back to article Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

The UK's e-petitions initiative, intended to get the public's issues debated in the Commons, has fallen at the first hurdle, with two petitions on ice due to lack of time. The e-petitions website lets the public start a campaign and invite people to sign to support it. Once signatures go over 100,000 – as has been the case for …


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  1. Marco Mieshio


    The E-Petitions site was always a way for people to vent their spleen and blow off some steam. The government never gave it any credence and will never give it any as it hopes once people have had a moan they will feel better. The truth is the government is now so out of touch with the electorate that whatever they are so very busy doing, you can bet that it has nothing to do with domestic issues are more to do with how they can conquer the middle east.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So it was a PR stunt all along ?!

    Who would have thought it ..... my gast is flabbered.

    1. Combat Wombat

      I'm founded dumb !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There is no such thing, politicians do what they want and ignore the electorate. We should have an epetition to get rid of them altogether. We can now all represent ourselves in real time via the internet, we don't need self serving parasitic mp's any more.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Gusty O'Windflap
    Thumb Down

    is anyone really surprised

    I am not

  5. mark 63 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Democracy in action!

    all show and no go

    they can talk the talk , but can they walk the walk? no

    all the gear and no idea


    What a beutiful , simple , cheap idea this was to connect the populace to the government , to give a real feel of openess , communication , and democracy.

    And now its "we've not got time" FFS these issues should go to the top of the queue, they are the ones that we , the people , their employers , ie thier boss, want discussing .Not whatever other naval gazing bullshit they had scheduled.

    I guess they realised that some of the questions might be a bit unpleasant for them.

  6. Lockwood


    Do they have time to deal with traditional petitions?

    Also, people keep talking about this new thing called an e-petition. I seem to rememebr them being around years back. Did they stop and restart or something?

    1. Magnus_Pym

      I seem to remember being directed towards one from a Reg discussion about Gary McKinnon years ago.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The wrong way round?

    The government has decided to spend all its time rabbiting on about thing IT wants to talk about - not things THE PEOPLE (who, incidentally put the MPs there) want discussed.

    To put it in perspective, if all the 100,000 people who signed any one of the qualifying e-petitions could be bothered to get off their arses and actually vote, they'd represent the majorities of the 4 safest parlaimentary seats (or the 60 least safe: which had majorities less than 1,500 votes). You'd think that sort of political influence would gain some respect. But I guess that since there's no possibility of another election for several years - where these e-petitioners could register their displeasure at being ignored, the people in charge can afford to ignore them all. Isn't democracy a wonderful thing?

    1. The Commenter formally known as Matt

      It sounds like you are suggesting that anyone who can be bothered to sign a petition can't "be bothered to get off their arses and actually vote"?

      I would have thought someone showing enough interest to petition would have more than enough motivation to vote.

  8. nsld

    So the difficult debates wont happen

    But I am sure anything that is easy and makes the ConDem group look good will be fitted into the hectic schedule

    1. darklord

      Eh labour introduced this

      and set out the way it will operate. so the whole idea was a spin to make labour look like they hadn't lost the plot and where trying to be in touch with its electorate.

      They probably hoped it would quietly die after the election.

      Shame as in essence it was a good idea and mean't we didnt need to try and convice our MP's that our causes where true and just and held a majority support .

  9. Willington

    Piss up in a brewery?

    Better get someone else to organise it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    because, frankly, which government gives a flying monkey about what people say? Over 1 mln protested in London over the UK joining the invasion/liberation of Iraq. Not good enough.

    And the best (or worst) to come out of any debate would be a view of the Commons, courtesy of BBC Parliment, with the minimum number of MPs required to run a debate, what is it, two of?

    So... how long have those e-pets been active? And how many debates have we had? Say again?

    1. Alan Firminger


      The subject was debated.

  11. Gary F

    Another broken promise

    Like so much of what the government had promised, yet another commitment is broken. Cameron committed himself to a lot of things, but not much at all has been done and the rot and injustice has continued. Many promises have been shelved. I don't know if it's because of internal differences within the coalition or if he's simply all talk and no action. :-(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a new petition....

    I think I will start a petition asking to force the government to set time aside to debate the subject of a petition if that petition reaches 100,000 signatures or more.........

  13. Neil_
    Thumb Down

    Party conferences?

    So they're really busy with lots of important things, then they have almost a month off?

    How important/useful are party conferences, relatively?

    1. Z 1

      Very. A lot of lobbyists are paying the EmmPeas an awful lot of money so they can feel important.

      Oh and also trying to manipulate debates in favour of rather questionable agendas.

      E-petitions are worth as much as the current raft of elected clowns. Maybe if you pony up some cash so they can junket/spend on a second house/buy luxuries, then they'd spend time debating it for you

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go back to paper petitions. A big picture of a pallet of signatures arriving at #10 in the papers gets the buggers moving more than an easily ignored website.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Go back to paper petitions

      Have you tried organising a country-wide petition? Even if you can organise one, it requires people to be in the right place to get others to sign. In the past I've seen a petition handed in to Number 10 and thought "I'd like to have signed that, but I didn't even *know* about it..."

      (Oh and before now AIUI governments have tried and sometimes managed, to get a huge petition written off as a *single* comment!)

  15. Swallowtail



  16. Havelock

    Shock horror!

    Why the hell should anyone be surprised at this? The whole thing was only ever a sop to fool the public into thinking their opinion mattered

  17. Z 1
    Big Brother

    E-Petitions? Government spin and flannel more like.

    "Here, lets give the plebs a distraction. E-petitions! Tell them that if any petitions get over 100,000 signatures <chuckle> we'll debate them."

  18. Simon Barnes

    surely anyone thinking making people skint and homeless will improve their behaviour is insane ? I'm wondering if the threshold on democracy is set too low...

    1. JulianB

      I'm inclined to agree with you (that it's insane), but clearly others are not. Hence there should be a debate.

      Of course, those that started the various counter-petitions are also missing the point. The government was never undertaking to implement any petition with 100,000 votes, just to debate it. If you strongly disagree with an e-petition, you should sign it!

      (Or at least, that would be true if it was actually going to get debated)

    2. Anonymous Coward


      It might address two attitudes highlighted by the riots:

      working for a living is purely optional

      that there are no consequences for criminal behaviour

      In any event given that the behaviour of the people involved is unacceptable it is worth a punt?

      1. King Jack

        Why do you think that all the rioters were on the dole? Many rioters were fully employed.

        Singling out the unemployed is wrong.

        1. IsJustabloke
          Thumb Up

          I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

          yes indeed... wasn't the very first person in the dock a teacher?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            close but no cigar

            a teaching assistant

            1. Magnus_Pym

              AC - Saturday 10th September 2011 00:05

              Didn't you know that teaching assistants do the teaching nowadays. It's one of those 'efficiency savings'

          2. Annihilator Silver badge

            Benefits being docked

            Benefits being docked is one of the most pointless, biased and illegal ideas that you'd think an MP came up with it. Or the Daily Mail. Which on second thoughts, they probably did come up with that one.

            To think that you can punish some people and not others (not all rioters were on the dole etc), outside the judicial system (we're presumably still going to prosecute them under general law, right?) is as misguided as the notion that we should or even could shut down Twitter if "call me Dave" so decides.

            I'm quite happy living in a society that at least attempts to deliver even-handed justice. A lot happier than I'd be if we were up for laying down random punishments on certain people purely on account of 0.1% of the population being arsed to click a mouse button.

            1. ChrisB 2

              Strongly disagree

              Dole claimants are in receipt of _my_ money, so why should I subsidise criminals?

              Those not on the dole are in receipt of money they earn for themselves, and their punishment cannot therefore be to have that taken away and must take some other form.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Possibly

        I dont see how the riots highlighted an attitude that working for a living is optional. Where did that come from?

        What is this about there being no consequences for criminal behaviour either? Also not something the riots have shown.

        Now, if we were talking about white collar crime, then its a different matter.

  19. Steve Crook

    Fail fail fail

    They always were, and they always will be. No gubermint is going to pay them any attention unless they happen to agree with whatever the gubermint wants. We live in a democracy, but only with constraints.

    Perhaps we should have an e-petition to call for the abolition of e-petitions.

    1. PatientOne

      "We live in a democracy"


      We live in a REPRESENTATIONAL democracy. The difference is: We vote in a representative for us, who then gets to vote on our behalf... or not, as the case so often is.

      1. Philolai

        *rolls eyes*

        For most people democracy = representative democracy. We don't need Athenian-style direct democracy (for free, land-owning men only) for the voice of the people to be heard.

        It would help if the Government provided some of its Parliamentary time for the e-petitions that came through the system that they instituted to be debated, rather than taking a chunk out of the little time the Backbench Business Committee has to play with. I'm sure some enterprising MPs will adopt the measures that have been proposed but it is the Government that deserves the blame for not thinking this one through.

      2. Graham Marsden

        Re: We live in a REPRESENTATIONAL democracy.

        "We vote in a representative for us, who then gets to vote on our behalf... or not, as the case so often is."

        Unfortunately, frequently they get *told* how to vote by the Party Whips, ie they're representing to us what their Party decides we want...

        1. Magnus_Pym

          Strongly agree

          I find it amazing that it is legal for anyone to put pressure on an MP in a parliamentary vote. Least of all an organisation with stated political bias.

  20. Morteus

    "Unfortunately, the group that is supposed to get a chance to discuss the issue, the Backbench Business Committee of MPs, is complaining that the one day a fortnight it has scheduled for debate is chock-a-block with its own issues and the government hasn't given it any extra time to deal with e-petitions."

    ... so what they're saying is the day that was put aside to deal with e petitions actualy ISN'T put aside for dealing with e petitions.

    1. Philolai

      That's not what they're saying

      They're saying that the one day a fortnight that the Backbench Business Committee has to deal with *any* issues it wants to raise is not sufficient to also take on a bunch of other issues. If the Government wants to get credit for instituting an e-petitions system, it should either provide the Backbench Business Committee more time or allow the e-petitions to be discussed in Government time.

      I seem to recall that one of the most popular No. 10 Downing Street e-petitions was Jeremy Clarkson for PM, so let's not pretend that this is going to be a great way of making public policy, at least in the short term.

  21. Poneros
    Thumb Down

    Yet another Government failure to commit to policy.

  22. Gabor Laszlo

    Direct Democracy FTW

    the Swiss are doing it the sanest way I know of

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I always thought that the whole e-petitions thing was for the purpose of paying lip service, as in "tell us what you really want us to do but that we'll do our own thing anyway".

    Setting the bar to about 0.16% of the entire population of the UK seemed a bit high (considering it was internet only and that only adults are eligible to vote), and correct me if I'm wrong but I think these are the first two petitions to actually hit the barrier meaning that they've effectively set a precedent for not dealing with any others "because we're too busy".

    If you really cared about your electorate, you'd *make* time.

  24. Elmer Phud

    No time?

    No time or do they mean it's not the distraction it's supposed to be?

    Not producing enough hits for 'hang the rioters' ?

    Too many 'Oi, Cameron, leave it out!'?

  25. Jonas Taylor


    Unfortunately this isn't at all surprising. Common sense dictates that e-petitions be assigned to a specific MP that would be responsible for initiating the debate, as no MP would want to voluntarily associate themselves with the inevitable radical proposals that will follow. And further, it has to be common sense that such debates be scheduled so as to not conflict with existing proposals or committees.

    It's just a shame that their PR department has got ahead of itself and that they can't deliver on what seems like a genuinely good concept.

  26. mrdalliard

    If time is that short, why do they have a summer recess? They're not schoolkids are they?

    Oh, wait..

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: schoolkids

      "They're not schoolkids are they?"

      Based on the "frustrated" joke that was *so* funny that Cameron simply *gave up* trying to answer the question and went for a quiet sit down instead, I'd say the results are well and truly "in" on that one.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    In Government ... nobody can hear you scream.

    And they wouldn't care even if they could.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seems the only way to influence government is to blow things up after all....

    1. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother


      Don't even joke about that, otherwise you're liable to end up with a jail sentence...!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Bombing

      Actually, I reckon that making PM a job for life, might actually focus the holder's attention firmly on what they need to do to "keep the job for a bit longer."

      Being voted out of office just isn't harsh enough!

      1. Graham Marsden

        @AC: re: Bombing

        IIRC There was a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera which had a character called the "Chief Exploder" whose job it was to keep an eye on the Ruler of the Country and, if the Ruler got out of hand, the Chief Exploder would, well, explode the Ruler and then become Ruler in their stead.

        Of course a new Chief Exploder would then be appointed...! :-)

    3. BrownishMonstr


      or an uprising.

  29. Craig 28

    Pointless anyway

    As bad as the football incident is there isn't much that can be done going forward, I'm not convinced that there are even lessons that can be learned. Oh they might bring in guidelines about certain things but unless it resulted in a significant design change to the stands I don't think it's going to reduce the chances of it happening again in any meaningful manner.

    The proposal regarding the rioters however is the worst kind of Daily Mail-esque drivel. If they can prove that anyone caused criminal damage, participated in assault or any other criminal act then just prosecute them. Removing their benefits is redundant if they can prove they were involved to a court's satisfaction, if they can't prove it to a court's satisfaction then this is punishment without due process and should be avoided at all costs. That's not considering the possible breaches of human rights legislation that removing benefits without due process could cause.

    If someone were to make an E-petition to abolish E-petitions on the grounds that they're encouraging the voices of the narrow minded minority to be heard over the broad minded majority I'd be first in line to sign it. Not that the narrow minded minority, or the unintelligent and uninformed chunk of society that swallows whatever the Daily Mail spunks, need any encouragement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Craig 28

      If I could upvote your post more than once I would.

      Well said.

      How do you start an e-Petition, cos that seems like the best suggestion for one I have read.

  30. J.G.Harston Silver badge


    What if these people aren't on benefits? If you mean "fine them 65 pounds a week", then *say* "fine them 65 pounds a week". If you mean "fine them their entire income", then *say* "fine them their entire income".

    1. Spleen

      You're assuming the rationale is punitive - actually it's economic. Firstly, most of the rioters were professional criminals, and it just doesn't make sense to subsidise the theft and destruction of property. Never mind the moral and sociological issues, we're broke and we can't afford it.

      Secondly, there is a massive difference, practically and psychologically, between trying to take someone's money, and declining to pay them more money. Fines are a joke in this country and are rarely enforced (the middle class and their traffic fines aside), because it requires re-arresting the bugger and going through the whole judicial process all over again. Much more difficult than putting an X next to someone's name on the DWP's list.

      I admit that perhaps not all the 200,000 completely thought it through though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Crime as a profession

        "Firstly, most of the rioters were professional criminals,"


        Where was this reported?

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Look up "garnish a person's income". If people **really** want a punishment to be "remove the entirety of a person's income"/"remove a specific absolute amount of a person's income", then a court can place an order on the source of that income and there's nothing that can be done to prevent it, other than emigrating.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I haven't checked, but are there any captchas in place to avoid bots upping the counts?

    (What, optional title??!? HURRAY, we WIN!!!! Next: back to choice of icons, or lack thereof, for anons please.)

  32. nichomach

    "We're replacing the petition website put in by the previous government that nobody paid any attention to with a redesigned one that nobody pays any attention to. Isn't that just lovely of us?"

  33. Jemma

    I would say...

    I told you so months ago, but that would be utterly utterly pointless... something like expecting joined up thought from the average UK citizen.

    If anyone really believed at this point that the Government of the UK (any government of the UK) had any interest in the people it purported to represent that should be long dead and gone now. The fact that anyone could have entertained it past somewhere around 1950 amazes me.

    We have no power whatsoever now, and whats priceless is its the fault of the induhvidual majority that this is the case, because they are the ones that are wingeing, rioting and writing to the Daily Fail to whine that they haven't seen a bobby on the beat since BL stopped building Allegros.

    We let policing slip through our fingers and the result of that was London 2011, and the number of commentards who were willing to string up members of the public reacting to the Police's sheer stupidity and incompetence was painful to see. Don t want to pay decent wages and hire decent officers who aren't bigoted brainless thugs or farm the 'service' out to the cheapest bunch of chimps on the market... you'll get precisely what you deserve and thats what you got. The problem with that is that people like me, who are vulnerable, got it too. Ta muchly for that.

    We didnt manage to elect a government, so they made one for us, out respectively the most dangerous and the most spineless of the available options (Cons & Lib Dem) who, like all coalitions have made a cock up of monumental proportions out of a molehill on so many different fronts that General Elphinstone (of Flashman & Afghanistan fame (the first time)) could take lessons from them.

    The only news I have seen in the last few days that is more delicious in its irony is the development by Microsoft of a whole raft of applications for Symbian (you know the phone OS that is deader than Palm OS 4) - perhaps belatedly realising that their phone OS is well on the way to becoming the marsupial sabre tooth of the mobile world.

    You know, I'm almost tempted to vote for the BNP - on the basis that while they are a bigoted, thuggish, racist, everything-phobic bunch of the nastiest human beings bar the founding members of the Westboro' Baptist Church, at least they are honest about it. Our current government are pretty much the same, they just lie through their teeth while destroying peoples lives.

    I hope you are all looking forward to more single mother bashing, minority clobbering, disabled battering, rich person snuggling government - because thats what you are going to get, and you deserve it. And to think, you *really* thought that a government involving the Conservatives would give a monkeys toss about public petitions - its almost sweet.

    1. PrivateCitizen


      +1 internets for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      An interesting rant, although it seems to be lacking in accuracy on many counts. Let me make a few small points:

      Listening to the people does not mean doing everything the people tell you to. That tends to be very dangerous since the people are very happy to tell a government to spend money on everything, but are unwilling to raise the resources to do that. California is a great example of this where the electoral "propositions" mean that most of the budget is ring-fenced and cannot be touched by the politicians, but they are also limited on how they can increase funding, such that it is virtually impossible to balance the California state budget. Daily Mail readers may be quite happy campaigning for all criminals to be locked up and key thrown away, but then paying for a jail population increase of 10x which would result (and has happened in the US) wouldn't be approved by the same Daily Mail readers. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see some of the e-petitions eventually get discussed in parliament. This was not a rejection by the government, but simply a play by a committee to get more time to discuss things.

      I find it interesting that you accuse the Tories of being the most "dangerous" of the parties without any justification. How do you define dangerous? Perhaps the most dangerous party is the one that has economically ruined the country the last 2 times it has been in power. Winter of discontent and IMF bailout the last but one time they got in power, and financial meltdown last time they got in power. And don't think it was all someone else' fault. Apparently creating independent control of setting interest rates, but then manipulating the calculation of RPI and CPI and not allowing the Bank of England to use any other measure to set interest rates is one of the biggest factors. Properly controlling the rampant house price inflation during the late 90s and first half of the 00s would have done much to prevent the complete melt-down. Unfortunately, Gordon and Tony were too busy watching the economy be propped up by people spending money they had released in new equity from their over-inflated house prices. Failing to put any money aside during the boom years was also an almost criminal mistake. I think one can have one's own opinion on most dangerous when it comes to political parties.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titles must contain letters, numbers, doodles, sign language and squirrel noises.

    I might create an e-petition asking for El Reg to give us anonymous cowards our icons back.

  35. b166er

    'The thorny subject of when to find time for democracy ' SHOULD NOT BE FUNNY

    1. Ned Fowden

      democracy sucks, it's a great idea in principle, just like communism & socialism and to be fair any political system is a great idea if the world was perfect, but not a single one of them will work as long as there are politicians involved

      as someone else has already said, it surely can't be a surprise that anyone thought that any MP would listen to the voters via mediums like e-petitions ... it's self delusion

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe all the people faffing around on the petition website should get off their arse and actually converse with their MP?

    100 people raising the same issue with a single MP should be enough to the thing brought before parliament.

  37. Haku

    Wow, I never saw that coming!

    Who'd a thought that the grubbyment wouldn't listen to their voters?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carve your name with pride onto a brick and deliver with vigour.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel a paper-based DDOS coming on ....

    Let's all post letters to our MP's requesting that they put aside time for debating e-petitions .... let's send one to their home address, one to parliament, one to their office, and one to their party HQ ... drown the feckers in paperwork until they wise up and start listening to us.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Dear god no!

      You don't think you can defeat Whitehall with paperwork do you? They'll see it as a challenge.

  40. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    "Stands back in amazement!"

    Well blow me down, the Gov has no time for discussing issues the people actually want discussed!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... it's a damn shame...

    ... most people would be too apathetic to march on parliament to get issues rammed home to the out of touch lords in their ivory towers.

    100,000 people marching with a common purpose would turn a few heads.

    Alas, we'd rather try and do it from the comfort of our own homes, in a couple of clicks.

    When so little effort is expended, is it any wonder the gibbonment doesn't take any notice?

  42. Alan Firminger


    The Culture Media and Sport committee have found plenty of time for themselves. Is the sitting of a committee really in the hands of the government? Surely it has the power to find its own time.

  43. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Whoah there boy! Just a minute?

    Does this mean that elected members chosen from and by the public to serve the public now officially do not (and never, ever did have) time to listen to grievances of the public?

    Why! Anyone would think that all MPs have to do is to rubber stamp and endorse all that the civil service needs them to do.

    (Hmmm - now there's a thing! )?

  44. Oninoshiko


    we never thought any of the petitions would ever reach 100,000 signatures, and should therefor not have to fulfill promises we never intended to have to keep. Sucks to be you.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100000 letters to each address

    That's 492000 pounds plus stationary for 1 letter to each address with delivery receipt (1.8K without receipt) although after the first thousand letters arrive, I'm sure they would seriously start to consider adding the issue to their debate schedule if only to keep from having to sign for 99000 more letters.

  46. themadpoetuk


    Just when you think that the government, MPs, parliament etc couldn't surprise you they do...

    I would suggest an online petition but....

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Small print

    None of the petitions have been around for 12 months yet. Hell, none of them have even CLOSED yet.

    Seriously guys, learn to read.

    Icon is my face when I read this article.

  48. bobbles31


    I have an idea, why not charge people £1 to sign a petition and the divy the money up to all those MPs that debate for the full session get to divy the money up between them.

    They'll come runnin' to sponsor them then!

    1. Bronek Kozicki
      Thumb Up

      I like the idea, but in principle...

      you shouldn't need to pay for your democratic right.

      so why do I like it? It is not as if the lawmaking process is democratic in the first place, with lobbies running the parliament anyway they like. To put the public on equal footing will inevitable involve money changing hands.

  49. Chad H.

    Parliament is too busy for democracy.

    In other news the Backbench Business Committee of MPs called for the abolition of elections "You wouldn't believe how busy we are" a spokesperson said "the pressure and time requirements of having to campaign is preventing us from debating and voting on important bills".

  50. Camilla Smythe


    Can't they Implement Comments and then Publish via the Daily Mail?

  51. whbjr

    Is this one of those delicious moments when those of us in the States get to chortle* about flaws in the British government? We need all the chortling time we can get, given our impending presidential campaign...

    * Chortling so rarely happens here - the US is more of a guffaw sort of place.

  52. Purlieu

    Clearly the government is not afraid of the people. This is wrong, they should live in permanent respect for those who put them where they are. Oh, it's a Tory govt did you say, sorry that clears that up, then.

    And while I'm here did I hear it correctly yesterday that a guy who was given 4 life sentences will be out in 9 years - WTF !!!

  53. RogerT

    Lazy MPs

    If they had all their conferences during the same week they could spend and extra 3 weeks in parliament.

    Alternatively. Why don't they have sittings all the year and have annual leave and the odd Bank or Public Holiday like normal people?

    It would put a stop to them having a foreign holiday at the beginning of August and a Cornish one two weeks later.


    (The Jolly Roger because it is my flag!)

  54. Turtle


    That any government would even *pretend* that e-petitions have any value at all, or merit any attention whatsoever, is a sick joke. People whose political engagement consists of visiting a website and clicking a button are people who do not really care about the matter at hand. The mere fact that signing an e-petition is so easy is exactly what makes it so worthless. (And this does not even touch the question of how easy it is to game an e-petition.)

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screw e-petitions

    This website has been getting on my tits so for some time, I wish they actually close it down. Constantly getting hassled to sign petitions for this that and the other. Facebook and Twitter are awash with pointless shitty petitions that a lot of people don't give a damn about.

    Sure it would have been a great idea had every Tom, Dick and Harry had not been allowed to create a petition for every single thing. I am not sure what mechanism you would have in place to filter out the petty pointless petitions, but there probably should have been something.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >100,000 people marching with a common purpose would turn a few heads.

    Then it would get out of hand and people would be kettled.

    Nothing changes.

    Democracy? Hah. It's just a filler for textbooks.

  57. Simon Coles


    Taking a look here: It seems like the next backbench session is about famine in Africa and human rights in Asia. The next session is a debate on whether MPs should be allowed to take 'handheld electronic devices' into the commons. Are this committee telling us they cannot shuffle their own timetable around to fit in e-petitions that make the magic 10k signatures?

    As for 'there is no mechanism to get MPs to sponsor a petition' ... don't they know any other MPs? Surely it wouldn't be too hard to get someone to act as the sponsor?

    I suspect they just don't support the 2 petitions that have been successful so far, at least not above their own pet causes.

  58. Grubby


    If the government claim they have no time to fit everything in with over 100k requests, why not post what they plan to debate instead and see just how many votes they get? I'd be interested to see if the people of the UK think a new bench in a park outside an MPs house, dedicated to some other MP from a few years ago, picks up more votes than a request to stop benefits of thieves or release files of a covered up tragedy...

  59. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    So, announce it then do nothing about it ...

    Nothing changes.

  60. Chris Harden

    Looks like they really don't care about us

    They don't have time to debate debating either :(

    I'm quite upset.

  61. Steve Barnett
    Paris Hilton

    Their time is our time

    I had to laugh the comment "the committee is complaining that the one day a fortnight it has scheduled for debate is chock-a-block with its own issues"

    Curiously I thought they were supposed to debate stuff WE think is important. Whether you agree/disagree/don't give a rats...' with the proposal 100k people have taken the time to say to their MPs through this portal "Oi, we think this should be discussed" Yes that's 100k people, I bet that is more than all the letters written to MPs in a month - and they;re always imploring us to do that as and 'effective way of influencing government'

    One could be cynical and say it's all just so much 'Eye-wash'. Oh, and to the person who said "It was a Labour idea and they set out the process" I say 'So, what!' If the current government don;t like it they should stand up and say "It was a failure, and we're canning it"

    Someone show some spine!!!

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