The UK's e-petitions initiative, intended to get the public's issues debated in the Commons, has fallen at the first hurdle, with two petitions on ice due to lack of time. The e-petitions website lets the public start a campaign and invite people to sign to support it. Once signatures go over 100,000 – as has been the case for a …
Seems the only way to influence government is to blow things up after all....
Don't even joke about that, otherwise you're liable to end up with a jail sentence...!
Actually, I reckon that making PM a job for life, might actually focus the holder's attention firmly on what they need to do to "keep the job for a bit longer."
Being voted out of office just isn't harsh enough!
or an uprising.
@AC: re: Bombing
IIRC There was a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera which had a character called the "Chief Exploder" whose job it was to keep an eye on the Ruler of the Country and, if the Ruler got out of hand, the Chief Exploder would, well, explode the Ruler and then become Ruler in their stead.
Of course a new Chief Exploder would then be appointed...! :-)
As bad as the football incident is there isn't much that can be done going forward, I'm not convinced that there are even lessons that can be learned. Oh they might bring in guidelines about certain things but unless it resulted in a significant design change to the stands I don't think it's going to reduce the chances of it happening again in any meaningful manner.
The proposal regarding the rioters however is the worst kind of Daily Mail-esque drivel. If they can prove that anyone caused criminal damage, participated in assault or any other criminal act then just prosecute them. Removing their benefits is redundant if they can prove they were involved to a court's satisfaction, if they can't prove it to a court's satisfaction then this is punishment without due process and should be avoided at all costs. That's not considering the possible breaches of human rights legislation that removing benefits without due process could cause.
If someone were to make an E-petition to abolish E-petitions on the grounds that they're encouraging the voices of the narrow minded minority to be heard over the broad minded majority I'd be first in line to sign it. Not that the narrow minded minority, or the unintelligent and uninformed chunk of society that swallows whatever the Daily Mail spunks, need any encouragement.
Re: Craig 28
If I could upvote your post more than once I would.
How do you start an e-Petition, cos that seems like the best suggestion for one I have read.
What if these people aren't on benefits? If you mean "fine them 65 pounds a week", then *say* "fine them 65 pounds a week". If you mean "fine them their entire income", then *say* "fine them their entire income".
You're assuming the rationale is punitive - actually it's economic. Firstly, most of the rioters were professional criminals, and it just doesn't make sense to subsidise the theft and destruction of property. Never mind the moral and sociological issues, we're broke and we can't afford it.
Secondly, there is a massive difference, practically and psychologically, between trying to take someone's money, and declining to pay them more money. Fines are a joke in this country and are rarely enforced (the middle class and their traffic fines aside), because it requires re-arresting the bugger and going through the whole judicial process all over again. Much more difficult than putting an X next to someone's name on the DWP's list.
I admit that perhaps not all the 200,000 completely thought it through though.
Crime as a profession
"Firstly, most of the rioters were professional criminals,"
Where was this reported?
Look up "garnish a person's income". If people **really** want a punishment to be "remove the entirety of a person's income"/"remove a specific absolute amount of a person's income", then a court can place an order on the source of that income and there's nothing that can be done to prevent it, other than emigrating.
I haven't checked, but are there any captchas in place to avoid bots upping the counts?
(What, optional title??!? HURRAY, we WIN!!!! Next: back to choice of icons, or lack thereof, for anons please.)
"We're replacing the petition website put in by the previous government that nobody paid any attention to with a redesigned one that nobody pays any attention to. Isn't that just lovely of us?"
Titles must contain letters, numbers, doodles, sign language and squirrel noises.
I might create an e-petition asking for El Reg to give us anonymous cowards our icons back.
I would say...
I told you so months ago, but that would be utterly utterly pointless... something like expecting joined up thought from the average UK citizen.
If anyone really believed at this point that the Government of the UK (any government of the UK) had any interest in the people it purported to represent that should be long dead and gone now. The fact that anyone could have entertained it past somewhere around 1950 amazes me.
We have no power whatsoever now, and whats priceless is its the fault of the induhvidual majority that this is the case, because they are the ones that are wingeing, rioting and writing to the Daily Fail to whine that they haven't seen a bobby on the beat since BL stopped building Allegros.
We let policing slip through our fingers and the result of that was London 2011, and the number of commentards who were willing to string up members of the public reacting to the Police's sheer stupidity and incompetence was painful to see. Don t want to pay decent wages and hire decent officers who aren't bigoted brainless thugs or farm the 'service' out to the cheapest bunch of chimps on the market... you'll get precisely what you deserve and thats what you got. The problem with that is that people like me, who are vulnerable, got it too. Ta muchly for that.
We didnt manage to elect a government, so they made one for us, out respectively the most dangerous and the most spineless of the available options (Cons & Lib Dem) who, like all coalitions have made a cock up of monumental proportions out of a molehill on so many different fronts that General Elphinstone (of Flashman & Afghanistan fame (the first time)) could take lessons from them.
The only news I have seen in the last few days that is more delicious in its irony is the development by Microsoft of a whole raft of applications for Symbian (you know the phone OS that is deader than Palm OS 4) - perhaps belatedly realising that their phone OS is well on the way to becoming the marsupial sabre tooth of the mobile world.
You know, I'm almost tempted to vote for the BNP - on the basis that while they are a bigoted, thuggish, racist, everything-phobic bunch of the nastiest human beings bar the founding members of the Westboro' Baptist Church, at least they are honest about it. Our current government are pretty much the same, they just lie through their teeth while destroying peoples lives.
I hope you are all looking forward to more single mother bashing, minority clobbering, disabled battering, rich person snuggling government - because thats what you are going to get, and you deserve it. And to think, you *really* thought that a government involving the Conservatives would give a monkeys toss about public petitions - its almost sweet.
+1 internets for you.
An interesting rant, although it seems to be lacking in accuracy on many counts. Let me make a few small points:
Listening to the people does not mean doing everything the people tell you to. That tends to be very dangerous since the people are very happy to tell a government to spend money on everything, but are unwilling to raise the resources to do that. California is a great example of this where the electoral "propositions" mean that most of the budget is ring-fenced and cannot be touched by the politicians, but they are also limited on how they can increase funding, such that it is virtually impossible to balance the California state budget. Daily Mail readers may be quite happy campaigning for all criminals to be locked up and key thrown away, but then paying for a jail population increase of 10x which would result (and has happened in the US) wouldn't be approved by the same Daily Mail readers. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see some of the e-petitions eventually get discussed in parliament. This was not a rejection by the government, but simply a play by a committee to get more time to discuss things.
I find it interesting that you accuse the Tories of being the most "dangerous" of the parties without any justification. How do you define dangerous? Perhaps the most dangerous party is the one that has economically ruined the country the last 2 times it has been in power. Winter of discontent and IMF bailout the last but one time they got in power, and financial meltdown last time they got in power. And don't think it was all someone else' fault. Apparently creating independent control of setting interest rates, but then manipulating the calculation of RPI and CPI and not allowing the Bank of England to use any other measure to set interest rates is one of the biggest factors. Properly controlling the rampant house price inflation during the late 90s and first half of the 00s would have done much to prevent the complete melt-down. Unfortunately, Gordon and Tony were too busy watching the economy be propped up by people spending money they had released in new equity from their over-inflated house prices. Failing to put any money aside during the boom years was also an almost criminal mistake. I think one can have one's own opinion on most dangerous when it comes to political parties.
'The thorny subject of when to find time for democracy ' SHOULD NOT BE FUNNY
democracy sucks, it's a great idea in principle, just like communism & socialism and to be fair any political system is a great idea if the world was perfect, but not a single one of them will work as long as there are politicians involved
as someone else has already said, it surely can't be a surprise that anyone thought that any MP would listen to the voters via mediums like e-petitions ... it's self delusion
Maybe all the people faffing around on the petition website should get off their arse and actually converse with their MP?
100 people raising the same issue with a single MP should be enough to the thing brought before parliament.
Wow, I never saw that coming!
Who'd a thought that the grubbyment wouldn't listen to their voters?
Carve your name with pride onto a brick and deliver with vigour.
I feel a paper-based DDOS coming on ....
Let's all post letters to our MP's requesting that they put aside time for debating e-petitions .... let's send one to their home address, one to parliament, one to their office, and one to their party HQ ... drown the feckers in paperwork until they wise up and start listening to us.
Dear god no!
You don't think you can defeat Whitehall with paperwork do you? They'll see it as a challenge.
"Stands back in amazement!"
Well blow me down, the Gov has no time for discussing issues the people actually want discussed!
... it's a damn shame...
... most people would be too apathetic to march on parliament to get issues rammed home to the out of touch lords in their ivory towers.
100,000 people marching with a common purpose would turn a few heads.
Alas, we'd rather try and do it from the comfort of our own homes, in a couple of clicks.
When so little effort is expended, is it any wonder the gibbonment doesn't take any notice?
The Culture Media and Sport committee have found plenty of time for themselves. Is the sitting of a committee really in the hands of the government? Surely it has the power to find its own time.
Whoah there boy! Just a minute?
Does this mean that elected members chosen from and by the public to serve the public now officially do not (and never, ever did have) time to listen to grievances of the public?
Why! Anyone would think that all MPs have to do is to rubber stamp and endorse all that the civil service needs them to do.
(Hmmm - now there's a thing! )?
we never thought any of the petitions would ever reach 100,000 signatures, and should therefor not have to fulfill promises we never intended to have to keep. Sucks to be you.
100000 letters to each address
That's 492000 pounds plus stationary for 1 letter to each address with delivery receipt (1.8K without receipt) although after the first thousand letters arrive, I'm sure they would seriously start to consider adding the issue to their debate schedule if only to keep from having to sign for 99000 more letters.
Just when you think that the government, MPs, parliament etc couldn't surprise you they do...
I would suggest an online petition but....
None of the petitions have been around for 12 months yet. Hell, none of them have even CLOSED yet.
Seriously guys, learn to read.
Icon is my face when I read this article.
I have an idea, why not charge people £1 to sign a petition and the divy the money up to all those MPs that debate for the full session get to divy the money up between them.
They'll come runnin' to sponsor them then!
I like the idea, but in principle...
you shouldn't need to pay for your democratic right.
so why do I like it? It is not as if the lawmaking process is democratic in the first place, with lobbies running the parliament anyway they like. To put the public on equal footing will inevitable involve money changing hands.
Parliament is too busy for democracy.
In other news the Backbench Business Committee of MPs called for the abolition of elections "You wouldn't believe how busy we are" a spokesperson said "the pressure and time requirements of having to campaign is preventing us from debating and voting on important bills".
Can't they Implement Comments and then Publish via the Daily Mail?
Is this one of those delicious moments when those of us in the States get to chortle* about flaws in the British government? We need all the chortling time we can get, given our impending presidential campaign...
* Chortling so rarely happens here - the US is more of a guffaw sort of place.
Clearly the government is not afraid of the people. This is wrong, they should live in permanent respect for those who put them where they are. Oh, it's a Tory govt did you say, sorry that clears that up, then.
And while I'm here did I hear it correctly yesterday that a guy who was given 4 life sentences will be out in 9 years - WTF !!!
If they had all their conferences during the same week they could spend and extra 3 weeks in parliament.
Alternatively. Why don't they have sittings all the year and have annual leave and the odd Bank or Public Holiday like normal people?
It would put a stop to them having a foreign holiday at the beginning of August and a Cornish one two weeks later.
(The Jolly Roger because it is my flag!)
That any government would even *pretend* that e-petitions have any value at all, or merit any attention whatsoever, is a sick joke. People whose political engagement consists of visiting a website and clicking a button are people who do not really care about the matter at hand. The mere fact that signing an e-petition is so easy is exactly what makes it so worthless. (And this does not even touch the question of how easy it is to game an e-petition.)
>100,000 people marching with a common purpose would turn a few heads.
Then it would get out of hand and people would be kettled.
Democracy? Hah. It's just a filler for textbooks.
This website has been getting on my tits so for some time, I wish they actually close it down. Constantly getting hassled to sign petitions for this that and the other. Facebook and Twitter are awash with pointless shitty petitions that a lot of people don't give a damn about.
Sure it would have been a great idea had every Tom, Dick and Harry had not been allowed to create a petition for every single thing. I am not sure what mechanism you would have in place to filter out the petty pointless petitions, but there probably should have been something.
Taking a look here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmfbusi/b01.htm. It seems like the next backbench session is about famine in Africa and human rights in Asia. The next session is a debate on whether MPs should be allowed to take 'handheld electronic devices' into the commons. Are this committee telling us they cannot shuffle their own timetable around to fit in e-petitions that make the magic 10k signatures?
As for 'there is no mechanism to get MPs to sponsor a petition' ... don't they know any other MPs? Surely it wouldn't be too hard to get someone to act as the sponsor?
I suspect they just don't support the 2 petitions that have been successful so far, at least not above their own pet causes.
If the government claim they have no time to fit everything in with over 100k requests, why not post what they plan to debate instead and see just how many votes they get? I'd be interested to see if the people of the UK think a new bench in a park outside an MPs house, dedicated to some other MP from a few years ago, picks up more votes than a request to stop benefits of thieves or release files of a covered up tragedy...
So, announce it then do nothing about it ...
Looks like they really don't care about us
They don't have time to debate debating either :(
I'm quite upset.
Their time is our time
I had to laugh the comment "the committee is complaining that the one day a fortnight it has scheduled for debate is chock-a-block with its own issues"
Curiously I thought they were supposed to debate stuff WE think is important. Whether you agree/disagree/don't give a rats...' with the proposal 100k people have taken the time to say to their MPs through this portal "Oi, we think this should be discussed" Yes that's 100k people, I bet that is more than all the letters written to MPs in a month - and they;re always imploring us to do that as and 'effective way of influencing government'
One could be cynical and say it's all just so much 'Eye-wash'. Oh, and to the person who said "It was a Labour idea and they set out the process" I say 'So, what!' If the current government don;t like it they should stand up and say "It was a failure, and we're canning it"
Someone show some spine!!!
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