With the Governments e-petitions initiative in the news I thought it was time to have a closer look at the site and see what it's all about. I've signed a couple of them in the past after receiving tweets and emails asking for support but I haven't really paid much attention to any of the content apart from the petitions in the links forwarded to me. You can check the site out for yourself by clicking here. At the moment there are some 468 pages of live petitions that you can sign. They are sorted in order of popularity and at about twenty per page that's almost ten thousand of them. I reckon there are over 1400 that have so far achieved just one signature and 6,400 (about 64%) have ten or less. You would have thought that anyone media savvy enough to set up a petition might also have a couple of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Blimey, even I reckon I could drum up twenty or thirty signatures.
When you think of all the millions using the internet (over thirty million are logged onto Skype as I write this) it's a sad indictment that for example only ten have taken the trouble to support a petition to prevent employers discriminating against diabetes sufferers whilst the same number support "No Dubstep To Be Played On The Radio Between 5am and 11 am". Spend ten minutes on the site and it appears to be pretty much an abject failure. Most of the popular petitions seem to be from Daily Mail territory (stop immigration, brig back capital punishment, tax travellers, and the like). I signed one to stop legal loan sharking and another to ban scrap metal merchants from making cash payments.
If you want five minutes amusement have a look through the rejected petitions. Pity the poor sod who has to read this sort of stuff for a living "THE TAZER IS BY THE UNTED NATIONS OWN COMITTEE ON TORTURE ,AN INSTREMENT OF TORTURE. IT WAS INTRODUCED INTO THE UK POLICE FORCE INITIALY AS A LAST RESORT AS AN ALTERNITIVE TO A BULLET FIERING GUN. NOW IT HAS BECOME THE POLICE FAVORITE MEANS OF COMPLIANCE. THE POLICE ARE NOW AUTHORISED BY THE HOME SECETARY ( TERESA MAY) TO USE TAZERS ON... CHILDREN, PREGNANT WOMEN, OLD AGE PENSIONERS, THE DISABLES AND THE VUNERABLE. YES ANYONE AND EVERYONE IS FAIR GAME ITS OPEN SEASON ON THE BRITISH PUBLIC. THESE EVIL TAZERS ARE NOT BEING USED FOR WHAT THAY WERE ORIGIONALY BROUGHT INTO SERVICE FOR, ONLY TO BE USED IN A SITUATION OF LIFE OR DEATH ............"
Don't forget to watch episode 3 of Josephine's Sorority Girls tonight at 9 on E4. If you haven't seen it yet it's a fun and light hearted show that highlights the differences between university culture for girls here and in the USA.
I see that Martin Kelner devoted almost his entire column in yesterday's Guardian to slagging off Paul's A League Of Their Own. He did pretty much the same hatchet job on the show when it launched two years ago but it is now in its fourth series and the ratings are strong. I sympathise with a lot of what Kelner says - Freddie Flintoff's recent response to another panelist "f*** off " is hardly Oscar Wilde - but it appeals to its target 10pm Friday night audience and that is paramount.It's an original format and long may it succeed. Criticising the show in The Guardian is a bit like The Sun sending a reviewer to Covent Garden to report back on La Boheme.