Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “petition”


Being just a tad politically active 😉 I get to sign an awful lot of petitions and I’ve been giving them some thought of late.

In pre Internet days they were a good way of expressing complaint or desires to those who had the power to make changes. Thousands of signatures on paper meant people actually stopped, took time to think about the issue and physically make the effort to sign and consequently it said to governments or whatever, look out, listen to us or you could lose the power you have.

Now it’s so easy to just click a link, click ‘sign’, feel good about yourself for a couple of seconds and that’s it ’til the next one. Along with the huge proliferation of petitions, the meaning and effect of on-line petitions has been reduced to almost zero. The recipient never sees detail of the numbers signing just a total, maybe issues a meaningless response and presses the delete button.

Originally an aid to more open and accountable governance and a useful feedback to Ministers or CEO’s of Multi Nationals they are now barely an irritant. A possible consequence of this is a growing feeling of impotence that could then lead to more direct action which would lead to more repression leading towards riots in an escalating spiral.

The now five yearly General Elections when none of us get the government we thought we had voted for is not sufficient for the maintenance of peaceful democracy and freedom. We are at an impasse, what should or could be done? What do you think?


Freethinkeruk signed an on-line petition a while back, calling for MP’s to have the right when voted in, to swear an oath of allegiance to the Nation and to their constituents rather than to the Monarch. I paste below the petition and following that the response from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Details of Petition:

“All residents of a constituency where the MP is a Republican are deprived of their fair and equal representation in Parliament unless their MP begins his Parliamentary career by swearing loyalty to the very institution which they have just been elected to oppose. It is morally wrong and profoundly anti-democratic.”

· Read the petition

Read the Government’s response

The present oath or affirmation which members of both Houses are required to take at the beginning of a new Parliament or on entry into Parliament recognises an appropriate obligation on the members of the Parliament, in their consideration of forthcoming measures, to respect the existing constitutional arrangement. This does not represent any bar to the proposal by members of alternative arrangements. The Government has no plans to propose any change to the form of the Oath or Affirmation currently set down by law for Members of Parliament.

Apart from showing contempt for millions of voters and of MPs who want change it also doesn’t make sense. What are these alternative arrangements mentioned? I suppose it means we will still be subjected to the ridiculous spectacle of MP’s taking the Oath with their fingers crossed behind their backs thus signifying that they are lying.

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