Th!nk About It: The Jury Team – a paradoxical party with a good advert

This Th!nk About It post can also be viewed here.

A good advert by a bad party

A good advert by a bad party

So there I was, trawling through the job listings on w4mp when I came across a rather unusual advert.

For those who don’t know, w4mp is a website primarily for parliamentary interns that lists available jobs in Westminster. Most are unpaid; the rest are under £25k a year.

It was with surprise – and more than a hint of suspicion – then, when I came across a job with a salary of “€91,980 plus expenses”.

I thought it was some kind of joke.

The listing states:

Based in Brussels, with some time in Strasbourg, you will carry huge responsibility, acting as an Independent-minded MEP.

Yes. An advert for an MEP in the upcoming elections has been listed on a website for interns.

What party, I hear you cry, would try and recruit interns as members of the European Parliament?  And how on earth can someone be an independent-minded MEP? Surely an MEP votes in line with their party, right?

Wrong. If we continue reading…

Although advertised by the Jury Team (a political party), if elected you will be free to make your own decisions and vote as you wish on behalf of millions of people within your region.

Eh?

Unfortunately there’s no turning to the party’s founder, and former Tory HQ director general, Sir Paul Judge for clarification. Because in an interview with the BBC’s Daily Politics he described the Jury Team as a “not-party party”.

Clear as mud, Sir Judge, clear as mud.

So I resorted to the party website

Are you unhappy with the way things are? Do you believe they can change? By joining the Jury Team, you are becoming part of a political party like no other.

The Jury Team is a political movement created with the goal of making politics more accessible, politicians more accountable and political institutions more transparent.

The Jury Team intends to put forward 70 candidates for the UK and we are offering everyone the chance to run as a candidate for the European Parliament.

How very revolutionary. And the revolution doesn’t stop there; because the Jury Team are a new political party, and in virtue of this – as with all new parties – they need a gimmick. UKIP had Kilroy-Silk – the Jury Team has “modern technology”

The BBC dedicated a whole article to the gimmick: the party’s candidates will be selected by text.

I mentioned that I was suspicious when I saw the advert listed on an intern website; the oxymoronic “not-party party” did not quash these concerns, and neither did the texting gimmick. But what makes me most uncomfortable about the Jury Team is its paradoxical nature.

Bear with me.

Let us recall the ‘relativism paradox‘: relativism fails because the relativist says there are no absolutes, and yet has to claim that the relativistic principle is absolutely true. The principle is undermined by its very existence.

Now let us consider the Jury Team, or what I will entitle the ‘Jury Team paradox’: the Jury Team fails because the Jury Teamist says the party-political system is corrupt in virtue of having different parties with different aims. And yet the Jury Team is a party with its own aims (the 12 “proposals” can be found on the website) – the details of the aims are irrelevant.

The Jury Team is undermined by the principles for which it stands; it is undermined by its very existence.

I am still not entirely convinced the Jury Team is not a joke.

Either way, though, its advert is pretty damn good – see top of post. And for that I’ll forgive it a multitude – if not all (it’s hard to ignore inherent paradoxes) – sins.

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3 comments so far

  1. Andromeda on

    I have been disqualified by the Jury Team for allegedly contravening the rule, viz:

    “I agree not to support any policies discriminating on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religious or other belief.”

    I have been tried and found guilty in the Kangaroo Court of Dillon Sharp, the Jury Team Press Officer, who has decided in his wisdom that making a bargain with the BNP is de facto proof that I support policies of discrimination prohibited by the Jury Team.

    (I had said I would vote BNP if they supported me in sufficient numbers to make me the candidate with the most votes, I would say publicly that I would be voting BNP. To my delight, Bob Bailey, the BNP MEP candidate in question, acceded to my suggestion, because he liked my policies, and said he would do his best but warned me that some of his members would be “funny about doing that”.)

    Anyway, read the clause again like a lawyer and you will see that “other belief” arguably includes the beliefs of the BNP, the National Front, National Socialists, White Supremacists, Al-Qaeda, etc …

    I have come across BNP members who vehemently deny that they are racists.

    Others are more resigned, “If supporting the BNP means people saying I am racist, then so be it.”

    But there are those who are not BNP who would vote BNP and would say so publicly to the media. An Asian man from Leicestershire said precisely that on the second episode of Matthew d’Ancona’s BRITISHNESS on Radio 4.

    Michael White of the Guardian said it would be a good thing if the BNP did well in the Euro elections.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/18/electoralreform-bnp-far-right

    Were this Asian man and Michael White candidates for the Jury Team, would they also have been disqualified?

    By the way, I absolutely support the right of racists to vote as they please. I do not agree with them, but they are entitled to their opinion.

    For more on this intriguing question, please visit

    http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.com/2009/04/my-disqualification-as-jury-team-london.html

    Vote: Should I, Andromeda, have made a bargain with the BNP?

    http://www.1party4all.co.uk/Home/Account/TopicForm.aspx?topicsId=132

  2. Katrina Bishop on

    Interesting insight into the Jury Team; and for my views on the BNP, see my most recent post.

  3. Party Rebel on

    Did you see how badly the Jury Team did in Glasgow last night? Has to be all over for them now – rightly so http://leftcentral.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/shocking-failure-for-jury-team/


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