Our second post from the online hustings. This time is Loz Kaye, Pirate Party Candidate in Oldham East and head of the Pirate Party, writing about why we should vote Pirate on Thursday.
Like many, I have grown fed up with the mainstream parties. Whether it is expenses scandals or broken manifesto pledges, it is time for a new voice for change. Perhaps above all it is the breaking of election law that has brought about this election that proves the point.
Pirate Party UK is a new party that believes politics needs to change for the 21st century. We stand for freedom on the Internet, civil liberties, an end to needless surveillance – and I have a credible alternative to the coalition cuts that will hit Oldham so hard.
We want to unlock new opportunities by helping our creative, scientific and digital industries. However the government has plans that mean your online use can be monitored in the name of fighting so called ‘Internet piracy’, and your Internet Service Provider will have to pay for the privilege.
The fact that you are reading this on a blog shows the value of free access on the Internet, and how it is becoming an important part of democratic debate. However the government has signalled an end to ‘net neutrality’’ – your ISP could relegate certain sites to a web slow lane if they don’t stump up cash. We could see a British Internet for some where Sky content speeds to you, but the BBC crawls along.
We want to end patents on drug treatments to save money and lives. The ending of the patent system would free up 4.5 billion pounds from the NHS on our reckoning, leaving money to reinvest in new research as well as other vital areas such as education.
Many in the borough are worried about cuts to the Police. Yet just last year £500 million was spent on CCTV by the government alone – enough for 10,000 officers. Instead of treating us all like criminals, we should be focusing resources on where they are really needed.
As a teacher in Higher Education I am hugely worried about the effect of government cuts to Universities and hikes in tuition fees. I campaigned against raising of fees last year and unlike the LibDems I stand by the promises I made then. The broken promises will deter people from poorer backgrounds seeking higher education, wasting the talent this country sorely needs.
The scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future programme has hit the constituency hard, but much needed improvements could be financed by cracking down on corporate tax avoidance.
By-elections give voters a chance to get the attention of Westminster in a way that gets lost during a General Election. Every single vote for me is a valuable signal that it is time to do politics differently and that we are ready to reclaim our rights. If an MP from one of the ‘big three’ parties is returned they will disappear in to the anonymous ranks of their party, whereas I would be the strong independent voice that Oldham East and Saddleworth deserves.