@ Matt Bryant
Although you do have a couple of good points within your post, I find the views one-sided and rather authoritarian.
Let us start with this:
QUOTE: ".....Independent party - With our FPTP voting system? Please....." Yes, it's called democracy, also known as the will of the majority. If your ideas are such hokum that you cannot raise even a percent of the populance to support you then it should be a very indicator to you that you are talking male bovine manure.
The point is that even if your ideas can raise a percent of votes within the UK populace, you will not gain a seat in parliament. 1% equates to about 6 seats, but you will be unlikely to gain even one, unless all your support is concentrated in a few constituencies. This is the reason for the unfairness of the FPTP system, and is the reason smaller parties, though having a fair amount of support from the voters, have no say in parliament. So what is the point of starting your own party?
By the way, this would probably not change even under the AV system. We would need a real PR system to redress this.
QUOTE: "......There's a reason there's a long history of direct action protest." There's also a long list of minority groups that tried to force their views on the majority by direct action, such as the Animal Liberation Front and CND, and they usually fail. We still have hamburgers and Trident. It's that democracy thing - no matter how much you think your idea is The Unvarnished Truth, unless you can convince a large portion of the electorate to your beliefs then you're wasting your time. Should you get upset at the lack of support and go for "direct action" and commit a criminal act, all you will do is portray yourself to that majority as criminals and further erode any support. The Anonyputzs should have stuck to themes that had support amongst many, such as their attacks on the Scientologists, but now they just look like petulant skiddies being led by the nose by the self-serving Assange.
While I agree that some groups go too far, any member of the public should have the right to protest against that which he feels is unjust, whether a large group with thousands of people's support, or just you on your own.
All protests, even peaceful protests, cause some form of damage. If a group of protesters congregates outside a supermarket, protesting their use of battery-farmed chickens, it causes damage to:
* The supermarket, in lost custom, damaged reputation etc
* The UK Government, in the form of policing costs
* Nearby businesses, once again from lost custom
* Other citizens trying to use the area, who will at least be impeded in trying to access the supermarket.
Yet this is an accepted form of protest.
A DDoS could be thought of in the same way. Yes, there will be collateral damage, but the main aim is to prevent access to a particular server. It may cause problems for other sites, but it should not cause permanent damage (on it's own), and can be seen in the same light. (N.B., I am not saying I agree, just that it could be seen in this light)
However, back to a specific point you made:
"unless you can convince a large portion of the electorate to your beliefs then you're wasting your time"
Whether or not this is true could be debated, but the fact is it shouldn't be the case.
Most people do not care either way about anything which does not directly affect them, or at least not enough to do anything about it. But if 1 person in the entire country supports an idea, and nobody opposes it, then why should that person's view be ignored? That person's idea is as valid as anyone else's, and without opposition should be viewed as a strong case (100% of people with an opinion about it are in favour).
Peacefull protest is a legitimate way to publicise your idea, and should be allowed. Without it, it would be very easy for governments to hide opposition to their ideas, and present a face of country wide support for a widely unpopular idea.
Oh, one last thing:
"The Anonyputzs should have stuck to themes that had support amongst many, such as their attacks on the Scientologists, but now they just look like petulant skiddies being led by the nose by the self-serving Assange."
Not only is this a very authoritarian (or even fascist) point of view in my oppinion, but the way you have worded it does not portray you in a very good light. When a debate deteriorates to name-calling and personal attacks, it has lost it's way. I am not saying you are wrong, but you damage your own side of the argument with comments such as these.