Rancidpunk Resigns

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Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby rancidpunk » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:40 pm

Rancidpunk Resigns!

I am resigning with immediate effect for the following reasons;

After the debate my blog caused I realised I could not refute any allegations that I didn't speak for the majority of members of the Pirate Party UK as I was elected before we became a political party by a small number of people on a public forum. I won 20 votes out of 41 cast. There are now over 400 members and I do not wish to continue acting as one of the party's officers with only the support of 5 per cent of the membership, as opposed to almost 50% at the start.
This party needs the officers to speak on behalf of the membership and I cannot do the job effectively if I don't know what the members want and to that end I want the party to have clear policies on subjects like the one discussed in my blog. I don't want anything to do with a party that cannot instantly condemn the possession of images of child abuse because of a philosophical principle.
I am a realist in that I understand the difference between idealistic beliefs and inflexible obsession with freedom from censorship to the detriment of vulnerable members of society.
We are the Pirate Party and I am proud to say that I belong to a worldwide movement of like minded individuals that have had enough of being victimised and ignored by our politicians in favour of morally corrupt commercial entities who can afford lobbying and advertising to fool some of our leaders, all of the time. The public need to hear our arguments and be given the right to decide for themselves.
I couldn't sleep for the last few nights in case I had inadvertently caused the party implode by something I had written in a blog I wrote for the Guardian. I thought my blog on common sense over censorship was perfectly reasonable and I am left feeling that “my good judgement” is not what I thought it was. I have asked for the opinion of the other officers and have received no public or private support so I cannot continue without reapplying for my post and fighting for re-election.
I thank you all for your support for the party and I hope to be able to convince you to vote for me when you hear my personal views on the future of the Pirate Party and the noble aspirations of it's membership.
Yours, John Mckeown

No Copyright, Ever. The Rancidpunk 2009
- No copyright, Piratpartiet, 1983 -
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby danbrett » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:27 pm

I agree with your opinion regarding the criminalisation of child porn, which I think is one of those exceptional cases where 'freedom of speech' cannot apply. However, I only just read what you wrote and the reaction. I think you have perhaps made a hasty decision in the heat of an argument. It looks like half a dozen made comments, which is a very small section of those who joined up. I would personally prefer it if you would reconsider, so that the debate can reach a conclusion and that you can influence that debate. This party is at an embryonic stage and it would be a great shame if it was still born because of this particular debate. It would also be better if some parts of the website were member-only, so that debate can occur without anyone fearing that the media and party opponents are watching for a choice quote to undermine the party. Please reconsider.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby VJ » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:27 pm

rancidpunk wrote: I am a realist in that I understand the difference between idealistic beliefs

I'm sorry to see you go, but I think you might have jumped to early. As far as I'm aware, the party hasn't finalised a policy on what currently unlawful images (if any) are to legalised. I haven't read your blog for the guardian, just what you have written here (and only just now) and been jumped on for.

I would just like to point out that not all of us have time to read every thread or blog post, and it's a truism that those with the strongest opinions tend to shout loudest. Whilst I don't agree with everything you have posted, I too would describe myself as a realist and see that if we adopt the ideal extreme (no matter how desirable) we would be committing electoral suicide before a vote is cast. There is precedent.

My personal opinion is this, the only images considered obscene should be images which depict non-consensual, actual harm (not simulated) to another person that could be be considered gratifying.

Possession of all other images should be legal; this would mean that child porn, snuff films and the like would remain illegal but would allow simulated anything in fantasy, porn, art etc. and in factual reporting more or less any images would be legal.
~share & enjoy~
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby SimbaLogical » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:44 pm

Come back rancidpunk.
You have more support than you know.

MUCH more.
風Swift as the wind
林Quiet as the forest
火Conquer like the fire
山Steady as the mountain
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Murton » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:47 pm

I get the feeling it won't be long before you resume you officers role. You may not have received much in the way of public support when the criticisms were originally made but you do have supporters around here, I for one find it highly commendable that you want to be re-elected for your role as Noms Officer due to the proportion of the party that formally supports you being a fraction of what it was originally.


I hope that you will remain active in the meantime while the election for your post is set up and if your election post is anything like this leaving post you can count on my support.
"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? Anyone can make an error, Ensign. But that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." - Grand Admiral Thrawn
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby epriezka » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:13 pm

John, please don't resign. This specific issue isn't big enough to make it worth resigning. You're a highly committed individual, and perhaps your passion is getting of the better of you right now. We'd all like to see that commitment and that passion being exercised in your current job, as Nominations Officer and member of the exec committee, the job you were elected to do. Stick at the job, help the party, help us to be a team. We know that in any team the team members will have differences of opinion from time to time. You feel strongly, but by resigning you magnify the significance of this event. Instead, let's work together to build policies that are sensible compromises which reflect your views and the views of other members. I'm confident we can all find common ground if we try hard enough.

I plead with you, stick at it. Give it some time, and if you still feel you need to resign, do so when you can be cool and objective about the decision. Don't make the decision based on emotion. I'm confident this hullabaloo will blow over before you notice. The party is less than a month old, and we would be better off with you doing the job you were elected to do. If, a few months down the line, you still feel like resigning, I will respect that, but I will also be very grateful for the delay because you will have helped the party through these crucial early stages of growth. We have a lot of work to do, and I know you are willing to shoulder far more than is your fair share because you care deeply about the cause. With that in mind, I ask you to reconsider, get back to the good work you've been doing, and help us build a party that can be as successful as we all believe it can be. Your keeping your current role is the best thing for you, and the best thing for the party. I urge you to withdraw your resignation.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby valisk1 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:57 pm

Fwiw, I think you are right to an extent, there certainly are some seriously good reasons, moral and otherwise for banning certain categories of images, imho these are ones produced as part of very serious crimes where the image itself is functional and ongoing part of that crime.

Such as:

(the obvious but ...), Child Porn, the images are generally created to further the power of over and increase the degrading nature of the assault, no consent of the person subjected to the assault captured in the image is possible both de jure and de facto. Rape videos, violent assaults designed to humiliate, degrade or oppress where the images are used to further humiliate and or attack the individual depicted.

Perhaps counter intuitively, I don't believe allowing such images promotes freedom, I believe that in fact it promotes oppression.

Although this is not state oppression it is the oppression of one individual by another or others.
I think people living in a Free state have the right to expect their legal system to not only punish these individuals as far as is possible but also for their oppressive images to be suppressed as far as is reasonable without becoming onerous to society in general, in order to thwart the ongoing nature of such a release and the effect it has on the individuals victimized in the production of the images.

Beyond that I don't believe we should go, censoring books, songs and art, even ones describing seriously depraved acts we enter the realms of thought crime rather than actual crime.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby valisk1 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:01 pm

epriezka wrote:John, please don't resign. ... We have a lot of work to do, and I know you are willing to shoulder far more than is your fair share because you care deeply about the cause. With that in mind, I ask you to reconsider, get back to the good work you've been doing, and help us build a party that can be as successful as we all believe it can be. Your keeping your current role is the best thing for you, and the best thing for the party. I urge you to withdraw your resignation.


I agree with Eric, and I joined after you were elected. 8-)
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Pete » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:46 pm

valisk1 wrote:
epriezka wrote:John, please don't resign. ... We have a lot of work to do, and I know you are willing to shoulder far more than is your fair share because you care deeply about the cause. With that in mind, I ask you to reconsider, get back to the good work you've been doing, and help us build a party that can be as successful as we all believe it can be. Your keeping your current role is the best thing for you, and the best thing for the party. I urge you to withdraw your resignation.


I agree with Eric, and I joined after you were elected. 8-)


I would also like to agree with this.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby WilliamFS » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:47 pm

pete wrote:
valisk1 wrote:
epriezka wrote:John, please don't resign. ... We have a lot of work to do, and I know you are willing to shoulder far more than is your fair share because you care deeply about the cause. With that in mind, I ask you to reconsider, get back to the good work you've been doing, and help us build a party that can be as successful as we all believe it can be. Your keeping your current role is the best thing for you, and the best thing for the party. I urge you to withdraw your resignation.


I agree with Eric, and I joined after you were elected. 8-)


I would also like to agree with this.


Also agree
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Andy_R » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:54 pm

I wish we'd had a chance to talk you out of this privately.

I'm sure that nobody wants to see you go, and I'm equally sure that, since we are all beginners at our jobs in the party, there will inevitably be times when we *all* have moments like the one you are having now. You are an immensely passionate believer in the ideals of the party, and when we've discussed things we've often needed your voice to tell us that sometimes we shouldn't walk the easy path of compromise. I haven't always agreed with you, but I've always respected you.

Your role as nominating officer has been an odd one, since we have not yet taken part in any elections you have not been called on to do your official duty of formally telling the election officials who our candidates are, or to do the additional job we've given you of managing the system by which we choose those candidates.

I know exactly how you feel when you say you've had sleepless nights about the press, I've spent the best part of 2 weeks crossing my fingers that the world's journalists don't home in the fact that I'm new to politics and go in for the kill. I sometimes feel like I'm going to be walking a tightrope from now on. Putting my foot wrong just once in an interview could derail the whole party. To put your mind at rest, your article for the Guardian was great - passionate, well thought out, and from the heart. I asked you to do the piece because I thought you would do a better job than me, and when I read it I was convinced that I made the right choice. On the issue of your blog post, yes it had a negative effect, but that's part of the learning process for all of us. For the record, this party does unreservedly condemn the possession of images of child abuse. The reason your blog generated such a negative response was that your method for determining which images should be banned would extend well beyond those images into other areas that are not currently censored, and it's this increase in censorship which people found objectionable.

I would like to see you carry on being our nominating officer. If you want that role to be less public, and you don't feel comfortable talking to the press, then that's fine. Of course I'd be sad to lose a passionate writer who isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in, but I'd be glad not to lose a friend.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby danbrett » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:57 pm

If you do decide to withdraw your resignation, I think you have to bear in mind that politics attracts strong-minded people and generates heated debate that can sometimes degenerate into pettiness (eg someone telling you to shut up). This will not be the first time arguments occur, it matters how officers respond to it. It is best to take a step back, be dispassionate and bear in mind that this kind of thing happens in every branch and committee of every political group. And ask yourself: does this argument matter at all in the scheme of things? The alternative is to lose sight of the more important goals.

This party is just finding its feet and evolving its policies - people should bear this in mind and give polite constructive criticism instead of levelling accusations at someone who is giving up his time and working hard for this project.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Sharkz » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:36 am

You have my full support for being a party officer. You had my vote then and my vote remains with you. I trust you to your job and a geniunely respect you as a person. Please stay as Nominating Officer but if you really want to go up for reelection then you have my vote.
:)
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby rancidpunk » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:50 am

I would like to thank everyone for their support and messages of support, and I do understand if members think that I am making this into more than it needs to be. I do appreciate that my actions could damage the party and any one of a million criticisms that I have let myself open to.

Child abuse is an issue important enough to stand up and fight against, without hesitation, no caveats, no justification in any way, shape or form.

I would rather be part of a movement that can instantly condemn any hint of the perversion of our core beliefs by the self serving and vainglorious mewlings of idealists who cannot just say that there is just something not right about possessing images of child abuse. Not something I expect of the Pirate Party as a worldwide entity and certainly not of the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom.

I am rude to the BNP, I am covered in tattoos, I like both types of music (heavy metal and punk rock), I have served my country and been awarded medals for doing so and I will not be browbeaten by high minded and inflexible individuals who, frankly, would have better used their self assessed massive intellects to finding a way that we could have unequivocally made such an obvious statement and still retained the call to avoid all but the most essential censorship. Justifying their intransigence by picking through the semantics of everything that is posted to show how clever they are is not debate.

I thought this is what being a Pirate Party member was about, not stealing bloody MP3's from idiots who can't keep up with technology, but doing what is right, whatever the cost.

I'm not Al Murray the Pub Landlord and nor am I Mary Whitehouse reincarnated, I still howl with laughter watching people try to stop people seeing the Sex Pistols live, (the Great Rock and Roll Swindle), then I listen to the lyrics of “Holiday in the Sun” and I can't understand how they can protest against a band that has such apt lyrics for the time and place. Just scared people protesting against a culture that scares them because they don't understand it.

Sometimes there is no black or white in political idealism, just the point where you get tangled up in ideals that won't work in reality and you have to decide where idealistic belief stops and to think for yourself. That is what we are about, that is how we achieve our goals, we are not lawyers or professional politicians, and we won't have policies or manifestos that can't be torn to pieces by intelligent detractors, we're gifted amateurs doing our best and nothing can be set in stone. I want to remain flexible and reach agreements with our opponents by talking and negotiating until we can reach a point where the PPUK has achieved it's aims and the law protects people and our citizens no longer need to be protected from present and proposed laws weighted in favour of those with the most money.

Again, thank you for your support and for just reading this far,

Yours aye, John
- No copyright, Piratpartiet, 1983 -
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Murton » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:18 am

rancidpunk wrote:I would like to thank everyone for their support and messages of support, and I do understand if members think that I am making this into more than it needs to be. I do appreciate that my actions could damage the party and any one of a million criticisms that I have let myself open to.

Child abuse is an issue important enough to stand up and fight against, without hesitation, no caveats, no justification in any way, shape or form.

I would rather be part of a movement that can instantly condemn any hint of the perversion of our core beliefs by the self serving and vainglorious mewlings of idealists who cannot just say that there is just something not right about possessing images of child abuse. Not something I expect of the Pirate Party as a worldwide entity and certainly not of the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom.

I am rude to the BNP, I am covered in tattoos, I like both types of music (heavy metal and punk rock), I have served my country and been awarded medals for doing so and I will not be browbeaten by high minded and inflexible individuals who, frankly, would have better used their self assessed massive intellects to finding a way that we could have unequivocally made such an obvious statement and still retained the call to avoid all but the most essential censorship. Justifying their intransigence by picking through the semantics of everything that is posted to show how clever they are is not debate.

I thought this is what being a Pirate Party member was about, not stealing bloody MP3's from idiots who can't keep up with technology, but doing what is right, whatever the cost.

I'm not Al Murray the Pub Landlord and nor am I Mary Whitehouse reincarnated, I still howl with laughter watching people try to stop people seeing the Sex Pistols live, (the Great Rock and Roll Swindle), then I listen to the lyrics of “Holiday in the Sun” and I can't understand how they can protest against a band that has such apt lyrics for the time and place. Just scared people protesting against a culture that scares them because they don't understand it.

Sometimes there is no black or white in political idealism, just the point where you get tangled up in ideals that won't work in reality and you have to decide where idealistic belief stops and to think for yourself. That is what we are about, that is how we achieve our goals, we are not lawyers or professional politicians, and we won't have policies or manifestos that can't be torn to pieces by intelligent detractors, we're gifted amateurs doing our best and nothing can be set in stone. I want to remain flexible and reach agreements with our opponents by talking and negotiating until we can reach a point where the PPUK has achieved it's aims and the law protects people and our citizens no longer need to be protected from present and proposed laws weighted in favour of those with the most money.

Again, thank you for your support and for just reading this far,

Yours aye, John



/applaud
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Judy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:57 am

I have expressed my support for rancidpunk in this matter elsewhere on this forum, but also wish to say here that I would like him to continue as an officer. Please come back, rancidpunk!
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Trakgalvis » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:29 am

It seems clear that we want him back. So let us just forget he resigned and ignore it. :)
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby Trakgalvis » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:41 am

rancidpunk wrote:I would like to thank everyone for their support and messages of support, and I do understand if members think that I am making this into more than it needs to be. I do appreciate that my actions could damage the party and any one of a million criticisms that I have let myself open to.

Child abuse is an issue important enough to stand up and fight against, without hesitation, no caveats, no justification in any way, shape or form.

I would rather be part of a movement that can instantly condemn any hint of the perversion of our core beliefs by the self serving and vainglorious mewlings of idealists who cannot just say that there is just something not right about possessing images of child abuse. Not something I expect of the Pirate Party as a worldwide entity and certainly not of the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom.

I am rude to the BNP, I am covered in tattoos, I like both types of music (heavy metal and punk rock), I have served my country and been awarded medals for doing so and I will not be browbeaten by high minded and inflexible individuals who, frankly, would have better used their self assessed massive intellects to finding a way that we could have unequivocally made such an obvious statement and still retained the call to avoid all but the most essential censorship. Justifying their intransigence by picking through the semantics of everything that is posted to show how clever they are is not debate.

I thought this is what being a Pirate Party member was about, not stealing bloody MP3's from idiots who can't keep up with technology, but doing what is right, whatever the cost.

I'm not Al Murray the Pub Landlord and nor am I Mary Whitehouse reincarnated, I still howl with laughter watching people try to stop people seeing the Sex Pistols live, (the Great Rock and Roll Swindle), then I listen to the lyrics of “Holiday in the Sun” and I can't understand how they can protest against a band that has such apt lyrics for the time and place. Just scared people protesting against a culture that scares them because they don't understand it.

Sometimes there is no black or white in political idealism, just the point where you get tangled up in ideals that won't work in reality and you have to decide where idealistic belief stops and to think for yourself. That is what we are about, that is how we achieve our goals, we are not lawyers or professional politicians, and we won't have policies or manifestos that can't be torn to pieces by intelligent detractors, we're gifted amateurs doing our best and nothing can be set in stone. I want to remain flexible and reach agreements with our opponents by talking and negotiating until we can reach a point where the PPUK has achieved it's aims and the law protects people and our citizens no longer need to be protected from present and proposed laws weighted in favour of those with the most money.

Again, thank you for your support and for just reading this far,

Yours aye, John



Well explained. So how do we get you talking directly to the press again for us? That might be a better job for you anyway: head of the press gang.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby danbrett » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:01 am

rancidpunk wrote:I would rather be part of a movement that can instantly condemn any hint of the perversion of our core beliefs by the self serving and vainglorious mewlings of idealists who cannot just say that there is just something not right about possessing images of child abuse. Not something I expect of the Pirate Party as a worldwide entity and certainly not of the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom.


What I think happened was that some of those who were arguing with you don't really understand what a blog is and regard it instead as a declaration of party policy. As a blog post, it was good, but a couple of people started lawyering over it as if it were the Magna Carta, took your points out of context and made conclusions from them that you obviously did not intend to make. And then they were just downright rude, telling you to 'shut up' and saying that you 'can't tell reality from fantasy'.
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Re: Rancidpunk Resigns

Postby semanticist » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:50 pm

danbrett wrote: saying that you 'can't tell reality from fantasy'.


A comment I made, and which I stand by. If you group written fiction in with pictures of child abuse, then you can't tell reality and fantasy apart. The 'Girls (Scream) Aloud' story might have been repellant, but no one suffered actual harm as a result of it. (And also, the 'strict adherence to not censoring books in the UK' isn't written into law, it's come about as a result of the application of the Obscene Publications Act, which does cover written works but allows an exemption for those which have 'literary merit' - see the 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' case in 1960, where a jury found Penguin Books not guilty, or 'The Little Red Schoolbook', where the publisher was found guilty and the material seized.)

I also explained my reasoning for why I think the Pirate Party blog is a terrible place to post personal opinion pieces, especially ones that digress from the main point. Look at the menu bar at the top of this page: 'BLOG' is the second link there. If someone comes looking for what the Pirate Party is all about, they're going to read that and not necessarily make the distinction between one person's opinion and the party's opinion. It's even worse when there's ill-informed opinion, like the 'not censoring books' part.

As I understand it, the reason he posted in the first place was to respond to discussion in the forums which could be potentially dangerous if picked up on by the media - and yet the blog post is many times more likely to be picked up on! I'm not even sure raising the issue of obscene images in such a public location is wise - it has no relation to copyright reform, and it's easy to deflect any questioning about it by just saying 'we believe that the Obscene Publications Act as it stands is sufficient and that copyright reform is not related to obscenity law'.

I don't know if Rancidpunk resigning is appropriate, although it might be worth considering re-running elections for all officers in the coming months, as the party has grown massively since they were originally elected. If nothing else, it would assure them all that they have a mandate to run the party, and maybe cut down on the sleepless nights!
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