Pirate Party sets sail in the UK

News 12 Aug, 2009

The Pirate Party is now an official political party in the UK, and plans to stand in the next election.

The Pirate Party has now spread its sails in the UK, with a mandate to cut back surveillance, increase freedom of speech and reform copyright and patent laws.

The Pirate Party has officially registered with the Electoral Commission, and is now a real British political party.

New leader Andrew Robinson wrote in a blog post: "I'm no longer the leader of group of people interested in forming a party, I'm now the leader of a real, official, all done-according-to-the-book political party."

The now-official Pirate Party is accepting membership and intends to run candidates in the next election - set to happen by spring at the latest.

The party already exists in Sweden, which has a Pirate MEP, and Germany, which has a member of the Pirate Party in its parliament. In Sweden, its popularity jumped after the verdict in the Pirate Bay case.

The party's mandate includes the legalisation of "non-commerical filesharing", cutting copyright from life plus 70 years, and removing patents from drugs.

Robinson said in a statement: "The Pirate Party offers an alternative to the last century's struggles between political left and political right."

"When a government plans to brand seven million British filesharers as criminals, to profile every citizen, to track our movements, register every email we send and every website we visit, and to carry on allowing big business to lock up life saving drugs and environmentally beneficial technologies under an ever-growing mountain of patents, Britain desperately needs a party that fights back," he added.

"We know these laws can be changed, must be changed and will be changed."

A blog post on the Pirate Party website called for its followers to actually join the party and become official members.

"We are not talking about getting a password to use a website, or joining a group on Facebook, but becoming a member of a real political party that can field real election candidates," the post said.

"You do not want to miss out on a lifetime of bragging that you were a member from the very beginning. We are about to set sail and it is time to climb aboard. It is going to be one heck of a journey."