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NEC: Deputy Leader Volunteer

edited December 2016 in Candidate
Ahoy Pirates!

My name is Jason 'Termy' Winstanley, and I am writing today to volunteer to take a position upon the Party's National Executive Committee (NEC). For those who don't know what that is, there's a brilliant explanation as to what the NEC is here: https://pirateparty.org.uk/party/how-we-work/national-executive

So, about me. I personally describe myself as a glutton for punishment, but I've also been called a geek, gaymer, nerd, efficient, and many other things. I've been a member of the Party overall for several years, however my current membership isn't as long as that. I started with the Party volunteering as the Press Officer, and was then elected to the NEC as the Nominations Officer just before the last EU elections. Just under a year into my previous time on the NEC, I faced a lot of personal and professional disruption which led to me being unable to continue, leading to my own resignation. This time, all my personal and professional disruptions are behind me, and I'm looking to a few years with no issues at all. ;)

I'm looking forward to being personally involved with everyone inside the party, and people outside the party too, and being generally overall efficient, friendly, and helping to make the Pirate Party UK a genuinely amazing party!


  • Really pleased to have you step forward (again), Termy.
    Just to level set, a couple (well, OK, three) of questions:
    Are there any principles or top-level policies that you might want to work to modify?
    Do you think we should push hard to fill vacant Board and NEC positions, or let the organic process work?
    Where should we focus our energies: campaigns, local elections, national elections?
  • edited December 2016
    Hey Adrian,

    What's a Campaign without questions? Without questions, a campaign is boring! Besides, I need to practice my writing and question answering abilities.

    Are there any principles or top-level policies that you might want to work to modify?
    Boring answer (and most likely will be the shortest answer of the three questions), but there is always room for policies to change, to be meddled with, to be modified, and for the party to grow. Essentially, I'm aligned with whichever way the party and it's membership, the NEC and the board want us to be. In the long run, I'd love to see us have another set of policies entirely crowd-written. I really enjoyed it when we had stuff crowd-written a few years ago.

    Do you think we should push hard to fill vacant Board and NEC positions, or let the organic process work?
    It's my firm belief that the people who want to work for the party in any way will do their best work when they volunteer their efforts off their own back. But also on balance, we shouldn't sit on our laurels. Finding that fine balance between pushing and canoodling (love that word) our volunteers is something that I have found a challenge previously. I've seen the effect that overworking volunteers can do, and previously were massively guilty for having people hit breaking point. Hell, like I said due to my own personal failures I was pushed to breaking point before, and I've learnt to work past this.

    So I would want to foster the feeling of "If you volunteer for the party, on the Board or the NEC or in any way, we want you to do it cause you love it".

    TL;DR: We shouldn't push to fill positions, but we should definitely foster talent where we see it, and encourage people to fill positions they are interested in. Like me, with Nominations! Love the paperwork...

    Where should we focus our energies: campaigns, local elections, national elections?
    I'll discuss all three options in my answer, apologies if this makes things complicated. I do so love making things complicated, sometimes.

    So, as a Party we should focus our energies where we'd gain the most benefit and where our energy won't be, for want of a better word, wasted. Essentially, as long as First-Past-The-Post remains the system in place in UK Politics we are highly unlikely as things stand to achieve much in National Politics at all, even if it is where we'd eventually like to end up and where we can get the majority of our ideas enacted.

    Campaigns, on the other hand, are quite ideal. They work in several different ways, and in the long run get the word out about us, and show we can get ourselves heard. However, these only work if we can get the word out to begin with!

    So in my opinion, we should start with the basics in local politics, getting our name out there as someone who is more than happy to serve the common man and woman of our nation, serving on the front-line of politics. Have candidates achieve positions on local councils, etc, get the name out, and eventually we can work on the bigger stuff. Hell, we could even campaign for a change to Proportionate Representation again in the future... here's wishing.

    TL;DR: Local elections are brilliant. We can meet the people on the front-line, and we've already proven we can achieve results if we work for it. Local and campaigns, then work on the national stuff.
  • Thanks. I asked, and now I know. And now I know how to vote when the time comes.
  • Hello @Termy

    One of the reasons I still haven't sought to go back on to the NEC was I don't think a substantial enough change has happened to warrant it, either in myself or the party and I wouldn't want to stand, only to resign again some time later.

    It's also a rather large weight to carry and I wouldn't advise it unless someone is absolutely sure they want to lead a political party.

    From your perspective, do you think that has happened, as you once occupied a position on the NEC?

    If so, which/both?
  • @OldDog If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to let me know, and I hope I've answered to your satisfaction. Again, if not please do let me know and I'll clarify anything! :)

    @ThyPirateDave (Firstly, thank you for letting me know tagging is a thing that the community system can do. Very helpful!)

    Compared to my previous time with the party, right now it feels like we're a fresh, new party. Definitely with new (positive, bright and passionate) faces, with some old (not physically, but still passionate and brilliant) faces that I recognise and appreciate still being here. But yes, in my personal perspective I see massive changes in the party, and I do wholly believe that it's a positive change. There are old and new faces, but from what I've seen myself over the last few weeks, it's these faces that gel well together, and work well as a team rather than assigning blame and stress.

    You are definitely correct in saying being a part of the NEC is a huge weight to carry, which is why I definitely wouldn't push anyone else who didn't want to to stand. Everyone has reasons for their own actions, myself definitely included. The NEC is a tough thing to volunteer and sit on, but it's also a brilliant challenge and genuinely an amazing experience.

    Personally I've been through some stuff over the last few years and only now coming out of the tail-end of... a lot of rubbish stuff. But continuing my theme of experiences, I've had some genuinely humbling ones in my life. I've learnt a hell of a lot about myself in the space of the last year alone, and gone through some massive personal development (more than I ever imagined possible). I've learnt a lot of skills to help prevent myself hitting breaking point, even basic stuff that helps. For example, I have a personal flowchart I run through when things happen to stop be stressing out. "Can I action this"? If yes, do so, and follow up. No need to stress! If not, I ask myself "Do I know someone who can action it", or "Is there some kind of an appropriate contact or person to alert about this"? If so, forward it or delegate, and if not... research. If research does nothing, I probably can't do anything and it's not something to stress about!
    Obviously it's more complicated than that when it comes down to it... but I have learnt to keep myself destressed and sane in day-to-day life and going forwards, and this certainly will contribute
  • Hey @Termy

    I'm pretty enthusiastic about someone taking this off my hands and also bringing us closer to having a functional NEC again.

    I don't think I have any questions for you at this time
  • After some conversation on the Discord today, I have decided to re-tune my platform slightly, and run for Deputy Leader.
    I'm more than happy to discuss this with people on the Discord or however (email, chat, anything), so do let me know if you have questions. :)
  • Dammit, and I was so looking forward to not dealing with Noms any more.
  • With the Christmas/New Years period, I and others probably wouldn't have seen the chat - what prompted the change?
  • ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
    edited January 2017
    P.S. Currently the Code of Practice states:

    "The Leader heads the party's administration and represents the party to the media and electorate. This NEC officer is expected to stand as a candidate in general and other relevant elections and to take a leading role in setting political strategy. The Leader will also set time aside to support other candidates on campaigning and political issues. The Leader will normally chair NEC meetings.

    The Deputy Leader supports the Leader in this role. In the event the Leader position is Vacant, the Deputy Leader for all intents and purposes becomes the Acting Leader. Once an election has run and a new Leader has been elected, the then Acting Leader reverts to the Deputy Leader."

    Do you feel you could fulfill the role of both Deputy Leader and by the same virtue Acting Leader?
  • edited January 2017
    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for your two questions.

    The main reason for the change of nomination is to assist with having a fully-formed NEC from the outset, and also to give the Party a formally-elected figurehead and Spokesperson, which I know would be greatly appreciated by members I've spoken to as well as (I have heard) the press. This also gives other members, who perhaps would rather not take on the very outwardly-facing positions, the opportunity to take on the roles that suit them on the NEC, such as the Nominations Officer position, which I was originally proposing due to having been in the role previously and having experience.

    The reason I am running for DL rather that Leader itself is to allow for any other member who feels like they would do a better job to stand. I know that there are more eloquent people, and more... savvy, and brilliant people out there that could and should stand for Leader of the Party. And I'd be more than happy to support those people. And until we have a Leader in place, I'm also more than happy to stand and do what I can, including

    In terms of do I feel I can fulfil the role of Deputy Leader, and until we elect one take on the role of Acting Leader? I feel that I can do so, and I am looking forward to. I definitely wouldn't nominate myself if I wasn't up to the challenge, and I do so love a challenge. I'm much too like Sherlock Holmes, in that I will rarely shy away from a challenge if I can help it. Also as I've said before, I've learnt a hell of a lot in the last few years, and I'm looking forward to putting myself to the test too. :)
  • ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
    edited January 2017
    Well I respect your keenness and self confidence in being able to fulfil the role and it's refreshing to see more people like yourself come forward to "do". Active membership is something we really need more of.

    Do you know what county and town councils you fall under? Would you be willing to run in the local elections this year for a seat there?
  • In my current residence (and where I'll be residing for the foreseeable future), I come under the City and County of Swansea Council, however due to private concerns I won't be comfortable running in local elections this year. This is for several reasons, the largest reason being something that is completely out of my hands and something I'm also unable to divulge publicly, but I will discuss this with you privately when it is convenient. (It's nothing terribly bad, don't worry. Just not comfortable broadcasting it online. xD)
  • We have more Pirates that should be in the Swansea area IIRC, should get them to pop up
  • If there are others in the area, I am more than happy to support them in person, as well as in other ways! :)
  • There was some interest in us from Swansea a little while ago but it didn't seem to take off - but supporting/seeking other candidates locally is pretty needed down this way.
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