Friday, 27 April 2012

German Pirates

Just when it seems that politics is stuck in a rut along comes something that's upsetting apfel karten all over Germany. The Pirate Party has come from nowhere to potentially around 13% of this Sunday's votes; it's young, it's digital, it wants change and reform and it's beyond the old labels of right and left. Der Spiegel offers an in-depth profile this week that reveals despite the confusion over what the party stands for, it's attracting large numbers of young members using internet tools and Twitter-like brevity to formulate policy. 

It's also using LiquidFeedback, a free open-source platform for interactive democracy that could revolutionise the way in which the UK political blogosphere operates, implement 'Referism' across the UK's grass roots and change political participation to a process and using the tools that the young are comfortable and familiar with. 

The established German parties are trying hard to portray it as a right-wing extremist movement, but in reality it's uncomfortably leftist but with strong libertarian leanings and actually doesn't fit the conventional models, and since the technical platforms and mechanisms are the thing rather than the policies, a UK equivalent could equally well be rightist libertarian. However, it blows the cosy metropolitan Statist party system right out of the water and builds on the strongly held belief of the young that everything on the web should be free and accessible to all. They're young, they're IT-savvy and they're well educated but above all they're completely disillusioned with our rotten political system. And now they've enfranchised themselves on their own terms. 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

All ideas welcome with Harrogate coming up.
I've heard of the Pirates before - politics is current, politics is about 'you and me' and is about 'youf' as well as 'fogeys'. Sadly in Britain, for a number of reasons - much of it guvmint policy and the failure of policy, including education: the young and many others have disengaged and that is not a good thing.

Info' Technology, is a useful tool and instant mass communication, would be a pity not to utilise this medium - where the guvmint have hold no sway and are unable to regulate it, despite their feeble attempts to do just that.

**** em.

Barnacle Bill said...

Will they be cheaper than the present herd of piggies we are saddled with that's the important question?
Could we see a Buccaneer Party in this country?
Anything to put the fear of the people into our present swine would get my backing.

G. Tingey said...

Excellent!

THIS is the sort of reform we want.

"Libertarianism" usually means (in this country) a front for extreme christian crypto-fascism and the rights of the rich to trample on everyone. The Tea Party are a classic example, paid for by ultra-corrupt billionaires.

But, as you say "Pirate" are different, very different.
There is also a new grouping, not yet public (they expect to surface sometime in the next 6 months -> year) called "Zero State" who have much in common with the Pirates.

VERY interesting.
And hopeful

cuffleyburgers said...

I had a look at the Pirate party UK website as I am curious to see what they actually stand for.

It seemed to be all about the removal of IP rights on the internet.

My worry is that having hordes of ill educated, unthinking kids determining policy that this will actually skew politics even more towards statism and bannsturabation rather than tax cutting libertarians taking responsibility for their own actions.

Oldrightie said...

Hope springs eternal. As it did with Radio Caroline! Also don't write of "fogeys". In the UK we are all that's left of a generation for whom education was just that.

formertory said...

My worry is that having hordes of ill educated, unthinking kids determining policy that this will actually skew politics even more towards statism and bannsturabation rather than tax cutting libertarians taking responsibility for their own actions.

Absolutely. +1

Demetrius said...

Very interesting.........

nisakiman said...

Quite honestly, anything that shakes the current shower out of their unctuous, self-righteous, self-serving comfort zone would be welcome. If Lib-Lab-Con could be dragged out of their parallel universe into the real world, any oddball party, whatever their politics, would be a welcome addition to the political mix. Particularly if they were to pose a real threat to the cosy Westminster cabal.

The UK parliament needs a metaphorical Guy Fawkes to put a few barrels of gunpowder under them and light the touch-paper. An internet savvy Pirate party could well do just that.

Dave_G said...

"statism and bannsturabation...??"

so what? Are you already saying that the (real) democracy that a system like Pirate Party brings is wrong?

I repeat "that (real) democracy is WRONG"?

So what if such a party exists and gets it wrong - they are entitled to and will auto-correct their mistakes. Or die.

Unlike the existing political parties who live off each others c*ck-ups..

Woodsy42 said...

An excellent sign. I agree with Oldrightie, Caroline was a poke in the eye for the establishment. They are way overdue another, this time much sharper and more painful, and the Internet is probably the only medium that has a chance.
Free web information is only the tip of the iceberg, and ironically probely the best justified. But what about the morality of seed patents that make all our food subject to seed companies, patents that bring technical progress to a halt in a morass of law suits. Medical patents that make medicines unaffordable for much of the world. As for allowing a phrase like '2012 Olympics' to be copyrighted or a red London bus picture the shark was jumped some time ago.

cuffleyburgers said...

Dave_G - don't confuse "democracy" with freedom, the pirate parties are in principle a welcome shake up of the tired and unacceptable system of crony corporatism we suffer under at present.

THey are welcome inasmuch as they will shake something up, however it would be extremely foolish to imagine that they are an unalloyed good and we should not fool ourselves that these parties, as they present themselves at present are capable of delivering much beyond (welcome) disruption.

That is my point.