Recently the Dutch Pirate Party announced they would be participating in their national election on June 9th, but they are not the only ones joining an election race in Europe this spring. The UK Pirate Party is also determined to participate in the general election that will be held no later than June 3rd.
This week, the Pirate Party UK, founded last summer, has announced their candidate list. The ten candidates come on the heels of the publication of their manifesto, and cover a broad swathe of the country, from London all the way to Scotland.
As with the Swedish party in last summer’s EU elections, not all the candidates are fresh faced youngsters. Quite a few are definitely middle-aged, including party leader Andrew Robinson (41). Despite characterizations such as ‘kids just out for something for free’, they, like all Pirate Parties, will focus on reforming copyright, privacy and patent laws, while preventing the spread of others.
The candidates are:
- Andrew Robinson – Worcester
- Graeme Lambert – Bury North
- Mark Sims – East Ham
- Alexander van Terheyden – Bethnal Green and Bow
- Tim Dobson – Manchester Gorton
- Luke Leighton – South West Surrey
- Shaun Dyer – Leicester West
- Finlay Archibald – Glasgow Central
- David Geraghty – Derby North
- Jack Nunn – constituency to be decided (London area)
TorrentFreak spoke with Bury North candidate Graeme Lambert, who at 18 is the youngest of the party’s candidates and just old enough to vote himself. Bury North’s current MP, Labour’s David Chaytor, made the news recently as he was charged with theft relating to last year’s expenses scandal, which Lambert has seized on in his campaign.
“The Pirate Party UK is a corruption-free political party which the constituents of Bury North deserve after the actions of David Chaytor,” he told us. Lambert is optimistic of a decent showing, although thinks it unlikely that he will win.
“I’m aiming to secure our deposit, which would require 2500 votes, which I am confident that I can achieve. My chances of winning the seat are relative to Ladbrokes odds of 250/1″.
Indeed, bookmakers Ladbrokes have given all the party’s candidates a 250/1 chance of winning, which is worse than most small parties such as the Green, UKIP and Liberal parties, but better than the 500/1 of long-time electoral jokers, the Monster Raving Loony Party.
Lambert is not the only one running for a seat which has strong resonances with the party manifesto. Mark Sims, a 37 year-old IT teacher, is running against Stephen Timms who is responsible for “Digital Britain”. Last year Timms gave the reason for the rushing of Digital Britain as “the plans as they stand could delay action, impacting unfairly upon rights holders”, certain to be a key feature of Sims’ campaign.
Of course, all this comes at a price, and the party is looking for donations and ways to raise money to help pay for the campaigns.
“We’d love to give as many people as possible the opportunity to ‘Vote Pirate’ in the election,” says Peter Brett, the Deputy Campaigns Officer. “Unfortunately, this means we need to raise just over £9000 in addition to the funds previously raised through member subscriptions. This will be just enough for all our candidates to pay their deposits and to have a reasonable amount for publicity materials.”
With the Digital Economy Bill about to be rammed through the Commons, despite protests, will this be enough?