - the Leader of the Pirate Party in Iceland, for several years now and I had the privilege of meeting her in person last week when I visited Iceland. She was inspiring both in herself and in what she has done to achieve the success that the PP have had in Iceland. We will be meeting again!!

So........... would you be interested in proposing me? Voting for me?

If you have any questions of me, please don't hesitate to ask!!

Thanks for reading this and good luck to whoever is successful. But more than that, lets make the Pirate Party in the UK as successful as they have been in other countries. The UK is crying out for "system change" and I believe that the Pirate Party is the one to do that.



  • edited June 2015
    Hi Alix,

    Glad to have yet another new face willing to step forward and help the Party :)

    I cannot second you as I am also a Board candidate, but I look forward to the greater competition!

    If you want to tweet (assuming you're on twitter) that you're standing and need seconding and link tot his post I'll give it a RT from the main party account. (Same goes to anyone else standing for any position.)
  • Thanks Azrael, that's very kind. And the same to you and other candidates!!
  • I got involved with civic stuff and volunteering and am now the Chair of our local Parish Council. Having now joined the Pirate Party, I have set in place that I will be "crossing the house" to be a Pirate Party councillor instead of an independent.
    Someone tell Chesha that we have a councillor now? :p

    Seriously though. Good to see more people throwing their metaphorical hat into the ring. Means we all have to step up our game to be able to win... Hope you get someone to second you as well. You have the experience that... I don't have by the looks!
  • Hi David: I'm fairly sure the 'second one candidate per position' would actually allow someone to second up to (in this Board election) 12 candidates.

    This doesn't actually come across in George's clarification so I think there might be a bit of confusion over that aspect of the constitution's wording.

    Where there can be only one winner (i.e. Leader) it doesn't make sense for someone (the seconder) to want two different people to win it. Yes you might prefer one but be happy with another come voting time, but you still have your singular preference - so if you are a seconder it makes sense you second only one candidate.

    With the Board however you can legitimately want 12 different people (other than yourself) to win (unless you're a candidate.. but that blurs the line*) - so makes sense to be able to second up to 12 people.

    *The constitution used to specifically allow a candidate for the Board to second a number of other Board candidates up to the total number of positions up for election minus 1. If we look at the old wording...
    Nominations may only be seconded by Party members in Good Standing. Members may only second one candidate per position. Members standing for election themselves may only second others for the same position in multiple-winner elections. In such elections said member may second a number of candidates equal to the number of positions available minus one.
    ...it becomes clear that members including Board candidates could second multiple Board candidates (where there were sufficient vacancies anyway). If we compare to the new wording...
    Members may only second one candidate per position. Members may not second any candidates in any election they are contesting.
    ...we see actually that the area has changed is about candidates seconding other candidates and that the 'only second one candidate per position' wording actually remains unchanged. With that bit of the wording being unchanged, the meaning cannot have changed. The previous meaning allowed multiple seconding, so it must still allow multiple seconding for all except where specifically excluded by the rest of the clause i.e. candidates.
  • Hence me saying that there might be some confusion in George's clarification. That was me trying to be polite and not just saying 'George was wrong' :D
  • edited June 2015
    Good questions Drowz0r. And thanks for giving me the opportunity answer.

    I have always been independant and politically active but never signed up to a Party. In April, to help with the election I signed up to be a member of the Greens just to show formal support to a party that would be against the Tories. I will be writing a letter to my local Green party wishing them luck, but saying that my support is now with the Pirates as I believe that the PP is more reflective of my politic views. especially in relation to "system change", constitutional changes etc.

    In relation to me being a local parish councillor, I am taking advise from the legal department of our District Council (The local election authority) as to how I stand as a PP Councillor and what that would entail. NO other councillors on the Parish stand for a party. We have all traditionally been independents.

    I would of course, take the opportunity to ask my fellow councillors how they feel about it and would also welcome going for a re-election within the Parish if that is what is appropriate. (That would be a cost to a very small electorate tho of over £1000). The 1st election that this parish has had for 25+ years was on May 7th. Mostly over the years it has been hard to fill all the seats, let alone have a contest!

    I have been the Chair of the Council for 3 years and my main pledge has been to open up the council and the council decisions to a greater and more consulted audience. The austerity cuts have hit our local area very hard. We have lost ALL our buses, replaced with an unstaffed, volunteer based minibus. Our local main town is 20 miles away, so you can imagine the impact on elderly, disabled, youngsters and people who are unemployed.

    We have lost loads of street lights - the place is dark at night now.
    We had our own local ambulance, but with health and safety issues and the cuts we were to loose it. We successfully campaigned to have an up to date ambulance and a new crew. Our schools are also under threat and again we as a community have successfully got the County Council to really consider what we as the local population really want in education. This was all mainly done over social media. I admin loads of campaign groups for all of the above local issues, so that many more of the local population can and have got involved.

    I intend to stand as the PP councillor irrelevant of whether I get a place on the Board of Govs. I will take the opportunity of telling everyone that I am now a PP councillor because this would be a great way to get PP politics out to my local electorate and potentially to get more members. If appropriate maybe we could start a Cumbria PP Branch!!

    Being a Pirate: Neither a benefit or disadvantage. It will be a talking point and an opportunity to promote Pirate politics!!

    Thanks again for your questions.
  • edited June 2015
    I have just spoken to the returning officer. To be a member of the PPUK I just need to declare it on my "declaration of interest". (Which I will be doing tomorrow)

    However, if I want to stand as the PP Councillor then I have to do 2 things..... get permission officially from the PPUK (yourselves) to use logos and represent yourselves officially in the Parish, and of course I have to declare it on my "declaration of interests".

    This would not provoke an election even if I, or alternatively, others wanted it.

    So, PPUK what do you think?

    And sorry, this has all come on me quite quickly so I haven't had opportunity to contribute or "meet" before putting "my hat in the ring" for originally the Board, but now as a PP Councillor.

    And I must reiterate me standing as our local PP councillor has NO relevance to whether I am successful with the Board vote or not!

    With permission I will do the Council thing anyway!! :) :)

  • Hi Alix - this is probably something to talk to the NEC about. email [email protected] and maybe arrange to attend the next NEC meeting (happens online)?
  • Done!! Thanks Azrael :)
  • ADMIN: Please could you add my name to the title of this thread as per the convention. Thanks. Sorry I didn't notice that when I posted originally! Thanks :)
  • David: we have different understandings. I think that calls for some sort of cage battle to the death!!
  • Or... a game of Quake 3. As is the tradition.
  • ADMIN: Please could you add my name to the title of this thread as per the convention.
  • Ta muchly!! :)
  • edited June 2015
    Just to bring the thread back to the nomination: Is anyone interested in 2nd-ing me for the Board of Govs member?
  • Since Alix hasn't been elected as a Pirate councilor, he doesn't have a Pirate mandate from the people he's representing, which is undemocratic. He also states explicitly:
    But good point... This is one of our lovely democratic principles. Gah.
  • Thanks for your response to this, Chesa. My response needs to be quite detailed and I need to check out some info before I respond, so please bear with me on a reply.

    However, what I would like to respond to here is the assumption by several members of this Party on occasions where they have responded to me or made comment about me is that I am male. I am not!! Why would there be this assumption? And several of you have responded accordingly without any thought of checking out which gender I am. I agree my name is pretty gender free, but then so are some of your avatar names so surely people will have already thought to ask/check!

    So guys!! I IS a bird!! ;) An old bird too. And don't go making any other assumptions that Im young, pretty, pig ugly or anything else!!

    Nor too old to be of any value either!!! lmao!!

    Men!! the world still revolves around you....... get a grip and update your personal assumptive system and well just like getting real proper democratic consultative political systems - things need to change!!
  • Thank you Michael. I wrote my post before I saw yours. And thank you for updating your personal system!! lol
  • edited June 2015
    I am not in the least bit surprised as to what you have said in your response in this thread and I absolutely agree with most points. I also think that it is something that needs to be considered as the Party is growing because there will be people who are currently councillors in local government who will come across to us when they realise what we stand for and definate policy on this need to be put in place.

    And Drowz0r I think that you added some brilliant stuff to the discussion. Maybe we should start a thread about it and see where it leads.

    However in my personal case and the case of any Parish Councillors that want to stand the rules are different for the election process and for filling vacancies.

    The considerations that you are making apply, and I believe totally appropriately, to County and District Councils and not to Parish or Community Councils. The lowest form of local government!

    Please see: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/141798/Part-1-Can-you-stand-for-election-P-and-C.pdf and

    http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/media/newarkandsherwood/imagesandfiles/parishcouncils/pdf/Guidance on Filling a Casual Vacancy.pdf

    In a nut shell: Most Parish Councils operate with empty seats. We might have one on our council by next month. What then happens is someone has to be co-opted. See 2nd doc. In practice, because they often have vacancies, pretty much if someone turns up to a Parish Council where there is a vacancy and says can I become a councillor and gives a little speech they will be on. Its only the councillors who have to vote. (Which is what I meant by my not trigger an election statement, Chesha!)

    And nor I certainly am not doing or being anything different as a Pirate member. To be honest, no one will give a jot!! Councillor or resident!!

    However, I have already decided to bring it to my fellow councillors attention and certainly will give them the opportunity to ask me to resign. Even with this what will actually happen is they will all say "Can we move next business? And get on with what we are supposed to be discussing!!"

    This has got me thinking tho about Parish Councils. Check out your own Parish and see if there is a vacancy and put yourself up for co-option. I bet we could have a number of Parish Councillors very quickly!! You just need to go to your District or County Council website and look up your parish. It should tell you if there is a vacancy!!
  • This has got me thinking tho about Parish Councils. Check out your own Parish and see if there is a vacancy and put yourself up for co-option. I bet we could have a number of Parish Councillors very quickly!! You just need to go to your District or County Council website and look up your parish. It should tell you if there is a vacancy!!
  • @Chesha

    You wrote:
    As regards the nomination debate: My understanding of the current situation is that there are 2 distinct elections running: "NEC" and "Governors"; any member can make a seconding in either election, unless they are standing in it. Again this has come from George, but I'd be inclined to take his word as final on this matter TBH, given his experience and current position in the party.
    Without meaning to get all argumentative about it, the Board is actually the arbiter of what the constitution means, not the Leader (acting or otherwise) nor the Nominations Officer (who does traditionally operate internal elections but gives no greater remit to interpret the constitution where it relates to internal elections).
    If nobody wants to second multiple Board candidates then it doesn't matter. But if they do then I suggest they make it clear that they wish to do that and immediately ask the Board for clarification on that wording. As I said, and I'll say it more strongly now, I am convinced that someone who isn't a candidate may in this election second up to twelve candidates for the Board.
  • edited June 2015

    I also believe that given the consistent wording of parts of the current clause and the previous clause it would actually allow someone to second one candidate per NEC position. Note the constitution says 'one candidate per position' not 'one candidate per set of elections'.

    Given that we explicitly allow a single person to nominate themselves for each NEC position (hence clarification on how we would deal with the results of that) it would make no sense to prevent someone seconding a candidate for each position.
  • He he...... IMHO.... this is turning into a great thread!!
  • Alix: this is what the life of a Governor is like, nitpicking and arguing over the meaning of random words that were cobbled together in haste and replacing them with new random words cobbled together with slightly less haste :D
  • @Chesha :D I decided to raise it with the Board myself and while not been enough time for a full discussion I can reveal (DUN DUN DUN!!) that my interpretation is NOT the only one!!! (i.e. I may be partially wrong)

    @Alix I'll jump on the getting your gender wrong grenade too! But in a more stupid way. I saw the name and assumed female, then slapped myself for assuming female and deciding you were male because your name seemed female and it is wrong to assume such things. (there is a point at which one should stop thinking and I sometimes go well beyond that point)
  • You make my point too Chesha!
    I might point out that "Chesha" often gets confused as a "girls' name"; I get a lot of messages off dudes trying to chat me up, etc (sometimes even if I have a photo, bizarrely...) and I was even listed as a female speaker at the recent Piratecon in Czech Republic, until someone else corrected them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    By men generally, and of course not all men, but certainly the majority, firstly think someone is a man and then if the name suggest a woman/girl they then assume a girl is fair game to chat up! But much worse than "chat up" assume that the female is not to be taken as seriously as a male would be?

    Figure that!!! - for equality of and for human beings!!!!?
  • I'm discussing the issue of seconding with the Board at the moment (my clarification, sadly, was not actually the only interpretation of the constitution, and it's the Board's role to adjudicate). In the meantime, I'd suggest taking it out of this thread, which is interesting for other reasons.

    Chesha raises a serious issue, but my view is that it could be resolved by you formally stepping down, Alix, and then getting co-opted back into the Parish Council as soon as the process allows, if the other councillors are willing. Or you could remain an independent - despite Pirate leanings - until the next parish council election, and then stand as an official Pirate candidate. Party membership itself is surely not incompatible with being in elected office.
  • I agree we shouldn't badge a sitting councillor as being an elected PPUK councillor. Also there's no rush on this, there's time to do things the proper way.

    We did well and truly hijack Alix's post - but that's what she gets for coming in with a bang ;)
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