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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
MP3 politicos set sights on power

A multinational electronics giant has helped a new party join the massed ranks of groups on the fringes of UK politics.

There is already the All-Party Alliance Against Brussels, the Church of the Militant Elvis Party and the New Millennium Bean Party.

MP3 Party manifesto
New 'Commissariat for Simplification'
Send prisoners overseas
Broadband in all new homes
Return of death penalty
Now the MP3 party, named after the hi-tech equivalent of home taping, has been registered by the Electoral Commission after Grundig assured the commission that it did not own a trademark on MP3.

Party leaders say they will represent the concerns of the younger generation in general and not just those in the "MP3 community".

MP3 is the popular name for Mpeg-1 layer 3, a piece of computer software that allows audio files to be compressed to one-twelfth of their original size.

The files can then be stored on a computer hard drive, burned (taped) onto a blank CD, e-mailed to a friend, posted on a website or loaded onto a personal player.

But according to leader Ruslan Fedorovsky, the party is about more than music.

Pledge

It claims to have a programme "based on the well-developed cybernetic theory of Complex Systems used already in many fields (mathematics, nuclear physics, genetics, theoretical mechanics, etc...) but in this case applied to the social and economical structures of British society".


Indirectly it will promote MP3 but we do not need to promote MP3

Ruslan Fedorovsky
Mr Fedorovsky said the Electoral Commission had been reluctant to register the party because of trademark concerns, but that Grundig had agreed to help out.

As a result, one of the party's first pledges was to give Grundig favourable tax breaks and other benefits if and when it takes power.

Mr Fedorovsky said the idea for the new party came from colleagues who manufacture MP3 players, but he denied that the project had a commercial element.

Referring to Napster, the system ruled unlawful in the US that allows computer users to locate MP3 files on another users hard drive and download them, he said: "MP3 already has political connotations - Napster was not about music, it was about community.

'Bigger aims'

"Indirectly it will promote MP3 but we do not need to promote MP3. At some stage there will be some indirect commercial advantage, but that is not the aim. We have bigger aims."


MP3 Party has the intellectual potential to attract a significant bulk of the younger generation

MP3 Party
Mr Fedorovsky, a businessman who has lived in the UK for 15 years since arriving from Russia, compares the MP3 generation to a movement like the hippies of the 60s - they had eastern philosophy, he says, and the younger generation of 2002 has MP3.

"This political class already exists - it is our customers," he said. "There are 80 million MP3 users around the world. They are not there to steal anything, they are there to express themselves in a safe environment."

And he is says it is a mistake to assume that young people are apathetic. "They are very proactive but they need ideology. Present day politicians repeat the mantra that ideology is dead - it is not."

'Radical'

Mr Fedorovsky and three colleagues have so far spent 30,000 on setting up the party.

They say they will fight for "significant, radical and even revolutionary simplification of all aspects of life in the UK, from taxation to the law, foreign policy, immigration and the monarchy".

The party claims that "MP3" is already the second most popular search on the internet.

"MP3 Party has the intellectual potential to attract a significant bulk of the younger generation who at present seem apathetic to old-fashioned political processes and systems," the party said in a statement.

"MP3 Party is not destructive or anarchistic in any conventional way. It is looking forward to having a good time and putting some fun back into politics."

Manifesto

The party's draft manifesto includes:

  • A new "Commissariat for Simplification" to cut unnecessary laws
  • A ban on lawyers being elected to Parliament
  • Long term prisoners to be sent to other countries to serve their sentences
  • Bring back the death penalty
  • Broadband in all new houses
  • Neutrality in all foreign affairs

Another proposal is to allow anyone to adopt any "royal" title such as tzar, king, super-king, shah, emperor or sultan - as long as the title is not taken already and at least 100 UK citizens agree to be his/her "subjects".

In order to register, a party must provide the Electoral Commission with a list of office holders, a copy of its constitution and a financial plan for regulating its affairs.

Registration costs 150 and must report some donations, provide annual accounts and details of campaign spending on elections.

There are currently more than 200 political parties registered by the Electoral Commission - from Labour and the Conservatives right through to the Jam Wrestling Party.

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06 Jun 00 | Entertainment
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