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As a member of the national board of Pirate Party Germany, I have tried to work as professionally as possible. That included accepting decisions and aligning my actions to fulful them. Or working with pirates that wanted to do things, regardless of who they are or where they stood politically. It also meant trying to achieve the best possible results with the tools at hand for the task. This has been especially true with the preparations of our EU election campaign.
Unfortunately, professional work is not recognised in Pirate Party Germany. I can bear that - it has never been any different and I didn't expect it to change. I am used to shitstorms, and I can handle them. As a board member, as soon as you realise that you will always be criticised for everything you do, simply because it is impossible to make everyone happy, it becomes easy to just do what you think is right in the midst of all the criticism. That's what I've done at all times in my role.
I'm sure that I have made mistakes. Criticism was certainly appropriate from time to time, and where it was communicated in a reasonable manner, I tried to amend my actions accordingly.
Making mistakes is only human - and board members are recruited from humanity too! This simple fact is often no longer recognised in the party. The level, that not only criticism, but also personal attacks, even outside of the realm of the party, have reached, is no longer bearable.
I am willing to be criticised for my work.
I am willing to recognise (not: approve), that the tone in the party is rough, and to accept the negative peaks in this regard as exceptions - to bring the party as a whole forward. But: I am not willing to be confronted with criminal charges for my work. I am not willing to grant the party the role in my life that it seems to be demanding from me.
When financial auditors announce in board meetings that they will advise the general assembly not to discharge the board because they do not like the decisions we make; when there is a public debate on how best to seize my personal property to pay for a General Assembly that the Party requires us to organise, it is simply unacceptable. I simply cannot support the attitude of the Party when it expects me to be liable for political decisions with my entire life. I cannot do this as a board member, as a pirate, or simply as a human being.
Bruno Kramm summarised this perfectly in our last board meeting: Internally, this Party doesn't live up to the expectations , that it demands externally. The political goals and the actions taken in the Party now, are completely at odds.
The German Pirate Party has played a significant role in my life for more than four years. But there are areas of my life that it is not entitled to. The line between my work for the Party and my private life has been crossed. At this point, I have to act. The only conclusion I can come to is that I can no longer work for the German Pirate Party.
I will continue to do my duty as a board member until our next general assembly - because I accepted that responsibility and I will fulfil it. I will not stand as a candidate for another role on that General Assembly. After the new board has been elected, I will hand over all of my responsibilities, within and outside of board duties, and withdraw from the German Pirate Party.
I will stay with the Pirate movement though; In the future, I will support the pirate party UK, which I joined in 2011.