back to article Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

A petition to nullify the UK’s EU referendum and hold another appear to be riddled with fraudulent data. Raw data examined reveals that many of the participants come from outside the UK, or use IP addresses outside the UK. Only UK or British citizens and residents can create or sign a petition, according to the rules. You can …

  1. Len Silver badge

    The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

    The requirements for these petitions are being either a British Citizen or a UK Resident. A Brit in Spain has the right to sign the petition and be counted. Therefore scrapping IPs outside of the UK is not the way to go about it.

    I hope they limited it to too many people using the same postcode, too many people for Vatican city etc, not based on IP address.

    1. Vimes

      Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

      If I recall correctly I was connected to a VPN server in France when I signed, despite being physically located in the restaurant at my local health club in Bracknell at the time. No doubt my signature would be on this list as a result.

      Should that make my signature any less valid?

      1. src

        Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

        If I recall correctly I was connected to a VPN server in France when I signed, despite being physically located in the restaurant at my local health club in Bracknell at the time. No doubt my signature would be on this list as a result.

        Should that make my signature any less valid?

        Your signature should be invalid because you were sitting at a health club restaurant in Bracknell and connected via a VPN server in France.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

          Wait. What was the disqualifying factor: the health club restaurant location, or merely being in Bracknell?

      2. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

        If they are *really* checking, they have to check each name against electoral rolls or something. That goes for every petition, not just this one. The system is so weak that there are certain to be bogons.

    2. Tessier-Ashpool

      Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

      Especially if you're in the habit of using a VPN to thwart Theresa May's grasping clutch at connection data.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

      I hope my valid vote isn't nullified because I wasn't using a bloody UK IP.

    4. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

      Maybe the Vatican runs ISP and proxy services? Maybe the Vatican has licensed out some of its allocated IP numbers? Or other such explanations.

      That would seem broadly equivalent to some of the places around the world - from Moscow to Minneapolis - that IP location services have placed me without any such thing as a VPN.

      The referendum was gerrymandered, not least by reneging on the 2015 manifesto commitment to enfranchise Brits long-term abroad (as I pointed out back in February). If the same happens to this and other petitions, shouldn't that just be seen as par for the course?

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

        The referendum was gerrymandered, not least by reneging on the 2015 manifesto commitment to enfranchise Brits long-term abroad

        Funny definition of gerrymandered. It normally refers to tilting the playing field in order to get the desired result. About 3/4 of MPs wanted "remain", and allowing Brits living long-term abroad would have increased the "remain" vote. By enough? I doubt it.

        Too late now! Pandora's ballot-box is open.

        The ball is well and truly with the EU now. They could get the referendum reversed quite easily by offering the UK a significantly better deal (settlement, treaty change) than that useless piece of paper they sent Cameron away with. Then the UK has another referendum on the improved terms. But the noises coming from Brussels suggest that they very much do not think that is in their interests. For better or worse we are out "and good riddance". Any re-ballot on the same terms now would probably get a bigger "leave" majority. One thing they do not get, even now, is that the citizens are absolutely sick of being hectored by a self-apointed self-perpetuating political class that does not represent them. That's the EU and the majority of our MPs alike. And that's not just in the UK!

        PS the real news is not the result, the falling pound, or the political fallout in the UK. It's the imminent collapse of the Italian banking system, leading to gawd knows what. Unfortunately the political mismanagement of the referendum both in the UK and by the EC Commission, has added a spark to a powder-keg. Though perhaps it's better for the explosion to happen now, than after the Eurocrats have dug an even deeper hole containing even more powder with even more precious eggs piled on top. Which is what they are trying to do, and why they want us gone as soon as possible.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

          Funny definition of gerrymandered.

          You miss the point.

          The whole point of the referendum was to deal with the Tory party split. So many things were gerrymandered in favour of the maximum Out vote, so they'd have the maximum lack of credibility crying Foul.

          Hence gerrymandering the electorate, the date, and the terms of debate.

          Hence "negotiating" that worse-than-useless pretend-two-wrongs-make-a-right deal.

          Everyone saw it as an internal Tory party row, which of course wrong-footed most of the non-Tory-party population and the rest of the world. Even the electoral commission played along, appointing the Tory Out faction rather than the Faragists as the official out campaign to keep things within the Party.

          https://bahumbug.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/a-hollow-crown/

      2. Asterix the Gaul

        Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

        "I hope my valid vote isn't nullified because I wasn't using a bloody UK IP".

        Maybe in your case it wasn't the 'IP' address, but the possibility that you were 'coding' as a member of 'UK IP'?

        Sorry Nigel, nice try.

    5. markoer

      Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

      Actually, the fact that only 450 people are legally resident in Vatican does not mean that only 450 people live there.

      Italy - and their two "embedded" states - has the concept of "residency" being legally different from "domicile". If you are resident in Vatican, you have tax and other advantages, which are not granted to everyone.

      It is most likely the same situation of Monaco: only a few people are resident there, but many more live and work there every day.

  2. AndrewP

    4Chan pranked

    There is only one thin you need to know about the integrity of that petition count:

    https://twitter.com/88MHILL/status/747015292883243008/photo/1

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: 4Chan pranked

      Step back! What the script shows is just how easy it is to play around with any petition on the UK government's website.

      Glad for the Referendum itself we used old fashioned pencil marks on paper, within a system that has been well tested...

      1. d3vy

        Re: 4Chan pranked

        BUT MI5 can rub them out!!!

      2. Yugguy

        Re: 4Chan pranked

        I took my own pen.

      3. Fibbles

        Re: 4Chan pranked

        The amount of middle aged and older people I saw on election day asking why we used pencils instead of pens really lead me to despair. How can you get to that age and never have been in a polling station before?

        I'd say better late than never but I'm still pissed off about the result. If only the under 30s had embraced democracy with such vigour...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: 4Chan pranked

          "The amount of middle aged and older people I saw on election day asking why we used pencils instead of pens really lead me to despair. How can you get to that age and never have been in a polling station before?"

          It's a valid question irrespective of how many times you've voted. Did you have an answer for them?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 4Chan pranked

            As a poll clerk and a counter in numerous elections.

            Yes, two in fact.

            1, pencils dont break down, easily sharpened and clear distinct marks.

            2. Counting is overseen by other officials. Its not practical, feasible or even possible to alter votes. The counters are members of the public so they oversee the sorting/counting. Im sure someone would pipe up if someone saw an eraser in use.

            1. Nigel 11

              Re: 4Chan pranked

              pencils dont break down, easily sharpened and clear distinct marks.

              Crayons, not pencils. You can rub out a graphite pencil mark. What they provide in polling stations is not a graphite pencil and hopefully well tested against the effect of a rubber.

              PS if you prefer, you can bring your own pen with you and use that.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 4Chan pranked

                @ Nigel 11.

                I can assure you they are normal pencils, just small, stubby with a thick soft "lead". Can be erased quite well but you cant erase the depression it makes in the form.

                Yes, you CAN legally use a pen, of any colour.

            2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

              Re: 4Chan pranked

              Probably the key requirement is that, once bought, they can be stored in any conditions for 5- 50 years and still work.

              Pens would almost certainly have to be bought anew for each election....

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      https://twitter.com/88MHILL/status/747015292883243008/photo/1

      Thanks.

      I'll be dropping that in my tool bag.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

    So simple move.

    Parliament ignores it.

    Not like they haven't done so before. where things don't match their views.

    1. captain veg

      Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

      Geoffrey Robertson, QC, states that the first referendum had no constitutional significance and that a second is entirely redundant.

      It was a sham, and judging by their subsequent backtracking, the leaders of the Leave campaign knew it all along.

      -A.

      1. energystar
        Linux

        Hurring for my popcorn...

        According to Reuters, Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Angela Merkel, told a briefing:

        "...One thing is clear: before Britain has sent this request there will be no informal preliminary talks about the modalities of leaving."

        via The Guardian Live Feed.

        You want to push the red button? Repeat... You want po push the red button?

        Because You will not know what's beyond the exit, before you shut down the door behind you!

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

      I think it's advisory in the same sense that the rule determining whom the Queen will pick as PM is advisory. Political reality always wins. Brexit could be avoided now only if a majority of people wanted the vote to be overridden and by some mechanism were able to say so — a second referendum, a snap general election, whatever. But I just don't see what convincing argument you could make that the majority of people want a rerun. The majority voted out.

      As a voter for remain, I think Cameron et al have made a hash of the whole thing. An issue of such constitutional significance should never have been reduced to a binary decision and decided on by a simple majority. But those were the rules and the exit side won. So — in a democracy — that's that.

      I guess that belittling those with concerns for forty years rather than addressing them, then telling them that they were talking about the wrong thing anyway, wasn't such a winning strategy?

      1. Steven Jones

        Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

        There's a pretty good chance Brexit will not happen (as David Allen Green has pointed out). It is significant that Cameron didn't invoke Article 50 immediately which (short of unilaterally abrogating treaties) is about the only way that the country can leave. To invoke Article 50 there would have to be a PM elected who was willing to do it, and whilst it might be possible to do it by executive action under the Royal Prerogative (which would probably require a cabinet decision), but I suspect that any PM will really want a Parliamentary vote behind them. It's always possible that might not happen - the considerable majority of MPs are in the Remain camp.

        It might be that even Boris might not press the button given the noises he's making. Of course all hell would break loose from the exit camp (or at least the convinced wing of the exit camp) if that happened, but stranger things have followed. Then there is the thought of a bit of horsetrading. .

        I'd put the odds of article 50 not being invoke as high as one in four, albeit the probable outcome is that it will be and there will be a deal where a lot less changes than people might expect.

        1. djack

          Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

          Of course Cameron wasn't going to invoke, its something that he disagrees with and he's right in saying that someone who does it must actually want to do it and deal with the consequences.

          Boris has found himself in the position where his chickens have come home to roost. His political maneuvering has backfired as he sees himself to be the architect of this mess.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

          If anyone here thinks that the referendum result will be ignored by politicians then they are both desperate and sadly deluded. To do so would invite open revolt on the streets of the UK. You gave the people a choice, they gave you their answer, tough shit if you don't like that answer - deal with it. Whether Leave or Remain won the decision of the people must be respected. Whether it is constitutionally binding or not politicians would be sparking an almighty shitstorm of epic proportions should they choose the "we don't agree with your democratic will so fuck you" route.

          Now, whether the subsequent negotiation of Ts & Cs of exit turns out to be a piss-weak "meet the new rules, same as the old rules" is a different matter. I can see tax parasites from both sides of the house trying for an exit where we "have to pay for market access and allow free movement of people" but I cannot see how that tallies with a Leave vote and I suspect the public won't either. The next election could be an interesting one.

      2. smot

        Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

        Of course, a majority DIDN'T vote "out" - only 37.5% voted "out". Conversely, only 34.7% voted "Remain". The correct statement is that 51.9%, OF THOSE WHO VOTED, voted to leave the EU.

        A more correct strategy for referenda is to count the non-voters in some agreed way. Typically, they may represent "status quo", or other proportion. This would then be used to set a benchmark point at which the result carries validity. It may be that the valid pass mark was then 60% or 65% in either direction as seen appropriate.

        Nigel Farage tried to make this point in a rather cack-handed way by suggesting that if the outcome was close, "say less than 5%", that a second referendum should be held. Clearly he's gone quiet on that now as he has the result he wanted.

        But parliament can still make a suitable judgment on whether they agree that 37.5% does indeed represent the "majority" view and choose to accept or ignore the result.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

          ...A more correct strategy for referenda is to count the non-voters in some agreed way. Typically, they may represent "status quo", or other proportion. This would then be used to set a benchmark point at which the result carries validity....

          Saying that non-voters represent 'the status quo' is a mindless statement, which would lead to illogical results which would fly in the face of reason. It is certainly not a 'correct strategy'! Imagine an election where the winning party threw out the government with 45% of the vote while the government supporters got 10%. Your approach would then give the losers the victory?

          If you MUST make assumptions about non-voters, the only one you are entitled to make is that they did not care which side won. They are happy with either outcome. That means they are de facto supporting the winning side.

          Looked at that way, the Referendum vote was around 75% in favour of leaving...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wtf?

    What kind of a shitty, national petition system not only allows foreign votes, but also records them as such?

    1. Valerion

      Re: wtf?

      You know, not all British Citizens actually live in Britain.

    2. Efros

      Re: wtf?

      The type that listens to people who although citizens are not actually resident at the time. Unlike the arbitrary 15 year cut off for voter registration for the referendum.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: wtf?

        Come on now, 15 years is fairly reasonable. If you've been away that long you're not likely to be coming back. Most host countries will offer naturalization after being resident for less than 10 years.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: wtf?

          @Fibbles

          A UK citizen is a UK citizen irrespective of how long they've been out of the country. Not quite the same as out of the UK but I spent about 19 years in N Ireland before returning to England. But one of the issues was freedom of movement and these were UK citizens who were directly affected by it. I can't think of any convincing reason why they should have been excluded.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "A UK citizen is a UK citizen irrespective of how long they've been out of the country. "

            Oh how I wish you were right. But Parliament has already made UK citizenship (and hence EU citizenship as well) revocable at the whim of the civil service. Source? I was reading my UK citizenship papers (not quite there yet) a few weeks ago.

            Of course I agree with every position the civil service takes on everything. Equally I am certain it would never do anything other than for the good of the nation and UK citizens. Those they consider to be citizens this week, anyway. Or next week. Or whenever.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "A UK citizen is a UK citizen irrespective of how long they've been out of the country. "

              The are not allowed to make you stateless if they revoked your citizenship.

            2. Mark 65

              Re: "A UK citizen is a UK citizen irrespective of how long they've been out of the country. "

              Oh how I wish you were right. But Parliament has already made UK citizenship (and hence EU citizenship as well) revocable at the whim of the civil service. Source? I was reading my UK citizenship papers (not quite there yet) a few weeks ago.

              That's for someone becoming one. If your family has a long history of being British and you were born in Britain to British parents (non-naturalised) then I think there's fuck all chance of that being revoked. Those laws apply to people that come in, get citizenship, then commit crimes etc. IANAL.

        2. Jon 37

          Re: wtf?

          "you're not likely to be coming back"

          ... unless you've moved to an EU country, then the UK leaves the EU and fails to negotiate permission for you to stay.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: wtf?

            "... unless you've moved to an EU country, then the UK leaves the EU and fails to negotiate permission for you to stay."

            Vienna convention.

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: wtf?

      "What kind of a shitty, national petition system not only allows foreign votes, but also records them as such?"

      One that's only there as a sop to public opinion and only ever provides anodyne responses ?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wtf?

      So going on holiday or working abroad makes Brits foreign? Next thing you'll be asking "Are you local?" while your son David roars in the attic.

  5. sabroni Silver badge

    re: Normally parents admonish their children for throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Yet we're supposed to believe that the EU won't be biased against us during exit negotiations.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I voted for remain and Boaty McBoatface.

    One out of two isn't bad. (Even though boaty was overruled)

  7. K Silver badge
    Holmes

    Anti-democratic?

    Farage himself made the point that a 52% to 48% should lead to a 2nd referendum.

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: Anti-democratic?

      And "The Massive Blond Haired Child" is also saying the margin is too small, so lets not be hasty, and lets keep the free movement of people, and the single market, and all that other stuff too.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36637037

    2. D P Duck

      Re: Anti-democratic?

      That is a case of two wrongs not making a right. Mr Farage was wrong to suggest this in the first place. His idea was also undemocratic. But your point raises a worrying question: why do so many people who engage in the democratic process not seem to understand it? 72% of the population found democracy important enough to vote. Of those who were interested in democracy a majority of them decided "Leave" was the correct option. Anybody who did not vote and is now outraged by the result has just learnt a very valuable lesson in the importance of exercising their democratic right to vote.

      P.S.

      I am Irish (the lower section of it), have a U.K. passport and live in The Netherlands. I did not vote in the referendum nor sign the petition. I also have no friends in the Vatican although I do like and admire the current Pope.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Anti-democratic?

      If leavers are so confident in the result they would jump at a second chance to prove that is still the will of the people.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Anti-democratic?

        And if Remain wins next time will we let Leave call for another referendum just to make sure of the result? Best two out of three? Or if the result is still not what you want, three out of five?

        At some point you've got to accept that no matter how shit the result, it's not going to change. Personally I'm hoping we'll at least join the EEA. It fulfils the demands of the referendum by leaving the EU but mitigates a lot of the financial fallout.

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Anti-democratic?

          @fibbles I think the point is that leaving the UK is not like a general election. (**Crap Analogy Alert**) A general election is like choosing pudding at a restaurant. If you don't like it well, never mind, just choose another one next time. This referendum is more like choosing whether or not to chop your leg off. If you choose not to (the remain camp) then you can still change your mind next year - but if you decide that you can get by with only one leg (saving money on shoes) and change your mind later then you can't just sew it back on again.

          Personally, I don't think that the margin of victory is sufficient for us to decide that we can get by with only one leg. Particularly when so many people who voted to leave are already regretting it, and the people who told us that we'd save money on shoes are admitting that they lied.

          1. djack

            Re: Anti-democratic?

            You can be sure that if a pudding I bought at a restaurant looks and tastes totally different from what was promised, I wouldn't be waiting till next time to order something different.

          2. Shoot Them Later
            Windows

            Re: Anti-democratic?

            To labour the analogy, the referendum is like asking people to chop off a leg without any clear idea what will replace it. One camp says that it will be the most magnificent bionic leg technology can create and will be a huge improvement on the one we have at the moment; the other camp says we'll be lucky to have a leg at all and will have to make do with a shitty stick while the stump goes slowly gangrenous. Now the vote has happened our friends in the EU are demanding that we need to saw it off without delay and certainly with no anaesthetic - oh and they might chop the other one off too. We can ask about what we'll be getting to replace it with, but only on the operating table as the surgeon hacks through the bone with a rusty saw that he's spat on for good measure. And the bionic leg lot are now saying that legs are overrated anyway and we're probably better off just sitting down.

            If I were the patient (and unfortunately I am), I'd probably be asking for a second opinion....

          3. Mark 65

            Re: Anti-democratic?

            @45RPM and any others of the same mindset: If you don't want to change anything because you are not happy with the margin of victory then you will forever be stuck with the status quo. It is a deliberately artificial hurdle to get your own way. What's your threshold? 66%? 75%? What if 65.9% voted to Leave, should they be ignored? It was a clear difference. Ignore the percentages, 1m more people voted to leave than to remain so just get over it. It is done.

        2. Philip Hodges

          Re: Anti-democratic?

          EEA only mitigates about half that financial fallout, according to the treasury analysis (compares EEA / bilateral / WTO). It's still huge. People were told that leaving to "take back control" would save money. They had no idea that they were in fact voting to be so much worse off.

        3. Def Silver badge

          Re: Anti-democratic?

          Best two out of three? Or if the result is still not what you want, three out of five?

          To be honest, this is a prime example of one of the things wrong with the democratic process. You can appeal all court decisions. Football matches aren't decided from a single penalty kick. Races are rarely one lap long (and professional competitions usually involve different qualifying heats). So why the fuck would you agree to change the entire course of multiple countries from a single vote by an uninformed population mislead by a bunch of liars?

          That said, if golf matches were limited to one shot per player, you could a) fit them in during a commercial break, and b) more people might watch them. ;)

          1. NogginTheNog
            FAIL

            Re: Anti-democratic?

            That's why in any sensible democratic system you keep the hell away from referenda whenever possible!

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Anti-democratic?

        @ Jason Bloomberg

        "If leavers are so confident in the result they would jump at a second chance to prove that is still the will of the people."

        You must be awful to compete with. Do you trot that out every time you lose at anything? I cant imagine the pain people must go through having to repeat it over and over until you win. Exhausting.

        Cant you accept a democratic vote where the rules were established, people were asked a simple question and after so many attempts to fudge a remain vote the people who care voted and the leave group won? Also known as the will of the people (the purpose of the democratic vote).

      3. Mark 65

        Re: Anti-democratic?

        If leavers are so confident in the result they would jump at a second chance to prove that is still the will of the people.

        Nice strawman you have there, be a shame if it were to catch fire.

    4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Anti-democratic?

      Actually, he did not. He said that would be 'unfinished business'...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so what of 4chan saying the whole thing was a hoax?

    They seem to have published the script that got the numbers up this high

    Not sure what to believe anymore

    Strange times we are living in

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Posting stupid?

      Post anonymous.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be careful what you wish for...

    Actually, I suspect it's "leavers" who suddenly realised they got what they wished for!

    The problem with allowing the Sheeple to vote, is that most of them don't appreciate the impact of what they are voting for. Comments abound from those who did vote leave suggest they they used the referendum as a protest vote not thinking Vote Leave would actually win!

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Flame

      Democracy of one

      The problem with allowing the Sheeple to vote, is that most of them don't appreciate the impact of what they are voting for.

      Sounds a bit like you think no-one except you should have a vote on anything important. Cos everyone else is too stupid, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democracy of one

        @Jimmy2Cows

        Did I say that? Nope. Not even close. So stop applying your own inferiority complex to other people's posts.

        I was merely pointing out the downside of living in a democracy - that sometimes the vote will be decided by those who are least suited to making grown up decisions. But that doesn't mean that everyone is stupid, just that (sadly) a significant portion of the voting public really are that stupid.

        How else can you attribute the result of this referendom?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Meh

          Re: Democracy of one

          Perhaps the perception that it is Parliament that is the highest authority on political matters and not even a ref trumps its decision (except for a proper election of course) and so no matter how you vote it aint your decision (true or not)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democracy of one

        Yes, absolutely they are too stupid. From now on, one vote per degree you hold.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Democracy of one

          "From now on, one vote per degree you hold."

          I can tell you from experience that having a degree is no indication of a lack of stupidity.

      3. Nigel 11

        Re: Democracy of one

        The problem with allowing the Sheeple to vote, is that most of them don't appreciate the impact of what they are voting for.

        Sigh. Yes, 50% of the electorate will always be less intelligent than the average voter. (That's a definition of average )

        And our political rulers will always think of everyone who does not agree with them as "sheeple". For me, the key reason for voting the way I did was that in the UK system, we get regular chances to kick out our representatives when they cease to represent us. In the EU system, they aren't representatives but appointees, and we cannot kick them out, and the corruption will never reduce. Eventually the EU will look like the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (in a century or so, if its rulers can hold it together for that long)

        And it will then end just as badly.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Democracy of one

        great idea, I beleve in one man one vote, and that Vote should be Mine, Mine I tell e!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be careful what you wish for...

      Especially now the politicians have said they won't do anything about immigration. What was all that nonsense about taking back control of our borders? Muppets.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Be careful what you wish for...

        A remain voter here. I think the problem with the way the debate was held was that we all spent decades telling future out voters that they were a strange minority rather than explaining why somebody might hold the opposite opinion. There wasn't time to undo the amount of voter resentment that such a level of persistent arrogance had accumulated. Maybe there's 20% who'll never listen to rationality, but arguing with them isn't a waste of time because if you ignore them then before you know it 52% have heard and internalised their opinion. Ignore people you disagree with at your peril.

        ... and the nation's, in my opinion.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Be careful what you wish for...

          So much this.

          Instead of trying to convince Leave voters why they should actually vote Remain, the campaign spent a great deal of time decrying anyone with a differing opinion as a racist. Sure, some of them undoubtedly are racist but the majority are likely just disturbed by endless media scare stories of mass immigration and repressive EU regulations. Insulting people is no way to win a debate.

          1. Andy Hall

            Re: Be careful what you wish for...

            @Fibbles - I agree, I saw the same thing.

            Someone once told me that an argument was like two people on their own hill shouting at each other across the intervening valley. To have any chance of winning the argument you have to cross the valley, listen to you opponent, understand their perspective and then put your arm around their shoulder and walk them back across the valley one step at a time. You will never win it by shouting at them from afar and, most importantly, you have to listen.

            No one did that, from either side. Each side pandered to their own supporters prejudices and insulted the opposition. Perhaps (given the result) in the end the remain team were slightly worse than the leave team. I think that those that did change their mind were mostly pushed away from one camp to the other rather than attracted.

            But the failure to accept the result is just the nadir of the whole debacle. The democratic process (no matter how shoddy the rhetoric) has taken its course and the result is in. To deny the result is deny the process and to deny democracy. If you wish to overturn this result then you are saying that you no longer want a democratic society and whatever you believe the risk of leaving the EU will be to Britain, trying to undermine democracy is a far, far bigger risk.

            1. SundogUK

              Re: Be careful what you wish for...

              "If you wish to overturn this result then you are saying that you no longer want a democratic society and whatever you believe the risk of leaving the EU will be to Britain, trying to undermine democracy is a far, far bigger risk."

              This.

        2. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Be careful what you wish for...

          The debate and information was awful

          One side presented a shit-ton of experts saying 'this is so far beyond fucking stupid we can barely express it'

          The other side said 'yah boo experts know nothing but that foreign bloke looked at your Mrs funny'

        3. Chris Miller

          Re: Be careful what you wish for...

          Well said, ThomH. A bit like the Scots Cybernats who operated in a social media echo chamber and came to believe that everyone in the nation agreed with them.

          I knew that Remain were in trouble when a friend and neighbour who's a retired Oxford Philosophy Prof and had always followed the straight SCR/Guardian ticket told me he was voting for Leave. Not everyone who voted out was a neckless thug with a pit bull on a piece of string.

        4. Naselus

          Re: Be careful what you wish for...

          "There wasn't time to undo the amount of voter resentment that such a level of persistent arrogance had accumulated"

          How would we know if there was time? No-one even attempted it. All the Remain camp did was keep pushing ever-more-insane threats and declarations of how it would be, literally, 'the end of Western Civilization'.

          The warnings about the very genuine horrors that we're gong to have to put up with now were being drowned out in hysterical hyperbole and threats of 'punishment budgets', and no-one, at any point, bothered offering a plausible plan to reform the EU in a way that would address some of the concerns people have with it... mostly because no-one bothered to ask what those concerns were, they just assumed it was all working-class xenophobia and racism. Which is now largely what the Remainers are blaming it on, too.

          Both campaigns were truly awful (for Leave, Nigel Farrage's copied Nazi poster; Gove's shout-out to anti-intellectualism; just anything Boris has ever done), but Remain's campaign managed to take a country that pretty much wanted to remain in the EU and managed to produce an Out vote through completely failing to engage the voters at all. Project Fear was a thing - it's been the favoured tactic of Cameron's entire time in office in fact - but now it's lost it's teeth.

    3. fruitoftheloon
      Happy

      @AC: Re: Be careful what you wish for...

      Dear AC,

      I did and I do, btw what are you so afraid of re hiding your handle???

      Regards,

      jay

  10. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    Democracy in action...?

    Trouble with this kind of thing is you will never make everyone happy. Given how close this was in the lead-up to polling, 50% of the populus was going to be pissed at the result however it went.

    Putting aside whether or not one likes the referendum result, the democratic process was followed, and now the government should be expected to abide by the result. Will of the people etc.

    What I find truly disgusting is how some MPs are trying to overrule the process. Didn't work out the way they wanted so they're trying to find ways around it. That kind of elitism and disregard for the democratic process is at least partly why the vote went the way it did.

    This kind of shit starts civil wars...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Democracy in action...?

      This kind of shit starts civil wars...

      And extreme right-wingism and hatred of foreigners/minorities starts world wars (as Mr & Mrs Hitler's little boy demonstrated)

      1. Hacky McHackface
        Stop

        Re: Democracy in action...?

        Aaaaanndd.. Godwin's Law strikes again.

        Took a little longer than I expected though.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Democracy in action...?

      Seconded.

      The people have voted. The vote was as expected at least in Wales, Norfolk, Kent and the North of England. Similarly as expected in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      Does the government and the Parliament like it or not is irrelevant they should abide by it.

      By the way, there is a significant difference between throwing toys out of the pram and taking a full unconditional responsibility for what you have done.

      So my only wish is that the geriatric majority which brought us this vote takes the responsibility proportional to the way they voted. So when the emergency budget axe falls (and looking at the FTSE it will within 2-3 weeks), instead of raising taxes we FIRST: CUT the pensions; SECOND: CUT all treatment for diseases prevalent in the 60-90 population in the NHS; THIRD: CUT from the budget share for care services.

      After all - you have to take responsibility for your actions. I want to see for ones the ones who voted for something actually do it (*).

      (*) I voted in person due to forgetting to renew my postal vote and I regret that I did not take pictures. I will remember this day with the marvelous sight of two pensioners - one under a blanket in a push chair, the other one pushing that chair while sucking on an oxygen bottle in the chair tray. The bottle and the chair - with LEAVE stickers slapped on it. Yeah, someone is "taking their jobs".

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Democracy in action...?

        "So my only wish is that the geriatric majority which brought us this vote takes the responsibility proportional to the way they voted."

        Are you privy to information about the actual distribution of votes by age? Nobody else has. All you have is anecdotal evidence. Other anecdotal evidence suggests that some of the younger voters didn't understand what they were doing and had simply voted Leave as a sort of protest vote.

        FWIW this 70+ voter voted Remain, as in the previous vote 4 decades ago.. The Facebookers who thought it meant no more than a Like will have to live with the consequences of their votes. Unfortunately so will my children and grandchildren.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Democracy in action...?

        So my only wish is that the geriatric majority which brought us this vote takes the responsibility proportional to the way they voted. So when the emergency budget axe falls (and looking at the FTSE it will within 2-3 weeks), instead of raising taxes we FIRST: CUT the pensions; SECOND: CUT all treatment for diseases prevalent in the 60-90 population in the NHS; THIRD: CUT from the budget share for care services.

        Well, given that pension age has already been raised due to insufficient funds in the pension pot before the current financial situation, it would not seem too far fetched to see triple lock axed for starters.

      3. dukeofbrookhaven
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Democracy in action...?

        > By the way, there is a significant difference between throwing toys out of the pram and taking a full unconditional responsibility for what you have done.

        Democracy in action means everybody takes full and unconditional responsibility. If the minority had the better idea, then it's their own fault for failing to articulate this complicated issue clearly.

        > So my only wish is that the geriatric majority which brought us this vote takes the responsibility proportional to the way they voted ... CUT the pensions ... CUT all treatment for diseases prevalent in the 60-90 population in the NHS ... CUT from the budget share for care services.

        So, all the sacrifices should be made by the demographic that you perceive made you lose? I'd talk more but I can't hear you over the sound of these toys clattering on the sidewalk.

        FWIW, It looks like a crazy choice to me, but voters get the politicians (and the consequences) they deserve.

      4. SundogUK

        Re: Democracy in action...?

        Yeah! And we should euthanize everyone when they reach 30 years old..! Because!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: Democracy in action...?

          Because Logans Run is the future?

    3. Shades

      Re: Democracy in action...?

      "now the government should be expected to abide by the result"

      What part of "opinion poll" do you not understand?

  11. StephenD

    Did the genuine signatories actually read it?

    It calls for a majority of 60% for either Leave or Remain, and a turnout of 75%. Failing any of those would result in another referendum.

    Quite apart from the ridiculous idea that the rules should be amended after the event (even if a 60% threshold for major constitutional change might have been justifiable beforehand), then what the change would bring would be a neverending series of referendums, probably each with a result between 60:40 and 40:60, and certainly each with a turnout lower than the previous one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So have another referendum on the subject every year until there's a decisive outcome. Maybe pair it up with local council elections to save money. Sounds OK to me.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        So have another referendum on the subject every year until there's a decisive outcome. Maybe pair it up with local council elections to save money. Sounds OK to me.

        It was decisive. There was a clear majority, albeit a slim one. But still a majority. Not like there were 2 votes in it. Difference of more than a million.

        If you start trying to define majority as anything other than side A got more votes than side B, you're trying to rig the system to get the result you want.

        You can argue ~28% didn't vote, but they had their chance and couldn't be arsed. Maybe they didn't care, maybe they have become disillusioned with politics and thought "what's the point".

        Don't see how your suggestion fixes that, other than watch the turnout get lower and lower each time as more and more people become disillusioned by the whole process, because nothing changes.

        Our democracy is already a thin veneer... this will only make it worse.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          If you start trying to define majority as anything other than side A got more votes than side B, you're trying to rig the system to get the result you want.

          Err no. If you have had anything to do with corporate governance, you will be familiar with the differing majority voting requirements that various things require, from a simple 'hall/meeting' majority through to a 50%+1 shareholder majority for a takeover.

          The point is, that the politicians got it very wrong in deciding the referendum only needed a simple majority from those who voted... Interestingly, this oversight is even more laughable and inexcusable given the amount of time that was spent on: getting the question right, arguing who could and could not vote, trying to extend voting to under 16's, arguing that we didn't need a referendum etc. etc.

          I suspect because there is no legal or formal connection between the Referendum and Parliament acting on it, politicians simply regarded the result as 'advisory' and hence weren't too bothered about qualifying it, otherwise, they might actually be expected to act on the result...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did the genuine signatories actually read it?

      I doubt it, they're just bitter at the fact that the Remain camp lost. That more people voted "leave" than for any single cause in British history doesn't matter: Democracy has delivered the incorrect answer, so democracy is wrong. And the solution is to change the rules. Interesting to see the pickle the parliamentary Labour party is in, after an improved (that is, more open) democratic process to elect the leader also produced the wrong result, and the establishment MPs are using the Brexit vote to try and chuck out the leader who had the overwhelming support of party activists.

      That's why you see some of the Remainers demanding ex-post rule changes, that the whole thing be re-run, that Parliament should ignore it. Any outcome is better than submitting to the democratic view of the population. There's some commentard further up this thread berating "the sheeple" for voting Leave, and that shows the same contempt for the population. After months of fear mongering by the government, by the official voice of Labour, Liberal and assorted nationalist parties, by the BoE, by the EU themselves, apparently we're still not to be trusted to come to a correct decision.

      I think there is an amicable outcome possible. Give the Scots independence. Don't risk another referendum, since the SNP calculations for the Scottish economy won't fly at current oil prices. Then, the Scots can join the EU, all the south-of-the-border Remainers can claim asylum in Scotland, and then live out their days in a single party socialist state, where they can have both democracy AND a never ending socialist government within the EU. The Scots can get rid of other people's nuclear deterrents, England can scrap the Barnett formula.

      What's not to like? The only thing I'd miss if Scotland went is the Union Jack.

      1. hewbass

        I keep hearing people saying the Remain camp lost or that they are sore losers.

        This shows a deep lack of understanding of the impact of the result (assuming parliament acts on it): regardless of how we voted in the referendum we are either *all* losers or we are *all* winners.

        Looking at the state of sterling, the FTSE250, the FTSE100, the increased cost of government borrowing due to our credit rating down grades, the sudden realisation that not only were the leave campaign lying about this mythical £350 million/week, but also what they planned to spend it it on, the back pedaling on immigration/free movement, and the fact that the remaining goverment leadership wants us to remain members of the single market with no longer any influence over its rules (what's that I hear you say about regaining sovereignty? Sorry not even that!) (not that actually we'd lost it in the first place, so it's actually very easy to argue that Brexit reduces our sovereignty), it looks increasingly like we *all* lost.

        I'd also suggest the validity of the original referendum should be called into question since there was so many bald faced lies told (by both sides), that the electorate had no way to make an informed decision.

        Due these reasons alone I think that something should be done, possibly a 2nd referendum, or a general election with one of the parties running a manifesto of ignoring the referendum result.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @hewbass

          This shows a deep lack of understanding of the impact of the result (assuming parliament acts on it): regardless of how we voted in the referendum we are either *all* losers or we are *all* winners....Looking at the state of sterling, the FTSE250, the FTSE100, the increased cost of government borrowing due to our credit rating down grades,

          Errr, your comment shows a profound lack of understanding of the real situation, rather than that reported by a hysterical press.

          Take the FTSE100. Actually, market-on-market it dived less and responded better than either German or French equivalents, both of which it had out-performed for the previous six months to boot. Follow the link below, select 6m for the time frame and add international peers CAC40 and Exetra Dax.

          http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=FTSE:FSI

          And the same chart will show you that we're still ahead of the January and February lows for the FTSE. So not really anything remarkable.

          Next up, government borrowing. If the markets are actually accepting negative yields all over the shop (which they are) then the chances of having to pay meaningful interest is pretty low, FFS, the capital markets are taking temporary refuge in the yen. Anybody who knows anything about macro-economics will cry with laughter at fund managers doing that. Ain't going to last.

          As for the exchange rate (to be fair to you implicit rather than stated) the UK has been living well beyond its means for years now, with vast trade deficits (most notably with the EU). So a collapse in sterling is not caused by Brexit, that's merely an overdue catalyst. If they knew what it really meant, British people would be holding street parties to celebrate the collapse in the FX rate.

          To suggest that any party should run a manifesto of ignoring the will of the people shows two things: An unbelievable contempt for democracy (in which case, who are you saying should run Britain?), and an unbelievable ignorance of the need for the British economy to rebalance, reign in imports and foreign spending. You may interpret that last one as being some form of jingoism, but here's your check. Try spending 5% more than you earn next month. Put it on plastic, no problem. Now do the same next month. Ditto. Repeat every month for a decade. Now, how sustainable is that? Is sticking to the status quo even possible?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @hewbass

            Ledswinger: "Errr, your comment shows a profound lack of understanding of the real situation, rather than that reported by a hysterical press."

            Says the person who apparently wasn't even aware that the Welsh voted in favour of Brexit and wanted to kick them out of the UK anyway.

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @hewbass

            "Take the FTSE100."

            No, don't take the FTSE100. It doesn't really represent the British economy. Most of it is made up of globocorps that are making their money all over the world. Look at the FTSE250, which is made up of companies that mostly do business in Britain. That index has taken a right caning.

        2. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @Hewbass

          Hewbass,

          yeah, the historic market data you have based your opinions on and the amount of historic data really ensures you have a solid statement (i.e. circa TWO DAYS of data).

          And what exactly is HMGs position - presumably you are quoting policy from?? (if only...)

          Chill out man, it's going to be an interesting ride!

          Jay

        3. Wayland Bronze badge

          Mythical £350 million per week. How is it mythical? Is this not the figure sent to the EU?

          As I comprehend it the EU spends some of that money in the UK. However that would be like giving someone your wages to buy you a birthday present, you don't know what they will chose for you.

          1. Meerkatjie

            It wasn't the amount of money sent to the EU as the deductions and rebates were applied first.

        4. Andy Hall

          @hewbass - while I completely agree that the nature of the debate was pathetic (although the remain side never managed to invoke the fifth rider of the apocalypse - maybe he just isn't famous enough) - I do not agree that the winning line should be moved in favour of one side of the other. Which side should take ownership of the default position? Which would you have:

          "We will remain part of the EU unless 60% of you vote to leave."

          or

          "We will leave the EU unless 60% of you vote to remain".

          Perhaps we should have a referendum to agree the question? Would you advocate the same thing in a general election - the incumbent stays in power until another party wins more than 60% of the vote? Or should that only apply when the party you support is in power?

          1. Meerkatjie

            Easy, we keep having the referendum until one or the other meets the grade since the result is not binding until it meets the threshold.

        5. SundogUK

          Fuck off. You lost. Deal with it.

        6. Mark 65

          I keep hearing people saying the Remain camp lost or that they are sore losers.

          This shows a deep lack of understanding of the impact of the result (assuming parliament acts on it): regardless of how we voted in the referendum we are either *all* losers or we are *all* winners.

          Looking at the state of sterling, the FTSE250, the FTSE100, the increased cost of government borrowing due to our credit rating down grades, the sudden realisation that not only were the leave campaign lying about this mythical £350 million/week, but also what they planned to spend it it on, the back pedaling on immigration/free movement, and the fact that the remaining goverment leadership wants us to remain members of the single market with no longer any influence over its rules (what's that I hear you say about regaining sovereignty? Sorry not even that!) (not that actually we'd lost it in the first place, so it's actually very easy to argue that Brexit reduces our sovereignty), it looks increasingly like we *all* lost.

          You are looking far too short term my friend. Any decision like this is strictly a long game which is why anyone predicting we would be worse off ad infinitum is full of shit.

      2. tfewster Silver badge
        Joke

        Hey, Ledswinger - re: fear mongering

        Please don't stick your fingers in an electricity socket. It'd hurt, I can tell you from experience it'd cause a nasty burn, and I can post links to evidence from experts that it can kill.

        Sorry if this comes across as fear-mongering. I'm sure you can be trusted to make your own decisions. Just remember, you have to take the consequences, I'm not going to help you if you choose to ignore my advice.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      The petition was originally set up before the referendum, ironically by a leave campaigner.

      Maybe we could turn the endless series of referendums into a tourist attraction somehow. Truly it would be a wonder of the world, on par with Swindon's magic roundabout.

    4. jamesk

      If it was a serious referendum, as they have on constitutional changes in democratic countries, it would have had a 2/3s rule. As it was it was basically an opinion poll, and not worthy of consideration in a democratic country. Same should apply for Scottish ref too.

  12. Nik 2

    "Nothing hath an uglier Look to us than Reason, when it is not of our side"

    George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

  13. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    I read on the BBC website that this particular petition doesn't stand a chance of going anywhere, as it is, in effect, asking for retrospective legislation.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      That totally depends on the committee tasked with reviewing petitions for debate. Once it has been scheduled for debate, there are no barriers to what can be debated.

      But the petition has already served a purpose, it has gained significant media coverage. Which shouldn't be dismissed too lightly given that it had only collected a few dozen signatories prior to the announcement of the result, and there was no mass market media campaign to draw the petition to peoples attention.

      Additionally, as El Reg reports, its popularity has attracted attention and the 'security' (don't know if we can actually it that) of the process used to link signatories to real people has been examined and found wanting.

      So as far as I'm concerned, it actually doesn't matter too much if it does or does not get debated, it has served a purpose, namely the people have spoken and they are not happy.

      1. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

        Keep shouting it may change the result !!!

        Roland6 said ..."So as far as I'm concerned, it actually doesn't matter too much if it does or does not get debated, it has served a purpose, namely the people have spoken and they are not happy."

        To clarify, The 'people who spoke' numbered 17 Million+ while the people who have signed the petition are 'somewhat' less in number and therefore are simply bad losers who have access to a computer !!!

        Ignoring the numerical facts, it is pointless to keep moaning about a result you cannot change. Shouting louder via all possible media avenues does not make the result invalid BECAUSE the votes of the remain supporters still are 'less' than the Leave supporters.

        This simple fact seems to be unable to be processed by the 'superior entitled intellect' of the remain voters.

        I will explain it simply ...........

        THE REMAIN VOTERS LOST & NOW MANY DAYS LATER YOU HAVE STILL LOST !!!

        (IT IS 'EXPECTED' THAT YOU WILL STILL HAVE LOST TOMORROW AS WELL !!!)

        THIS IS LOOKING LIKE A STRONG TREND BASED ON PAST PERFORMANCE.

        Please explain what is difficult to understand and I will be only to happy to explain again.

  14. Can't think of anything witty...
    Stop

    If the result had gone the other way...

    ...I'm sure that Farage and co. would have simply accept the results and move on quietly.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nigel-farage-wants-second-referendum-7985017

    Oh no, maybe not then.

    1.8% over the line is not enough for the biggest change to this country in generations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: 1.8% over the line is not enough for the biggest change to this country in generations.

      ah, but would you say the same if it was YOUR 1.8% over the line?

      btw, I voted to remain and I'm gutted, etc, etc., but... if the democracy means shitty arguments from both sides... well, that's the reality for us, way apart from rosey image we cherish.

      1. Can't think of anything witty...

        Re: re: 1.8% over the line is not enough for the biggest change to this country in generations.

        "ah, but would you say the same if it was YOUR 1.8% over the line?"

        Actually, yes i would.

        Think of it this way. We are in a situation (in Europe) and some people want to change that. It is therefore up to them to build a convincing case to make that change which would/will be a big change if/when it happens. If they are unable to build that case and take the clear majority of people along with them, then they have failed and it doesn't justify the change.

        If things are terrible, then it should be easy to get enough people to agree and vote for a change. But if in doubt, i think that it's better to maintain the status quo. Sure, the status quo may deteriorate and we end up in a worse place then we want to be, but then you look at the question again.

        basically, you shouldn't need a mandate to keep things the same, but you should to change them.

        so if we had voted 52 Remain and 48 leave, i think that shows us that it's pretty close and not enough people want a change to justify it.

        If however, we were not in the EU (crikey, imagine that...) and we had a referendum to join, we would also need a 60:40 majority to make that change. If we were in economic turmoil and all thought that joining would help fix that, then we would presumably be prepared to take the risk.

        the important point here is about making a change to the status quo and that would apply equally if we were voting to leave or to join.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC have finally given in and reported it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36640459?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, yesterday

      "Second EU referendum petition investigated for fraud"

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36634407

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nooo, yesterday they were saying people had been fraudulently signing it, today finally they are admitting it was hammered by bots.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Second EU referendum petition investigated for fraud"

        "Fraud"? How can stuffing an online petition be fraud? Unless you were betting on the outcome, but you'd have to find the world's stupidest bookie to take bets on internet polls.

  16. Chris Miller

    I'd accept the argument for a second referendum, but only if it was subject to the rules that are being demanded - a 60% vote on a 75% turnout. I can find few examples of referendums (in democratic countries) that meet these criteria, certainly the original (1975) EC Referendum had less than 65% turnout.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A 60% vote OR a 75% turnout.

      The original EC vote may not have had the turnout but it was by more than 60% and so would have passed the test.

      1. Chris Miller

        Thanks AC ;)

        #shouldhavegonetospecsavers

    2. John Lilburne

      Tory bastards want similar rules before a Union can go on strike.

    3. D P Duck

      Saddam Hussein did receive 100% of the vote just before this Wicked West spoilt his show. My goodness can democracy ever win?

      :-)

  17. M7S

    Geolocation/verification, an observation, not a complaint

    Interestingly enough I am currently working in London for a company where all the work is done on virtual machines which are hosted in another EU country in which the head office is based, so all my browsing appears to come from that country. Local browsing on the machines here is disabled. Such minimal interaction as I have with a well know search engine and the BBC gives me results local to that location regardless of how I try to alter things.

    This renders my IP as "invalid" for purposes such as this petition. Whilst I can do such things from home (if I want to show that I don't understand how a simple voting system works), if I were to do it from work during my lunch hour, I would presumably be removed.

    Ho hum

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Geolocation/verification, an observation, not a complaint

      "...if I were to do it from work during my lunch hour, I would presumably be removed."

      That depends. If you are a UK citizen then it doesn't matter where you are, you can sign. It is after all only a petition. I do have doubts that the filters or whatever are being used to remove all the dross are up to the job.

  18. Christoph Silver badge

    Yes, of course there's some fraud

    It would be astonishing if most of the petitions didn't have at least some fraud. Since this is by far the biggest petition it presumably attracts more.

    It quite possibly includes lots of idiots thinking they can boost the petition by putting in false addresses, and lots more idiots thinking they can sabotage the petition by putting in false addresses and then claiming that because some are fraudulent then the whole thing is invalid.

    Anyone who wants to actually affect it would have to do a lot of fraudulent entries - it's well over three and a half million now.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Yes, of course there's some fraud

      So you have suggested a false flag operation. Someone fraudulently voting for a 2nd referendum to frame the other side.

      A bit like someone killing an MP to frame the other side. The killing did nothing for the Leave campaign.

  19. graeme leggett

    "“The sight of educated men and women trying to overturn a national referendum with an online petition is pathetic beyond belief,” wrote Chris Snowdon of the Institute for Economic Affairs"

    That would be the free market, neo-liberal think tank Institute for Economic Affairs once described as "one of the three least transparent think tanks in the UK in relation to funding"

    Though as it's Director General has formerly been chief press spokesman for the Liberal Democrats and the Pro Euro Conservative Party god knows what's going on.

    I suggest it's more useful to see what David Allen Green , a legal writer has to say on things, such as reminding us the referendum is not legally binding or this on Article 50

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1200279093330132&id=137432829614769

    1. Paul Shirley

      What's pathetic is the sight of brexiteer reporter failing to report:

      1: the petition was up BEFORE the referendum

      2: it was put up by a leaver frightened the vote was going the wrong way!

      The only meaningful poll is one to force immediate issuing of article 50 notification before the scoundrels can manipulate the situation into something worse.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        The only meaningful poll is one to force immediate issuing of article 50 notification before the scoundrels can manipulate the situation into something worse.

        I voted remain, but I'm with you on this

    2. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      If the issue was that important to people, they should have registered to vote earlier on. Only a small percentage would have been between houses / in a complicated situation, etc. Instead, so many left it to the last minute that the website crashed (yes, blame for that all around). They were then handed an extra two days.

      For all the sound and fury north of the border, the Scottish turnout was pretty low - again, if the issue was that important to you, you should have bloody well got out and voted!

      There is a quite widespread attitude that all one has to do to effect change is vote online or possibly phone in or text one's vote. What absolute balls. Get up off your arse and take your right to vote seriously!

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I'm not in the UK, but I see that same situation here in States. Can't be arsed to vote but sure as hell will complain after the election. Seems to be the new normal, I guess.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "The sight of educated men and women...

      An excellent quote, need to remember that and pull it out and amend, when the IEA bring out one of their papers that basically tells us that we are doing it all wrong and that 'they' - being educated - know better.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      " suggest it's more useful to see what David Allen Green , a legal writer has to say on things, such as reminding us the referendum is not legally binding or this on Article 50

      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1200279093330132&id=137432829614769"

      That's a very interesting read, particularly in regard to what constitutes a decision. AFAICS even without a second referendum it would be open to a PM, Privy Council, cabinet or the HoC as appropriate to look at the existing vote and decide that a 4% majority in a non-binding poll isn't sufficient to allow such a far-reaching decision to be made.

    5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      @graeme leggett

      Interesting, thanks for the link.

      That seems to indicate that Cameron's resignation, by making it impossible to perform the notification until October, is a useful delaying tactic.

  20. TDog

    Breach of data protection

    It seems highly unlikely that the school class lists were provided in order to encourage participation in a referendum; surely this is a breach of the data protection laws and should be investigated by the ICO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Breach of data protection

      I doubt you actually believe your argument, but just in case: sending mail to a mailing list that you are a member of is not a data protection matter. It may well be inappropriate, uncouth, or self-defeating but you aren't disclosing anything not already known to the recipients, and the ICO does not function as De Brett's Court of Etiquette.

      The amount of schoolyard ranting from both sides of the referendum makes it quite clear how this sorry impasse has been reached: systematic misrepresentation, vilification and bare-faced lies. Is it possible for the whole damn nation to be sat on the naughty step for a week or two for some calm deep breathing?

  21. DwarfPants
    Flame

    More indicative / venting than any real chance

    Looking at the json only about a 100k are not associated with the UK

    "name" : "United Kingdom",

    "code" : "GB",

    "signature_count" : 3549478

    I do appreciate that this probably indicates there is a lot of other rubbish in the data. Yes I am sure that the real people who sign the petition would like the country the think again, but are realistic that this won't happen. But they would like the petty inbred retrogrades that appear to run the country that we pretty P***** about their squabbling, one upmanship, and vested interests that have created a whole load of pain for us and the next generation which we don't really need.

    1. The Axe

      Re: More indicative / venting than any real chance

      What about the pain created for us by the EU which we and our next generation don't really need?

    2. Perpetual Cyclist

      Re: More indicative / venting than any real chance

      If you compare the postcode distribution of votes for the petition

      http://petitionmap.unboxedconsulting.com/?petition=131215

      it shows a very high correlation with the postcode distribution of the Remain votes for the referendum

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36616028

      which suggests that there is relatively little random vote stuffing.

  22. heyrick Silver badge

    Hang on

    Brit living in France. Signed the petition. Why not? I'm a British citizen who was denied a vote...

    1. your handle is already taken

      Re: Hang on

      Brit living in Ireland. Signed the petition. Why not? I'm a British citizen who never imagined the Leave group would win. Looks like I'll finally be applying for that Irish passport.

      By the way, my fellow British subjects, here in Ireland we are torn between (1) the prospect of being the premier majority English speaking country in the EU with all the benefits that will accrue to us because of that and (2) having firstly the sectarians wounds in the North reopened and secondly the entire EU project of fiscal and political integration put in jeopardy owing to a domino effect of anti-EU sentiment sweeping the continent.

      As an outsider looking in may I give my perspective? About two weeks before the referendum I travelled to Canterbury. Anybody working class I talked to was adamant they'd vote Leave, on the university campus there was agitation to Remain. It's clear that the EU is being blamed for the growing wealth inequality in the British Isles. Here in Ireland, while there is anti-immigration sentiment from a segment of the population (which is laughable because we have far far less immigration than UK/FR/DE for instance), I think the majority of people realise we are better off in the EU and that though the Troika are bastards our current situation is mostly of our own making.

      Next two things. First is that the financial transaction tax the UK blocked in the EU may now go through. Many view the UK blocking that as a total dick move by the way, and that was your own elites working against the ordinary person -- how does leaving the EU change that? Hint: It doesn't. Second is that I saw posters saying "Take Control, Vote Leave" which sounds reasonable until you realise that by leaving you actually both cede control and take control -- within the EU you have a strong voice to change things from within that you are now giving up.

      Lastly. Though indeed a democratic process I agree it is simply incredible that such a monumental decision could be enacted with such a slim majority given how destabilising it could be on the North and how there wasn't a detailed plan of what would happen with the _only land border you have_ with a country that remains in the EU. I'm all for sovereignty and self-determination but you don't exist in a vacuum as much and all as it appears you'd like to think you do. :)

  23. SolidSquid

    "Only UK or British citizens and residents can create or sign a petition"

    Just to check, does that mean you have to be both a UK citizen *and* a resident, or can it be an either or thing? A lot of ex-pats are still citizens and will be worried about the idea of splitting away from the EU

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      ""Only UK or British citizens and residents can create or sign a petition"

      Just to check, does that mean you have to be both a UK citizen *and* a resident, or can it be an either or thing? A lot of ex-pats are still citizens and will be worried about the idea of splitting away from the EU"

      When you read "Men and women can [do something]" do you think this only applies to hermaphrodites?

    2. Moverley

      Agree, ludicrous drafting!

  24. TJ 2

    On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

    On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

    SO, going on the fact that you can't change the goal posts after the vote, 17million voted to leave, 24 petitioned (against the vote system)... 24 out of 33 total million voters,

    That doesn't meet the 100k to have it duscussed, every name added after the vote should be void.

    Will you get a 2nd referendum?

    You have more chance of visiting Mars for a spot of sunbathing....

    But, it is entertaining, twatter and farcebook are full of poor little bunnies crying foul, bleeting on about how they have been robbed by a democratic vote.

    More so by the chubby meme generation, yes, those millenials, who think for some reason that this vote will stop them visiting Europe, or that somehow they wont be able to leave this country and work abroad.... when most of them can't even get their chubby faces out of their phone....

    Middle classes, wealthy, celebs and toffs bellowing "the unwashed plebs voted us out" how dare they!

    Yes, sorry your holiday will cost you a few quid more.... better cut back on the port and cheese this month eh?

    If the country does suffer, it wont be you that suffers, it will be the poorest in society. The ones who wake up every day with real financial dilemmas like walk to work or put some money in the electric/gas meter to have a hot shower and a cup of tea....

    All this, and we're not even one week into the post-vote fallout.

    If you do manage to somehow conjure up a 2nd referendum... expect a 3rd... a 4th ... a 5th.... and then civil war.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

      I agree with everything you see, and I'm unsuprised at the votedowns on here.

      I didn't like the result of the 2001(?) AV vote referendum.. Can we rerun that please?

      Everything apart from I'm not full of confidence in Brexit actually becoming a reality. Too many bloated politicians and EU commisars set against it.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

        I didn't like the result of the 2001(?) AV vote referendum.. Can we rerun that please?

        Suggest you join the LibDem's - they've been banging on and on about electoral reform for decades. Suspect they are the bunch that inspired Nigel Farage to keep going on and on about leaving the EU and so finally got his referendum.

        But you might have to wait a rather long time as their total membership earlier today was 66,905...

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

      "If the country does suffer, it wont be you that suffers, it will be the poorest in society. "

      You mean, the ones who voted Leave? Based on a pack of lies? That sounds terrible, why on earth would they vote for that, unless they were influenced by liars and their lies? Something should be done, maybe ignore the result or a 2nd referendum?

      And I think you can drop the 'if' from your assertions. I think it's pretty clear at this point that the Remain campaign's 'scaremongering' was anything but.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

        @ DavCrav

        "I think it's pretty clear at this point that the Remain campaign's 'scaremongering' was anything but."

        At what time does WW3 start? Do I have time to get popcorn?

      2. TheProf
        Coat

        Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

        "You mean, the ones who voted Leave? Based on a pack of lies? That sounds terrible, why on earth would they vote for that, unless they were influenced by liars and their lies?"

        Yes but the liars were our liars and they didn't actually try to bribe voters. Not like the sneaky French coming over here and putting our croissant makers out of business.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-referendum-operation-croissant-the-obscure-law-that-stopped-french-remainers-handing-out-a7095826.html

        Strange, isn't it, that the electorate can be enticed with a bogus £350 million a week and yet a few bread rolls has the law doing a ton of bricks act.

        And the Post Office is out of Irish passport application forms. Things just keep getting worse!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      TJ2 -- Re: On the day of the referendum, there were 24 signatures on the petition.

      .... and then civil war.

      That will be the result, won't it? I can't help but wonder if deep down in darkest hearts in politics if that wasn't considered as an option. Divide and then conquer...?

      I also note with interest that Russia seems "excited" by this. Yeah... my tin foil hat is a bit worn but there's a lot of gamesmanship being played by both sides here.

  25. James 51 Silver badge

    "Normally parents admonish their children for throwing their toys out of the pram."

    And if they are throwing out a poisoned chalice?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: "Normally parents admonish their children for throwing their toys out of the pram."

      Depends, on who was the intended recipient of the poisoned chalice...

  26. kventin

    antidemocratic etc

    the man from the institute calling petitioners "anti-democratic" and "pathetic" and that "they prefer to have an elite in charge" has a valid point, even though he presents it as something bad.

    it is just the european way (*). of course elite is in charge -- members of the commision are appointed, there's no place and no need for any funny election business (i especially like the name: commissioner. although commissar would be even better, there is some nice symmetry between commission and commissioner. it can always be changed when commission renames itself politburo).

    or the notion that you have to respect a negative outcome of election. how would then the progress be achieved? no, either ignore the result, or you may indulge the voters and give them second chance. and it works: ireland, france, netherlands... they all saw the light. eventually.

    i heard even the uk referendum isn't binding -- and there are already people calling for the repetition.

    there is the light. you'll see. willingly, with a song on your lips. you will.

    (*) you take the best from french and from german tradition. then you call it a "parliament" as a nod to british. don't sweat it, it really doesn't matter much.

    1. jamesk

      Re: antidemocratic etc

      The UK has an entirely appointed Second Chamber, and plenty of people are appointed to the Lords in order to become a government Minister. We don't even elect our Prime Minister.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: antidemocratic etc

        The UK has an entirely appointed Second Chamber

        Which has a revising and advisory role. The parliament act makes it absolutely clear that the commons can always override the lords.

        They do provide a safety valve, though, for when passions get inflamed in the commons. They can delay things until tempers cool ... or prevent something unpopular getting put on the statute book by a doomed and vengeful government that's out of step with the public and soon to face an election or lose a vote of no confidence.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: antidemocratic etc

      A man who works in a think tank, that receives money from tobacco companies, and helps them campaign against the WHO. Calling out other people for being an elite in charge.

  27. Moverley

    The people who are now working in Europe are doing so as a result of the European Idea. The fact that their ip address is offshore should not bar them from adding their voice to a petition. That they have been excluded from this list of protest, even if they are entitled to a British vote, further underlines the fascist, undemocratic, bungling and cowardly nature of the present shambolic administration - half resigned, half running for cover. This should go to the Lords. They would overturn it. I shall write to Hesseltine straight away.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since the consequences of the vote

    are so enormous for our economy and society, it seems completely reasonable to me to do this in the same way that divorces happen: i.e. decree nisi for the initial recognition of relationship breakdown/separation, and decree absolut for the final irrevocable step.

    So, let the government of the day decide when article 50 is to be signed (nothing actually starts changing before then, but obviously some ground-work and prep happens), and then have another referendum a week/month before just to make sure that it's really what is wanted.

    Plenty of fuckwits around who now regret the way they voted, so let's at least ensure for something as momentous as this that voting preferences genuinely reflect thought and sentiments.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: Since the consequences of the vote

      You lost. Get over it.

  29. Yugguy

    Holy none-Remainer posts Batman!

    An article on the reg that isn't rabidly pro-remain. Wonders never cease.

  30. Bloodbeastterror

    Dimwits

    So how do we account for the many people I've heard on various radio programs saying "I voted Leave even though my gut said Remain" and "I voted Leave as a protest" and "I voted Leave because I didn't want to support David Cameron". Where is the informed opinion there? All of these people are now saying "Yeah, I did it, and I'm shocked at the result". As one commentator put it, the dog which has finally caught the car - WTF do I do with it now...?

    So yes, we should have another referendum so that these effing idiots can do it right this time.

    F***wits can't be allowed to make decisions of this magnitude when they've been so ill-served by the disgraceful misinformation from both sides.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Dimwits

      "the dog which has finally caught the car - WTF do I do with it now...?"

      Quote of the week.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holy none-Remainer posts Batman!

      My goodness, all the Leave stuff must have been filtered out by your Brexit-polarised sunnies. Because the UK's future so bright now, you've got to wear shades...

  31. CaptSmeg

    Charming

    A quick pie chart (https://plot.ly/~Paul-v-young/2/alleged-location/) tells me that...

    A part from the 96% that are from UK locations (yeah, pull the other one), the next most popular location is France at 0.67%.....

    But then that is only 24710 votes, so I think we can safely conclude that only 0.04% of the French would like us to remain.

  32. Richard Parkin

    50%+1

    All the organisations I've been a member of have require a greater than 50%+1 vote to change the constitution/rules. I think the petition has made a reasonable stab at writing a sensible rule so that 45% of the electorate would be required to pass a resolution, aside from saying you had to re-run if it failed. Even the wording of the referendum question is poor as it contains only a vague "should", not shall or must for example.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The people who are now working in Europe are doing so as a result of the European Idea. The fact that their ip address is offshore should not bar them from adding their voice to a petition. That they have been excluded from this list of protest, even if they are entitled to a British vote, further underlines the fascist, undemocratic, bungling and cowardly nature of the present shambolic administration - half resigned, half running for cover. This should go to the Lords. They would overturn it. I shall write to Hesseltine straight away.

  34. Red Bren

    If you wanted to poison the well

    If the side you backed got the result you wanted, but by such a narrow margin that it could be challenged by a petition created by one of your own as a contingency but hikacked by the other side, what would you do? A ddos would be too obvious and a counter-petition might not garner enough support. But if you flood the petition with fake/ineligible support, you can discredit the whole thing as fraudulent.

    Tin foil is the new black...

  35. Thesheep
    Holmes

    Petition vs Referendum vs Hacking

    To be honest the petition has just as much validity in our constitution as a bloody referendum.

    As for the idea that the petition has been hacked. Well if I saw 1Bn+ signatures then I would assume that. 100k extra? Not exactly the LOIC now, is it? FFS hackers, show some mettle!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joining Petition requires more ID than actual Referendum Vote

    Like everyone else who sign the 2nd referendum petition, I had to give my email, my postcode, country of residence, and even had to verify my email via a link before my signature was recognised.

    That is more than was required for the ACTUAL REFERENDUM vote, where name and house number and street name without any need for ID were enough.

    That is totally screwed up, and consequently the petition is able to identify a higher level of fraud than was surely undertaken during this referendum given the high postal vote turnout.

  37. Joe 35

    Orignal referendum

    Since the original 1975 referendum didnt meet these criteria, that clearly should also be invalidated and thus the last 40 years of EU related laws repealed as there was no backing for them?

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. Flit
    Meh

    "clear democratic majority"

    "Although the UK’s voted to leave the EU with a clear democratic majority of on a turnout of 72.9 per cent"

    Hindsight can be wonderfully annoying :(

    I find it significant that the referendum result provides a mandate for major change based on the decision of just 37.4% of the electorate.

    Source data: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/find-information-by-subject/elections-and-referendums/upcoming-elections-and-referendums/eu-referendum/electorate-and-count-information

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Do tell, was the broken screen the result of a sudden exclamation and loss of co-ordination by the Computer User-Non Technical early on last Friday morning?

    2. Wommit

      WTF!!!

      "He's rarely, if ever, seen me fucking pissed off at him over the 20+ years we've known each other because I'm one that tries to avoid confrontation, but the next meeting should prove interesting,"

      Really, you'd lose a friend of 20 years over a difference of opinion? Just how shallow are you?

    3. Youngdog

      @AC

      So a friend of over 20 years standing has suddenly become a See You Next Tuesday because they had the nerve to hold a different opinion to you on something? I think I know who is the bigger cunt.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        Re: @AC

        In my case I have many friends (and family members) who voted leave and who I can still have reasonable and polite discussions with. Mainly because their reason to leave are all pretty much the same, they want controlled immigration, not to stop "immigrants stealing jobs/benefits" but to release the pressure on housing that this and the previous government's lack of action has caused, and to regain a certain sense of control over our own laws. I then have friends who are quite simply racists who's FB timelines are a stream of Islamophobia and Britain First hate rhetoric. Needless to say which I prefer drinking with...

    4. Fred Dibnah

      Re: "clear democratic majority"

      The Conservatives won a majority in 2015 with a much lower percentage of the electorate - 24.3%. The 37.4% figure for the referendum is a lot higher than that, and in fact no government has polled a similar percentage since 1966.

      http://www.conservativehome.com/highlights/2015/05/lets-not-get-carried-away-the-conservatives-only-won-over-a-quarter-of-all-potential-voters.html

      If a quarter of the electorate is deemed a sufficient mandate to raise VAT, cut the top income tax rate, introduce the bedroom tax, etc etc, then a third voting to Leave has to mean we leave. Sadly.

    5. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Joining Petition requires more ID than actual Referendum Vote

      This could be achieved by coding. Email addresses can be created on the fly. A catchall account with multiple domain names could handle quite a lot of votes. A database of names and postcodes. Some code to scan incoming emails and hit the links. Does it have a capcha? Get some teenagers to verify this by showing them porn.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50%+1

      a bit clever that ; Should is a Recommendation, Shall is a requirement (which might be ignored) and only Must is defininitive "got to"

    7. Nigel 11

      Re: Joining Petition requires more ID than actual Referendum Vote

      Actually. no. The referendum is self-checking. If you turn up at a polling station and claim to be someone who has already voted, you or the prior voter are lying and it will be completely obvious if there is a large amount of electoral fraud taking place. Whereas with the online petition, I wouldn't ever know if somebody has cast a vote on my behalf. It's not as if my e-mail address is permanently registered and immutable, and there are plenty of older voters who don't have e-mail addresses at all.

      (Which also makes such online polls a biassed sample of the electorate; how do you find out about such a poll? Obviously, 100% of political activists will know ...).

      Also it's a bit silly that one cannot cast a negative vote. There have been several polls that I'd have liked to downvote, but only El Reg provides that facility.

  40. themunkey

    I don't understand the need for the petition - I'm fairly sure we just had one where a couple of million people went to little temporary offices (lets call them polling stations), they took a piece of paper and selected their choice by putting an X in a box.

    There is a name for that... Oh thats right, its a democratic voting system...

    Yes the leaves only had it by a small margin, but unfortunately you don't get to do it again and again until you get the vote 'YOU' think is the right one - that is NOT a democracy...

    Rightly or wrongly, educated or not, smart or stupid - it is the decision of the people who bothered to vote...

    I'm neither pro not against - simply because I don't think it really matters, as long as the same 'type' of cockwomble runs the country we are only heading for ruin... (just a case of do we run or fall into it)

  41. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Democracy

    My family 'voted' to go to Glastonbury.

    In the face of horrendous weather, ridiculous travel problems, other issues I won't bore anyone with, we 'voted' to change our minds, decided we no longer wanted to go.

    Leavers would have it that we were bound by our initial decision, that we had no choice but to go. The decision not to go was wrong, outrageous and impossible to accept, and we should not even have been allowed to make it. We said we would go so we would have to. They would have forced us to go even if it would have killed us.

    That's not democracy as I know it.

  42. DwarfPants
    Coat

    Best of 3?

    They don't even settle sporting events without a couple of goes.

  43. Stuart 16

    I could not dig; I dared not rob:

    Therefore I lied to please the mob.

    Now all my lies are proved untrue

    And I must face the men I slew.

    What tale shall serve me here among

    Mine angry and defrauded young?

    - Rudyard Kipling

  44. bpfh Silver badge

    I'm a British Citizen, but i'm resident in France...

    Does that mean i'm valid because i'm British, or invalid because i'm GeoIP'd in France?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: I'm a British Citizen, but i'm resident in France...

      It doesn't matter, because the petition requests are even less binding than the referendum. All they offer is that 'If a petition gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament'

      It unquestionably got 100,000 valid signatures, however dodgy some of the other 3.5 million are. So it will be considered for debate in Parliament. The result of that consideration is not defined.

  45. jamesk

    I have no idea where the journalist got the figures from - he obviously did not look at the dataset:

    {"name":"United Kingdom","code":"GB","signature_count":3656457}

    {"name":"North Korea","code":"KP","signature_count":37},

    {"name":"Vatican City","code":"VA","signature_count":67}

    {"name":"United States","code":"US","signature_count":15320}

    These seem entirely reasonable numbers of ex-pat British Citizens signing. Why would anyone from any other country care!

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      North Korea had something like twenty six thousand votes on Sunday evening. I recall because I remarked on a forum that *any* British votes from that country seemed improbable but 26K was just taking the piss...

    2. Mark Morgan Lloyd

      Does anybody have a minute-by-minute archive of the .json data, or can say authoritatively where that claim of 39,000 signatures from the Vatican originated?

  46. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    £74Bn+ wiped off the FTSE 100. Good thing no ones got any of their pension in shares isn't it?

    Oh you do.

    Ooops.

    Still never mind.

    As David Gerrold wrote "Freedom is the right to be uncomfortable."

    I'm sure we're all excited by the chance for so many people to exercise this particular right.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: £74Bn+ wiped off the FTSE 100. Good thing no ones got any of their pension in shares isn't it?

      Please do fuck off.

      http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=FTSE:FSI

  47. jonnieboysmith

    Anyone care to sponsor my petition which will economically help us after the leave vote

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/143426/sponsors/q8ifmaOu0JfM58M3keaX

  48. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Let The Best Propaganda Machine Win!

    .....isn't THAT really how all this works?

  49. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Why is Mr Bong! voting from Panama?

    Shouldn't he be voting from Shoreditch from a whote-painted glass cubicle straight out of a William Gibson novel?

    And why is he using LISP notation?

  50. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Some 39,411 signatories came from Vatican City, even though the city state has a permanent population of only 450.

    Only numerically speaking.

  51. Zap

    What it shows is that people can use bots with proxy IP addresses, that is fraud.

    What I find amazing is the losers want to run the vote again because they do not like the result.

    I have not heard such kwap since errr, the EU doing the same thing when Ireland voted on the Lisbon treaty.

    I predicted this would happen and I do think there will be a deal offered and a further referendum in the next two years.

  52. Moverley

    It was not Parliament which took an axe to this, it was a Cabinet meeting. But this Cabinet has to convince public opinion...and now that David Cameron has lost all credibility, it will not be able to do so. The TWO PETITIONS (London and this) should continue ...and still have an immense power to express the current mood in the UK. As to the illegality of non Britain based UK citizens (such as myself) signing it (a) there is no explanation in the rubrics as to which postcode should be entered (the last one on the Voting Register, presumably? Or that of an address in the UK where one can be reached?) (b) Neither is there anything in the rubrics as published to say non Britain based UK citizens, entitled to vote,are not allowed to subscribe to a petition precisely about a flawed operation of the franchise (I was already arbitrarily excluded from the referendum as a result of having lived in NI rather than England and Wales)...In such a context the referendum continues to have a strong validity and I would encourage all aggrieved parties to carry on signing it... A final point might be that people like me are in Europe PRECISELY BECAUSE OF LABOUR MOBILITY FREEDOM UNDER EU LEGISLATION...so OBVIOUSLY, we have an important stake - at last an equal stake as the rest of the UK - in the outcome.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    False choice

    The options were never leave the EU or "stay as is".

    The post referendum outcome would have been

    leave, Europe gets all pissy but maybe has to reflect on it's practices and PR (PR mainly).

    Or

    Stay and have to whole political moves towards the United States of Europe controlled by a small elite accelerated because "we the people decided", that's what we said we wanted right?

    Cameron would never have been allowed to have the vote if the elite didn't think we were sufficiently inured to the situation that we would never stand against it.

    From this point on be positive, contribute you positivity to the situation, build the future from integrity and honesty.

  54. evilhippo

    "Normally parents admonish their children for throwing their toys out of the pram."

    That really does nail it.

  55. Sirius Lee

    Stop whining

    If the petition cannot stand on it own based on support by people who are demonstrably in the country (using a UK ISP) then the petition doesn't really have the support claimed, does it? If taking out 77,000 possibly dubious votes is a problem then no one should take it seriously. But since that is not the case, stop whining.

    1. phil 27
      Stop

      Re: Stop whining

      Whoa there, I'm not in the UK but I was eligable to vote in the referendum being a british national and it being less than 15 years since I left the UK. I could quite legitimately sign that pettition, put my address as France and be within those terms.

      The fact that Leeds fubar'd my postal vote due to "proceedural errors" then failed to tell me despite us calling the hotline on 3 occasions to check it was all still going through and told me I could vote in person if I picked up a ballot paper on the day when I was supposed to be in a business meeting on another continent is a moot point.

      It would be so trivial to do a select based on useragent data from the script I saw being claimed as responsible, and just mark all of those rows bad in the database. And, I think thats exactly what some BOFH at PCCS has done.

  56. strum Silver badge

    >Normally parents admonish their children for throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Isn't that what the Leave voters have just done?

  57. Charlie Boy
    FAIL

    Is it just me?

    Brexit is a huge huge decision, and not one that should be taken lightly, With this in mind I think that the first referendum was flawed and should have had rules in place similar to the second referendum petition, so that we don't make a silly decsion on a whim and find ourselves regretting it. These rules should have gone both ways, both Remain and Leave, without these rules whihever way the vote went, if it was close (and it was), you will get those on the losing side crying foul and saying the result was wrong.

    What we needed was a result that the losing side would have no choice but accept, unfortunately one this close is not it, so we are left with an angry country more divided than if it had been a landslide.

    For the record I voted remain.

    1. Denier

      Re: Is it just me?

      Of course you did! as you obviously have no regard for democracy.

  58. Charles Smith

    Simples...

    The Gov Petition site should introduce a validation against the Poll Card detail:

    Surname match

    Poll Card number match

    Post Code match

    That way valid UK voters will be franchised and spotty nerds in Russia and the Vatican City will be locked out.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Simples...

      Not so simples.

      Your name and postcode are out there on numerous marketing databases. As for a poll card number match, I do not now what my poll card number is. It is not a number I have ever needed to write down. So i expect introducing this as a requirement would disenfranchise 99% of the electorate.

      OK, that last is fixable, but then there would be a DB of poll card numbers, which would get hacked sooner rather than later.

      What, you don't think they'd resort to impersonation and hacking?

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Simples...

        Also, your polling number changes every year as the register is updated. What is needed is some form of immutable documentary identifier in some sort of database accessible nationally. Could even call it a National Identity Number, or something.

  59. jason 7

    You know what...

    ...I bet Boris actually voted to remain.

  60. airmanchairman
    Thumb Down

    "Please sir, can I have some more?"... NO!!

    Insert most endearing Oliver Twist picture (with upraised bowl held in both grubby hands) that one can find via image search... A picture is worth a thousand words.

  61. abedarts

    Brexit means Brexit

    We are where we are and hoping for a second (third?) referendum or saying the first one isn't binding is not helpful.

    What we need to do now is turn this into an opportunity and get on with being successful in the world in the way that no EU country is managing to be. The EU, or more probably the Euro, is dragging even a power house nation like Germany into the doldrums. We have to start working on doing better out of the EU than we have been while in - which incidentally isn't bad thanks to holding on to our own central bank, currency and control of interest rates.

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