London, UK – Sweden’s Pirate Party, which wants to legalise file sharing and abolish the patent system, has registered as an official political party in the UK.
The party is now on the official register and is calling for members to sign up here. “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,” says the party on its site. “It is going to be one heck of a journey.”
The UK’s party leader is named as Andrew Peter Robinson, a 40-year-old graphic designer and hobby musician. He told TG Daily: “I came to the party quite late, as one of many people who were envious of the Swedes who were able to vote Pirate at the last EU election. The Swedish success gave the UK organisation the push it needed to turn from a web forum to a fully-fledged political party, and my involvement in that process led to me being elected as party leader.”
The Pirate Party is doing rather well for a single issue party, with a Swedish candidate winning a seat in the European Parliament in June.
But the UK election system means it’s hard to see the party actually winning a seat in a general election. “Because we have a first-past-the-post system in our general elections, it would take a miracle for us to win a seat in the next general election – especially given that it will happen less than 12 months after the formation of the party – so we will treat the general election as an exercise in raising our profile and getting people to think about the issues we are campaigning on,” Robinson said.
He added: “If we grow at the same rate as the Swedish Party, it’s reasonable to expect we might get up to 14 MEPs in five years’ time.”