Monday, 11 May 2015

Post Election Analysis: Rocks And Shocks

Well Labour's Ed Miliband, the Liberal Democrats' Nick Clegg, and UKIP's Nigel Farage have fallen on their swords, but would you believe it — so has the Pirate Party's Loz Kaye? For some strange reason he seems to think we want another leader but the fact is I've no idea who could possibly replace him or what they would do differently. I think that's the problem.

We need a leader

We've got some great, capable people in the party but the one who makes the most noise — and the best impression — is Loz Kaye. There is literally no one else I know in the party who is as front and centre as he is. Loz writes and blogs for the Guardian, Huffington Post, and other publications and it's a great way to get the party name and policies known. However, he seems to be one of the few who has that reputation. Like it or not, the UK's Pirate Party appears, at first glance, to be a cult of personality built around Loz by default. I mean, he's really self-effacing in person but he's the only really well-known member of the UK party at all. It's probably why he's stepping down; he realises this and wants someone else to step forward so the party becomes about the party, not about the talented energetic guy. So... who's going to do it?

Who can do the job?

I've got absolutely no idea of who can step into Loz's shoes. I follow a few Pirates, most of whom I've never met in person. A couple of these might be willing to step forward but they haven't done so yet. A stunning blog post by Mark Chapman made it clear that we need to make changes but he himself can't spare the time to lead us himself. If we don't elect a leader soon we'll divide and scatter, then the party will collapse. We can't allow this to happen.

The state of play

We've won zero seats and those of us who stood for election have gained experience in the electoral system and how it works. Labour is reeling; one of their supporters put it best:
If you haven't spotted the problem yet, I'll explain it. There is no lack of progressive narrative, there's a lack of people paying attention to it. Sort that out. The Tories are gloating, planning massive changes, and some people are trying to explain it to those who just don't understand. Meanwhile, the worrying trend to copy all things American continues, so we can all look forward to religious tyranny being sprinkled on the corporate knuckle sandwich. Meanwhile, only a few people are actually willing to take on board the need to leave the left/right dichotomy behind and work on polices that actually, like, work.

What can we do?

I'm working on a plan to unite people who want to take on the unfair laws and proposals being brought in by the government. It's called The Opposition Alliance, the idea being to get people who are willing to work together to discuss plans to launch campaigns and see them through to completion. I'm no lover of UKIP but since they're interested in proportional representation and I've been won over to it I'm willing to discuss the matter with them in the hope of gaining their support for it.

This has got to be a non-reciprocal deal; I am NOT going to support a drive to get us out of Europe. The SNP might help with PR but I'm opposed to breaking up the Union. I'm keen on environmentally-sensitive policies and will definitely help the Greens with that.

I'll work on building a web presence for what is basically an online "Oi, you!" to get attention. The idea is then to steer these allies in the general direction of 38 Degrees or Assemblies for Democracy, the idea being to work together on actual campaigning. The Opposition Alliance is to get attention and get people to come over 'ere. Once I've drawn the crowd, the people can form action groups and work on campaigns on those issues that interest them. Well, that's the idea. It's a project, not a movement. I'll blog more about it later.

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