• Germany's news in English

Pirate leader says Twitter bitching divisive

The Local · 3 Dec 2011, 14:03

Published: 03 Dec 2011 14:03 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sebastian Nerz, the Pirates’ national chairman, criticized his party for its habit of bickering openly on the Internet, pleading with members to develop a new style of doing politics and to stop arguing over the social media service Twitter.

“Insults in 140 characters are not transparency. You can’t resolve a dispute over Twitter or Facebook, you only escalate them,” Nerz said.

“The first successes are also the time of the first mistakes – and these mistakes could split the party,” he said.

He was addressing the Pirates' first party conference since their unexpectedly strong performance in the Berlin state election in September.

On Saturday 1,250 members gathered in the city of Offenbach for the conference, as the party faced the challenge of building on their success in the capital, in which it won an unprecedented 8.9 percent of the vote.

“We have left behind an eventful and tough period, and we face an even more difficult one,” Nerz told the assembled pirates at the opening of the conference.

Christoph Lauer, one of the 14 Pirates elected to the Berlin state parliament in September, said he didn’t see any danger of divisions. “The fact that 1,200 people have come together here alone shows that we have an active and lively discussion culture,” he told the DPA news agency.

In his speech Nerz also criticized the German government, accusing it of pushing a process of de-democratization in its handling of the euro crisis.

When the Pirates first formed a party in 2006, their focus was on Internet issues and digital rights. They have since widened their programme to include a variety of issues, including citizen rights and more transparency in politics. However, the party has been accused of not having policies on many issues, including foreign policy and the economy.

Over the course of the two-day gathering, members are expected to expand the party programme to include more economic and social policies. One of the more controversial issues is the proposal to introduce a basic minimum income for all citizens.

The party has seen its membership soar since the Berlin elections on September 18 to almost 19,000. Every member is entitled to attend the conference as the party rejects the idea of delegates.

Story continues below…

Opinion polls indicate that the Pirate Party currently attracts around 7 percent support across Germany, which would be enough to allow it to enter the federal parliament should this popularity be reflected in votes at the 2013 general election.

DPA/DPAD/The Local/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd