Wales Branch

#WhyPirate

David Elston's picture

The answer to #WhyPirate is so obvious to me.

We understand politics are local: To the Daily Wales I explained that in Wales we want to see reform of the Welsh Language act to move to allowing Welsh to flourish instead of being protected and greater devolution to allow Wales to stand on it's own two feet. Powers to protect itself against against fracking and make decisions that are in Wales' best interest.

We understand looking outward can fix the inward problems: With Carter TV Interviews I explained our digital economy needs to come to Wales. By improving our broadband to European levels, it solves our over-population and congestion issues in cities and brings much needs jobs and revenue into Wales by allowing remote working or greater entrepreneurship.

Be the change you want to see

David Elston's picture

Back in 2008 I worked for Swansea University in a department called DACE – Department of Adults Continuing Education. I lost this job. Government cuts saw to it that this department was closed. It was my first job, I was a website design assistant. It seemed such a huge injustice to work so long and hard in academia, from the age of 5 until 21 and graduate only to lose my first job in a matter of weeks. To add pressure, my son had just been born, so I had to find alternative employment quickly.


I remember feeling shocked but not just because my job was cut. The University lost many highly qualified and experienced staff, some holding PhDs, experienced lecturers and other valued support staff. There was the knock-on effect of the community centres in places like the Rhondda who leaned on Swansea's DACE for support, were now also going to suffer.


Why I'm not a Green

David Elston's picture

...and why you're not a Green too.

On the campaign trail it's not uncommon for Green Party supporters and sympathies to ask:

“If digital rights are so important to you why don't you join the Green Party?”

While it is true that perhaps there are forward looking people in the Green Party with their heart in the right place, the digital world will never be a priority for the Greens. They're inexperienced, they've come late to the digital fight, they're a little too, well, green. I say this as someone who joined the Greens hoping they were a truly progressive party but left when there was a completely void of support for our digital freedoms.

As it was put by a co-host on The White Rose Club radio yesterday “Greens are like 3G and the Pirate Party are 4G” which I think captures it perfectly. Essentially while there is a faction within the Greens that know there is something in the digital world that needs their attention, they're most certainly not up to date while Pirates are at the frontier.

The second question I get asked is:

Pirate Party Wins 2015 General Election!

BREAKING NEWS: The Pirate Party has won the 2015 General Election!

Here are six things you can expect from your new Pirate Democracy.

Your Internet connection would be faster than the Black Pearl herself

Internet speeds would increase, prices would drop! Our digital economy would boom – creating jobs for everyone! Internet censorship wouldn't exist any more and you won't have to wait through anti-piracy ads before watching a movie.

Oh... and public WiFi will be free.

 

Get the frack out of here~

David Elston's picture

                                                       

 

In my Bridgend constituency we have the lovely sights of Ogmore and Myther Mawr. Much to my regret they have already been highlighted as possible frack areas under the radar. Bore hole tests for shale gas were approved and performed silently. Since my announcement to stand for Bridgend, I have had several very concerned e-mails from our local residents asking me to oppose fracking.
 

 

                                           

 

A Secular State

David Elston's picture

                                                 

 

The Pirate Party UK have just two days ago closed the crowd sourced manifesto for 2015. The policy team are no doubt working through all the submissions ready for the membership to vote on our new manifesto.


One that caught my eye and is of particular interest to this readership was a suggestion titled “Move Towards a Secular State”.


The proposal stated that religion is in steady and sharp decline in the UK's population. There was a discussion following and polls, including a yougov poll showed that religion is now in the minority.

Pirate Party Candidate for Bridgend!... Me!

David Elston's picture

  

 

Hello Wales and hello Bridgend! My name is David; your newest PPC and together we can put a Pirate in Parliament!

The merits of creativity beyond commercial

When I was involved in getting government support for the big music project I was asked to meet ministers and assembly members, key among them was Ken Skates the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism.

I was asked basically to defend why government should be using resources and give backing to big music projects and the youth music projects in South Wales. What struck me was the question. What jobs can you get for these young people from music projects? Can you guarantee jobs from these investments?

I believe this misses the real virtue of allowing people accesses to the means to create. The benefits of the music projects I have been involved with are not commercial.

Allowing an environment where music and other creative pursuits flourish is important for a rich culture. Allowing access to culture also breeds more culture.

As with the youth projects (Major music. Vibe creative) Government funding for equipment has led to young people discovering their calling and opportunities to pursue careers and life styles that would not be possible.

As for the commercial, an example of how supporting culture can lead to commercial ventures such as the youth project I took part in at Vibe Works. From this and the Government funding (that was recently cut) some of the students set up their own company called Vibe Creative. This has paid for its self many times over.

We have seen the Government misunderstanding of the importance of cultural teaching and investment with the attention being drawn away from primary school teaching of creative subjects. This has led to companies like Superstars going into these school and teaching these subjects independently and because of this they are simply not seen as important as other classes.

While there is a strong argument for the current hierarchy of English, Maths and Science being at the top while other subjects as seen as less important, I also feel that ranking subjects as more important than others can prove difficult to some children. To a musician, music is more important than chemistry in school.

The bottom line for me is the benefits from a strong culture vastly outweigh its initial investment cost and thinking “how many jobs will we get out of this” is the wrong way to think about creative pursuits. The commercial upside are a happy by-product of the cultural ones. Wales has a reputation for rich culture and I hope we can help build on and defend that perception.

Below is a very unflattering picture of me with the minister along with a link to the company the ex students at the music project made before the funding was cut.

 

Vibe Facebook Page

 


 

Working inside the music industry

 

As a professional musician I know the music industry very well. The degree of positivity and progress making your music freely available has done which always completely negates any amount of “harm” that may come your way. Getting exposure is king. In short; if they know your music you have an audience. They will come and watch you, they will support you. Building a fan base is more important than sales on each CD or download. When you have a following they buy your music and merchandise because they want to feel a part of the music, it's about treating them as not as customers but instead, people with the same interests.

 

 

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