I just submitted my nomination for the Board with the statement below. Of course I'm happy (and expect) to be grilled and filleted by you all.
I've been a member of PPUK since 2010, but have been significantly constrained for non-work activities for the last four years. That's been a bit frustrating as I wanted to give more time, but had no scope to do so. With a recent change in work contracts I have a bit more space and so I am looking to ease myself into becoming more active. The Board of Governors seems like a good place for me to put limited but focused effort to help the party move forward and establish itself as a known quantity in the UK.
I'm a consultant specialising in standardisation of Internet protocols. This puts me at the heart of the community that devises and develops the equipment that is used to build the Internet, and in continual contact with the people who build and operate the networks.
I run my own company and have served on the board of several others. I've also been a trustee of a charitable trust, and am involved in my local community as treasurer of a community association. All this means that I think I am familiar with the way boards work and the day-to-day processes of working with a group of people towards a common goal. For the last four years I have had a senior management position at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) where my job has been a combination of steering, planning, rule-enforcement, and consensus-building in a loose confederation of engineers
In addition to the IETF, I have also been active in the quasi-diplomatic environment of the ITU, and have worked closely with the Internet Society on issues of Internet Governance and extension of the Internet to the developing world. These experiences have fuelled my passion for open access to the Internet and given me competence in addressing government leaders and other non-technical decision-makers on what are significantly technical issues.
On the political front my hottest issues are open access to the Internet, copyright and patent reform, pervasive monitoring, and extension of the Internet to reach the digitally disenfranchised both at home and abroad. These were the issues that brought me to the Pirate Party and they continue to be my main concerns. As a PPUK member I am still working through two things that excite and scare me in equal measure:
- Liquid democracy is a powerful tool for establishing consensus and agreement, and it is a terrible risk. The risk is that, without discussion (and even possibly with it) the consensus might arrive at an idea that is so fundamentally not what I believe that I would need to leave the party. There is, of course, no evidence to say that this might happen within the party, but it gives me heebie jeebies thinking about it. My work in the IETF teaches me that consensus processes can be exceptionally powerful for the development of the best solution, and I think that what we need to build on top of our own processes a way to hold off adopting new ideas until they have matured and shown good body of support.
- As a published author I am jittery about copyright reform. It is badly needed, but some of the proposals made seem to go too far and remove all opportunity to earn a living through writing. Again, I have no evidence that PPUK will get this wrong, but it does make me nervous.
If appointed as a Board member for PPUK I would be looking to achieve stability and growth in the party. Stability is based on application of our rules and processes to support the NEC, candidates, and campaigners, while encouraging the development of changes necessary to facilitate better systems. The growth is necessary at this stage in our development and includes a growth in membership, growth in finances, and growth in visibility: the three are intimately linked.