Political folk EP ‘Luddite Ballads’ smashes £3k crowdfunding target!

I’ve got some really exciting news!

The crowdfunding campaign for my new political EP, Luddite Ballads – my first professional recording – has just hit its £3k target after four weeks (with just a few hours to spare)!

crowdfund

It means we can now musically master it, publish it, get it on all the music websites (Spotify, iTunes etc), push it into music stores, print it, promote it online and offline, potentially get merchandise (!!!), launch loads of gigs, get some media coverage, and most importantly of all – get some political acoustic music out there!

I’m pleased to say it makes me the first musician who has successfully crowdfunded a recording through the UK crowdfunding start-up Crowdshed. The team at Crowdshed have been great.

More importantly though, Rack Mount Records, my York-based indy label, have been absolutely amazing in getting this off the ground and pushing it, so a MASSIVE THANK YOU to them. Check them out. Hopefully you’ll be hearing a lot more from them!

It’s been a great journey and has taken a lot of hard work (mainly by the Rack Mount team, Hugo, Tristan and Tom!) and I’m really excited for the year ahead. It’s gonna be a good ‘un!

WE DID IT!!!!! #SocialismWin

PS You can still support the project here (and in doing so pre-order your copy!) :D

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Finally, some other little musical updates :D

1. I’ve gone and got myself my first ‘abroad’ gigs – two gigs in Brussels next month!

2. A random listener has done a dub remix of my latest SoundCloud post, a spoken word piece about the Greens being excluded from the TV debates. My first remix Will share when it’s online!

3. I’ve been invited to play on the Sunday Breakfast show for BBC Radio York next month. Will keep you posted.

4. I’ve just passed 100 followers on SoundCloud – make sure to give me a follow http://soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer

5. My recent parody of UKIP’s awful Calypso Song has just hit 700 listens in three weeks, which ain’t bad – https://soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer/not-the-ukip-calypso-song

6. The album art is well on its way for my new EP – you’ll be able to see it if we hit the #crowdfunding target!7. The wonderful peeps at Rack Mount Records have been working on my new website – and it’s looking AMAZING

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Peace and solidarityJosiah x

Is this the future of party funding?

Plymouth Green Party has had significant success with crowdfunding.

Republished from my article for Bright Green, November 4  

We all know the facts about parties. Most of their memberships are declining, and with falling subs they’re more and more relying on large donors – typically from wealthy people and major companies. But the Greens may have just discovered a much more democratic way of financing its future – tapping into something that’s been going for a while but has as of yet been little used by political groups: crowdfunding.

The Scottish Greens seem to have started a trend back in August, launching their Green Yes fund. They smashed their target of £5,000, securing £6,290 in just three weeks – providing a significant boost to the pro-independence campaign. Meanwhile their General Election crowdfunding campaign for next year easily soared past it’s £5,000 target with well over a month to spare.

It helped having a good social media presence, with the post-indy ref surge sending their Facebook likes past 40,000 and their Twitter followers over 24,000 – a significant reach in a country a tenth of the size of England. The indiegogo page was shared over 1,000 times on Facebook, spreading the Greens’ message and enabling even more donations. It spiralled. A definite campaign success.

Then Young Green Laura Packham launched her crowdfunder page for Plymouth Green Party, twice smashing their targets of initially £1,000 (within two days), then £2,000 – with a new target of three grand being well within reach over the remaining two weeks. With just two constituencies, £1,500 per seat is a decent sum for a Green Party candidate; £500 for a deposit and £860 for 70,000 flyers, leaving a bit spare for events and online promotion.

This now appears part of a concerted fundraising strategy under the fairly recently-recruited Fundraising and Operations Director Tom Beckett, with anofficial press release going out from GPEW at the end of October focusing on the crowdfunder.co.uk site (as opposed to say indiegogo or Kickstarter).

Beckett said: “Working with Crowdfunder allows the Green Party, which, unlike other parties, does not receive large corporate donations, to raise the money necessary to stand more candidates than ever before and potentially boost our representation in Parliament next year.”

He also states that five Green Party MP campaigns are potentially going live on Crowdfunder.co.uk over the next few weeks. It could be the start of something big, as well as potentially setting an example to other parties to democratise their funding.

Now platforms themselves seem to be hyping up this new relationship, with Newquay-based Crowdfunder publishing their own article praising the shift as the start of something positive (for them, obviously, too). Interviewing Laura, they state ‘If you would like to crowdfund your seat for the 2015 elections, upload your project today!’ Perhaps many will.

Laura explained her strategy: “Crowdfunding is a great way to engage because…finding and targeting supporters through social media is made much easier.

“For example, on stories published on Facebook relating to politics, you might find people who say ‘Vote Green’ and show support for the party – they are good people to target as you already know they are Green at heart. Or on stories about the Green Party…sharing the link in the comments section means it is likely to be viewed by supporters and people sympathetic to the cause.”

It’s not all success however – at least not yet. The West Midlands indiegogocampaign still has a fair way to go, having raised 5% so far, albeit with over 40 days remaining. Equally, the Peterborough and Fenland campaign has sadly only managed 2% thus far, with two weeks left. Make sure to give them a boost if you have a few quid to spare.

On many of these projects however – included the latter two – ‘Flexible Funding’ options mean that even if the target isn’t reached, the Greens still get whatever money is raised (with a small percentage going to the host platform), meaning it’s a win-win situation. Whatever you get online then is therefore just a bonus.

The Greens are pioneering what seems to be a great formula for mobilising finances through genuine people power. Lots of small donations from lots of different people, expanding knowledge of the Greens and reaching out to supporters who may not be members. Combined with an astonishing membership surge this year (and thus a corresponding surge in member subs), the Greens are in a good position going into the 2015 General Election. Mainstream parties: take note…

#InviteTheGreens petition hits 200,000 signatures

Reposted from Bright Green, where I’m now Green Movement Editor

The petition demanding the major broadcasters invite the Greens onto the 2015 General Election debates has now reached over 200,000 signatures.

bennet_farage1-450x252

It hit the 200k mark at around 3pm on Monday, piling further pressure on the media companies, including the BBC, to open up the televised debates to the Green Party.

The landmark means that the petition has racked up an average of 50,000 signatures per week since launching exactly four weeks ago, on the 13thOctober.

The petition, by Robyn Meadwell, states: “The Green Party beat the Liberal Democrats in the 2014 European Elections and is polling neck-and-neck with them in General Election opinion polls. In May 2014 more than 1.2 million people voted Green – more than 150,000 more than voted Liberal Democrat.

“Natalie Bennett has just as much a right to be on that panel as the men. Apparently it’s too “messy” to have too many candidates in a TV debate.

“By excluding a party with a female leader, we are sending a clear message to the public — politics is still an old   boys club.”

The 200,000 signatures follow Caroline Lucas’ appearance on BBC Question Time last Thursday, which led to the hashtag #InviteTheGreens trending across the UK.

The BBC will come under the most heat after this news, in the wake of the BBC Trust’s decision to open up the question of the TV debates to a public consultation this week – a move welcomed by the Greens and the SNP.

Thousands have joined the Greens over the past few weeks following the broadcasters’ controversial move, with the parties’ now having a combined UK-wide membership of over 31,000.

Open letter to the VC of the University of York

Josiah Mortimer:

Shocking to see the university I graduated from engaging in old-school union busting, threatening staff of 100% pay cuts for engaging in action short of a strike. Let’s hope they reverse this disgraceful position.
Please sign and share the statement below.

Originally posted on University of Leeds UCU - Blog:

The following letter was sent today to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, who yesterday threatened to stop paying their staff if they participated in legitimate industrial action. If you agree with the sentiment of the letter, please do sign the petition below the letter text.

The form will show you the total number of respondents when you complete it. We’ve had so many responses, that we are uploading the petition responses manually (in part, to allow us to monitor for inappropriate comments). We’re placing them online in this posting.  (last updated 7pm, Saturday 1 November – 440 signatures)

View original

Just 15 Days Left to Launch Radical Music

OK. I’m currently crowdfunding my first professional recording – a political acoustic EP called ‘Luddite Ballads’.

We need to raise £3,000 – and so far we’re nearly half way there – but with just 15 days to go.

If it doesn’t reach £3k, the project gets nothing – and there’ll be no proper release, publicity, radical acoustic tour, printing etc. There won’t be much, basically.

So please pledge your support, spread the word and help get some radical music out there.

Everyone who shares this will get a shout-out on Twitter and Facebook as a thank you! A double shout-out plus perks if you pledge your support, obviously!

Let’s do this. Solidarity.

https://www.crowdshed.com/projects/josiah-mortimer-hear-his-new-ep-luddite-ballads

(Excuse the preview pic face!)

‘The Blackout’ – My Poem on the BBC and the Greens

I don’t generally write poems (I prefer songs), but I was so annoyed about the BBC (and other broadcasters, for that matter) excluding the Green Party from the TV General Election debates that I felt compelled to write one. Let me know your thoughts.

 

The Blackout
——————-

This is the blackout -
when our broadcaster,
owned by us,
refuses us the chance to hear another view.

When a million Green voters are blocked of their voice
because the Beeb doesn’t have a clue
that the party system is ripping open,
breaking apart,
that politics is different now.

This is the blackout.

It’s a blackout when one rising party gets a slot,
but another doesn’t.
When four white, rich, ageing men
get yet another platform
but a left-wing woman
has to wait it out.

When we’re allowed to hear
from the up-starts if they’re pro-austerity -
radicals can forget it.
Auntie likes her comfort zones,
likes not to rock the boat too much.
She likes the establishment –
and it can be in blue, red, yellow or purple
But not Green.
No, not that.

This is the blackout

And it’s a blackout
every time our state media
ignores the return
of Occupy, ignores a million marching.

It’s a blackout when songs people
support are vetoed,
independence campaigners
are mocked and cold-shouldered,
when 50,00 sign a petition against this blackout
and are fenced off and ignored,
or 200,000 call for democratic diversity -
for a Green voice, an alternative -
and get a pro-forma response from arbitrary auntie.

This is the blackout

Believe me, Beeb.
Your license fee payers aren’t happy.
Greens are surging.
You will be left behind.
And people will remember the #BBCBlackout

#InviteTheGreens.

A new era for the Young Greens…

Well, it’s official. After what I hear was an amazing weekend in Brighton – the Young Greens‘ largest ever convention, and the first where the NEC was elected via national online ballot – I am officially no longer YG Press Officer (I decided not to restand – they didn’t kick me off!). It’s been an amazing year, I’ve learnt a lot and worked with some brilliant people, and it’s nice to hand over the reigns to the very capable hands of Georgia Elander.

I would say I’ll have a lot of time on my hands, but I’ve got my first meeting for the Editorial Board of the online publication Bright Green tonight – an interesting new chapter! No rest for the wicked. Although I will be focusing more on my journalism over the next year, I also (obviously) plan to stay active in the Young Greens.

I’m really excited for the future of the Green Party, but in particularly our youth branch. It’s dynamic, radical and engaged. I’m sure another good year lies ahead for the new committee, who I think will do a great job at maintaining the upward trajectory of Britain’s third largest party for young people. It has doubled in size in less than a year, and has more local and regional groups than ever. I’ve seen it go from strength to strength – and I think it’s going to get even better.

Thanks to the previous committee, congratulations to those elected, and commiserations to those who weren’t voted in.

Onwards and upwards – viva la revolucion!

Those elected via national ballot for the Young Greens were:

Non-Portfolio Positions: Shihab Basit, Thomas Pashby, Fiona Costello (incumbent), Sophie van der Ham (incumbent), Thom French (incumbent), and Georgia Elander

Structures and Procedures Committee: Charlene Concepcion, Matthew Clark, and Joseph Clough

Co-Chairs: Siobhan MacMahon and Clifford Fleming (both re-elected)

Treasurer: Thomas Bolitho